Mounting a L-shaped Mantel

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Forum topic by kocgolf posted 10-12-2013 03:03 PM 1783 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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373 posts in 2417 days

10-12-2013 03:03 PM

I have built a mantel for a friend, and it mounts around a brick corner fireplace, both ends abutting walls. It is hallow design with cross pieces for stability, and it will attach to a pre-mounted 2×6. My friend has just asked for it to be screwed down to the top of the 2×6, which I was fine with, but now I am having second thoughts on that. It’s not that I don’t trust it, but I just don’t want plugs in the top of my otherwise beautiful mantel. There is no exposed joinery on it, and I am just not crazy about plugs on the shelf top.

Does anyone have any other ideas on this? I mean, I would love to do cleats, but it’s really not possible in a way I can see to do that with this design, as there is no way to just drop it on top. I am going to have to accept screws and plugs?

The dark brown piece is the 2×6. The screws would come in from the top, I was thinking a few #10 with 1/2 plugs.

7 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117417 posts in 3816 days

#1 posted 10-12-2013 03:11 PM

Many times it’s just nailed to your cleat and filled or trim is put over the top of the nails. finish nails are strong enough if you put one every foot or so, if you don’t feel that’s strong enough use screws and a piece of trim over the screws.
I have seen construction adhesive used by itself but you need to have the mantel braced in place for a couple days to make sure it’s completely dry .

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3208 days

#2 posted 10-12-2013 03:32 PM

If you could make some keyhole plates it might do it

View jumbojack's profile


1685 posts in 2863 days

#3 posted 10-12-2013 03:52 PM

If you still have some of the top material left over, use a plug cutter for your plugs. Get the grain orientation correct; with the dark wood it will be nearly invisible.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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373 posts in 2417 days

#4 posted 10-12-2013 04:09 PM

The top material is maple ply, so yeah, I have some, as well as some hardwood. I was planning to try that. Just looking for a better option. I had considered a keyhole type solution but couldn’t work out in my mind how that might work with the layout I have. Nails would be fine as well, I think. My friend is finishing it herself to match some cabinets, so she could choose some putty to match if she wants. The miters on the front and the trim are good, not perfect, so she may want to touch it up too, not sure how picky she will be on it.

Do you think adhesive (like liquid nails?) plus some finish nails would be enough? Sounds agreeable to me. I will probably do the same on the bottom side of the cleat as well. That should be pretty strong.

View a1Jim's profile


117417 posts in 3816 days

#5 posted 10-12-2013 04:13 PM

Nails plus liquid nails should be fine as long as shes not going to display her anvil collection on this mantel :)

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View tblank's profile


76 posts in 3209 days

#6 posted 10-12-2013 06:26 PM

For added stability, you can add a few blocks to the 2×6 along the length to glue and nail or screw to. Cut several 5&1/2 blocks and cut a 45 deg line from corner to corner. These can be made of 2x material and glued and screwed to your backer. That way you have multiple glue and nailing surfaces to rely on. These would be simply diagonal struts as in a bridge truss. If you really needed to you could run a couple of trim screws as well. Good Luck.

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2924 days

#7 posted 10-12-2013 06:56 PM

You and/or your friend must be pretty tall! Double or (triple) up the 2×6 with construction screws (2×2’s would be enough I think…the load is on the top) and use finish nails.

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