Wednesday, 12 February 2014

DIY fireplace mantle

I'm not feeling the crafty love right now - it's just too cold to do anything and all I'm inclined to do right now is sit in the warm front room and browse the tinterweb.

Thought I'd do a post on the fireplace mantle I made for the dining room log burner opening. As usual I used all scrap / salvaged wood and as usual I made it all up as I went along and yes, as usual it went very wrong initially.

The whole piece was made from 8"x2"  and 6" x 2" timber and I made it in a few sections for ease and put it all together in situ.
The mantle is a length of 8x2, well sanded and then stained and given a few coats of satin varnish. The upstands at each end are 6x2 timber given the same treatment as the mantle.
The finials that attach the upstands to the mantle were free drawn onto 6x2 timber. I cut four of them out using a jigsaw (with a dodgy blade I might add) and then I glued and clamped them together in pairs to get the chunky look I wanted.
Initially I was looking for a way to put them all together in situ but Mr CH decided (while I was away) that he would attach the upstands to the wall using 'sticks like s**t' - what a stupid idea! The finials had already been attached to the upstands via screws at the back so all that was left was to attach the mantle which Mr CH yet again decided would be fine using 'sticks like s**t'.
The whole thing looked smashing....................for a week or so! Then the wood started to warp from the heat of the log burner and as the only thing holding it together was hubbys stupid 'sticks like s**t' there was nothing to control the warp and the whole mantle started to seperate.
Eventually I decided I couldn't leave it that way so removed the mantle (surprisingly easily - go figure) and replaced with a new length of timber. This time I first screwed a thinner length of timber into the finials and then sat the new mantle on top of it, this meant I could screw the thin base into the mantle from underneath and voila, no more warping.

Here's the finished look. You can se the thinner length of wood just underneath the mantle - should have thought of that in the first place.

 This one shows the finials. I made four in the shape I wanted and then glued and clamped them together in pairs. You can just see the glue seam in this one as I obviously didn't do a very good job of cleaning the glue off and glue doesn't stain.

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