Eric’s Cedar Mantel

Added on October 23, 2008

This week’s project comes from Eric in Atlanta, GA. Let’s see what he has to say:

“First off let me thank you for all that you do. Your website has been an invaluable resource for me. I got into woodworking about a year ago when I decided to build my own custom kitchen cabinets for my house remodel rather than pay someone else to make them. I found your site on a woodworkers forum, and I’ve seen all your pod casts and check your blog daily.”

“Here are some pictures of a recent cedar mantel I built for our new fireplace. I started this project looking for inspiration on the web. I wanted a big beefy mantel that would fit our family room that has 22′ ceilings. After looking at a number of pictures from various sites and taking some initial measurements, I fired up Google Sketchup and began designing the mantel. As a novice woodworker I find that Sketchup is as important as my table saw or router. Investing the time to get over the learning curve will reward you with improved project design and a significant reduction in the frustration you might experience taking on a project with only the plans in your head.”

“The mantel was made from 6X6 and 6X12 rough cedar that I planed using an electric hand planer. I used traditional post and beam construction and relied on a drill, chisel, and handsaw for the mortise and tenons. The mantel was finished with a wiping varnish made from equal parts of mineral spirits, boiled linseed oil, and varnish.”

“This was a very fun and rewarding project and instilled in me a deep respect for carpenter’s of old who had to build post and beam houses with the same precision that is now almost exclusively used for furniture construction.”


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