My friend Jack approached me a while back with the idea of building a mantle he had seen in a Craftsman style store. He wished to replace the outdated Oak mantle that was in his home. After measuring the prototype and drawing it on Sketch-up, we proceeded to build it. This was done on weekends, as time and budget permitted. The entire project took about 6 months to complete.
There are some large solid block pieces in this design, however, most of the components are built from 4/4 stock, using biscuits and glue. There are very few fasteners used in this project. We built this in a modular order so it could be installed easily, but securely, using french cleats.
The finishing process took more decision time than it actually took to complete. We dyed the wood with water based brown mahogany dye, and then used 6 coats of wipe-on varnish. It was a pleasure to build this for my friend and his wife for their new home. We’re planning to work on a modified design of the Weekend Wall Shelf next.