Books Covering Making Fireplace Mantels - Router Forums
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-26-2013, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Gaia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Country: United Kingdom
First Name: Peter
Posts: 603
 
Default Books Covering Making Fireplace Mantels

I see there are quite a few books on Amazon on the subject. Conflicting customer opinions. I was wondering if any members with experience could suggest any worthwhile books to get hold of that would give me all the information needed to make my own wooden fireplace mantel?
Thanks.
Gaia is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-26-2013, 02:43 PM
Registered User
 
MAFoElffen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Country: United States
First Name: Mike
Posts: 2,369
 
Default

Peter-

Never seen a book on them, but was a finish carpenter before master carpenter... That's when I first learned about making mantles.

First decide how ornate and ornmental you want to get, whether a paintout or woodgrain, etc.

Basic parts of a fireplace mantel from bottom to top-
legs (sometimes with plinths), header, mantel shelf, over mantel, crown.

In what makes a mantel, in order of importance through pieces being optional-
mantel shelf, header, legs, leg plinths, over mantel with crown.

The legs are a 3 piece wrap for each leg, with the sides nailed to the back of the front of the legs. The outside going to the wall the inside going to the fireplace. The front piece could be plain, panels, fluted, etc.

The header is just 2 pieces, with the front going between the legs, the bottom nail to the back of the header bottom and goes the the face of the fireplace. The header could be plain, panled, fluted, etc.

The mantle shelf nails to the of of the legs and the top of the header. I use mixes of trim and crown moulding to make it more ornate and add depth. I route or add trim to the edge of the shelf based on the design.

I add nailers to the masonry and wall, to make it easy and solid to attach to.

Above the shelve is even more optional and based on the design... and over mantle and crown... adding more ornament.

Sometimes, I tied the legs and/or over mantel into custom shelves. Usually shelves beside the legs. Sometimes shelves in the over mantel. One job, they wanted a flat screen in the over mantel.

Fitting and construction tips:.
Measure it out in detail. Check level and straightness of the fireplace and wall. Especially in a remodel, it's usually the worst wall in the house for level and straightness. The masonry is rarely even with the wall. It's a creative challenge. Think 3 dimensional.

How I make up for that is taking the unstraightness to the back wall and measure that to where the fron of the mantle shelf "will be", compensatinge for thosee curves to bring the front face of that shelf even (across left to right) with the front of the fireplace.

That will then guide you with the measurements of the top sides of you legs. Take a level and go down from there. That will show you the tapers for your legs.

Cut out the mantel shelf and legs sides within 1/8 to 1/4 over... set in place and mark with your pencil flat against the wall or fireplace... That will give you the contour. The cut doesn't have to be exact... As i use trim moulding or other moulding to bend right to the edge and blend it in.

I think I have some pictures around here somewhere of the last one I did. It was a basic hardwood mantel with some trim and crown to match the rest of the house. Over what was a concrete faux stone fireplace... new black with green granite hearth and face, with a new fireplace insert. ... With hardwood side cabinet shelves. I'll try to find it to post.

"Don't worry, I saw this work in a cartoon once."
"Usually learning skills and tooling involves a progression of logical steps."

Last edited by MAFoElffen; 06-26-2013 at 05:10 PM.
MAFoElffen is offline  
post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-26-2013, 09:07 PM
Moderation Team
 
Cherryville Chuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Country: Canada
First Name: Charles
Posts: 15,899
 
Default

Hi Peter, I used to build them and I can't really recommend a book. I haven't seen one I would say is good. Some of these are not hard to make. Fireplace Surrounds | Fire Place Mantel | UltimateCarver.com Here's some more- https://www.google.ca/search?q=firep...w=1280&bih=861
And here is a lot more-http://www.houzz.com/fireplace-mantel-plans

The one I built for myself has legs so it is self supporting but is very front heavy and wanted to fall forward. I just used a couple of home made clips like these to keep it against the brickwork. Z-Clips - Lee Valley Tools If I wanted I could just lift it up and take it down if needed. Oh yeah, I just made sockets on the bottom of the mantel for the legs to fit into. They separate too. If I can be of more help just ask (PM me, i.e.) and I'll do what I can.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
Cherryville Chuck is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-26-2013, 09:53 PM
Registered User
 
JOAT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Country: United States
First Name: Theo
Posts: 6,579
 
Default

Many years ago when the ex was still not the ex, I got a zero clearance fireplace, installed it, built a surround with those glue on brick things, then made a mantel out of a nice piece of 2X12 pine. And it looks good. "I" wanted a wood stove, but, nooo, "she" had to have a fireplace. Miserable things for heating, but look great.

"It ain't what you're told, it's what you know." - Granny Weatherwax
Fawkahwe tribal police SWAT Team
Some days, the supply of available curse words is insufficient to meet my demands.
.....Call me a craftsman, artisan, or artistic, and I will accept that. Call me an artist and you will likely get a quite rude comment in return. I am not a @#$%ing artist.
JOAT is offline  
post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-26-2013, 11:32 PM
Registered User
 
MAFoElffen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Country: United States
First Name: Mike
Posts: 2,369
 
Default

Found those pictures of the last one I made (attached).
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMAGE_006.jpg
Views:	69
Size:	16.1 KB
ID:	62688  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMAGE_007.jpg
Views:	59
Size:	13.9 KB
ID:	62689  


"Don't worry, I saw this work in a cartoon once."
"Usually learning skills and tooling involves a progression of logical steps."
MAFoElffen is offline  
post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-27-2013, 09:28 AM
Moderation Team
 
Cherryville Chuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Country: Canada
First Name: Charles
Posts: 15,899
 
Default

Here is the one I built for my house. Not a good picture, my renter took it for me with a cell phone for me.

Peter, figure out a style that will fit with its surroundings and then look for something that fits with your skills and available tools and the amount of effort you want to put into it. I made mine out of western white birch which I logged myself and had a neighbor saw up for me so making all the moldings was very labour intensive. Depending on what wood you use, you might be able to purchase some of the moldings to make it quicker and easier to build.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Mantle cell phone photo.jpg
Views:	83
Size:	330.1 KB
ID:	62697  


Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
Cherryville Chuck is online now  
post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2013, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Gaia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Country: United Kingdom
First Name: Peter
Posts: 603
 
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MAFoElffen View Post
Peter-

Never seen a book on them, but was a finish carpenter before master carpenter... That's when I first learned about making mantles.

First decide how ornate and ornmental you want to get, whether a paintout or woodgrain, etc.

Basic parts of a fireplace mantel from bottom to top-
legs (sometimes with plinths), header, mantel shelf, over mantel, crown.

In what makes a mantel, in order of importance through pieces being optional-
mantel shelf, header, legs, leg plinths, over mantel with crown.

The legs are a 3 piece wrap for each leg, with the sides nailed to the back of the front of the legs. The outside going to the wall the inside going to the fireplace. The front piece could be plain, panels, fluted, etc.

The header is just 2 pieces, with the front going between the legs, the bottom nail to the back of the header bottom and goes the the face of the fireplace. The header could be plain, panled, fluted, etc.

The mantle shelf nails to the of of the legs and the top of the header. I use mixes of trim and crown moulding to make it more ornate and add depth. I route or add trim to the edge of the shelf based on the design.

I add nailers to the masonry and wall, to make it easy and solid to attach to.

Above the shelve is even more optional and based on the design... and over mantle and crown... adding more ornament.

Sometimes, I tied the legs and/or over mantel into custom shelves. Usually shelves beside the legs. Sometimes shelves in the over mantel. One job, they wanted a flat screen in the over mantel.

Fitting and construction tips:.
Measure it out in detail. Check level and straightness of the fireplace and wall. Especially in a remodel, it's usually the worst wall in the house for level and straightness. The masonry is rarely even with the wall. It's a creative challenge. Think 3 dimensional.

How I make up for that is taking the unstraightness to the back wall and measure that to where the fron of the mantle shelf "will be", compensatinge for thosee curves to bring the front face of that shelf even (across left to right) with the front of the fireplace.

That will then guide you with the measurements of the top sides of you legs. Take a level and go down from there. That will show you the tapers for your legs.

Cut out the mantel shelf and legs sides within 1/8 to 1/4 over... set in place and mark with your pencil flat against the wall or fireplace... That will give you the contour. The cut doesn't have to be exact... As i use trim moulding or other moulding to bend right to the edge and blend it in.

I think I have some pictures around here somewhere of the last one I did. It was a basic hardwood mantel with some trim and crown to match the rest of the house. Over what was a concrete faux stone fireplace... new black with green granite hearth and face, with a new fireplace insert. ... With hardwood side cabinet shelves. I'll try to find it to post.
Cheers for the info.
Gaia is offline  
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2013, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Gaia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Country: United Kingdom
First Name: Peter
Posts: 603
 
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherryville Chuck View Post
Hi Peter, I used to build them and I can't really recommend a book. I haven't seen one I would say is good. Some of these are not hard to make. Fireplace Surrounds | Fire Place Mantel | UltimateCarver.com Here's some more- https://www.google.ca/search?q=firep...w=1280&bih=861
And here is a lot more-http://www.houzz.com/fireplace-mantel-plans

The one I built for myself has legs so it is self supporting but is very front heavy and wanted to fall forward. I just used a couple of home made clips like these to keep it against the brickwork. Z-Clips - Lee Valley Tools If I wanted I could just lift it up and take it down if needed. Oh yeah, I just made sockets on the bottom of the mantel for the legs to fit into. They separate too. If I can be of more help just ask (PM me, i.e.) and I'll do what I can.
OK thanks.
Gaia is offline  
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-04-2013, 08:47 AM
Registered User
 
papasombre's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Country: Venezuela
First Name: Alexis
Posts: 1,800
 
Send a message via Yahoo to papasombre
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
Many years ago when the ex was still not the ex, ...
Hi, JOAT.

Very nice description about her.

We, woodworkers are everywhere!!!
papasombre is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Router Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dirty Little Secrets with Sign Making... newmexico Sign Making 45 06-18-2016 02:59 PM
Info, Books and Plans On Making Gates Gaia Project Plans and How To 0 02-28-2012 04:59 AM
Woodworking Books and DVD USA/Canada tigerhellmaker Starting Off 0 01-26-2010 02:44 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome