Thursday, April 4, 2013

Calling In Some Expert Help

With the family room painting complete we decided it was time to finish the work on the fireplace and mantel.  The existing mantel is extremely long and narrow and we wanted something beefier than was already there.

The top board we needed for the mantel was a very odd size - it was over 12 inches wide so standard board stock would not work and it was over 8 feet long so cabinet plywood was not an option.  Andy called for an expert opinion from the home-renovator extraordinaire and friend, Kyle Wise, to devise a plan.  After weeks of discussions, measuring, and planning they decided on a plan.  Kyle even went out and bought the materials to get started before we could schedule a time for Andy to visit " Santa's Workshop".  Kyle bought out all of the woodworking equipment from a local school when they closed their shop so his tools were a huge help.

The top mantel board is actually 4 peices of solid pine glue together.  Then it was time to cut it to size.  The first step was to run it through the industrial grade joiner to get the edges nice and smooth.

Up next it was ripped to width on "The Beast" - Kyle's monster table saw.

And then the finished product.  It looks like just a board - but really it is a precision cut, huge, finish grade piece of wood aka a work of art.  Thanks Wise Man.

Before Andy finished building the new mantel he installed the new fireplace doors.  We went with a black frame and cabinet doors instead of bi-fold doors.  The doors take up a little more space but they swing open a full 180 degrees and not having the additional crack that bi-fold doors have cuts down on any draft that we get. 

So, back to the mantel.  Here is the original mantel that Andy planned to build on top of.

First, he installed some 2x4 spaces to make the mantel higher.

Then he added the new top that he and Kyle built.

He added a newpaper with the date for anyone that ever decides to tear the mantel apart.  Time capsule style.

With the top board in place he checked the crown moulding placement and finished the installation. It is the same crown moulding that we installed around the ceiling.

With a little bit of paint and primer our new mantel was complete!