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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Des Plaines, Illinois, USA.

    Thumbs up Mantel Eight Years In the Making...


    I completed the installation of this project earlier today and am pleased to show it to you now...

    Client had a dream over eight years ago to have a MASSIVE mantel above their fireplace. A fellow contractor is a friend of this client and called me in on a moment's notice. (Nothing like having to "jump" when called...) Once I arrived at the client's home, I was given an image of an idea they liked of just a huge mantel alone. I made a few suggestions to enhance the mantel which the client agreed with, so thus the project commenced...

    Wood is red oak, both S4S and plywood, both 0.25" and 0.75". Client liked my idea to have solid red oak wainscot both inside AND outside the cabinets framing the fireplace itself. I wanted the cabinets to securely hold this MASSIVE mantel. The entire front of the mantel is ONE PIECE of 1" x 10" S4S red oak that started out at FIFTEEN AND A HALF FEET LONG, then cut back to fourteen feet to fit within the fireplace wall's confines. Two fixed shelves cover brickwork, while the adjustable shelf allows for even more storage space...

    The additional "rework" involved installing the backer rim of 1" x 5" S4S red oak to both cover the old mantel's mounting holes and to now conceal the cabling to the new 50" LCD HDTV. The first contractor was distracted by outside factors and really made a supreme mess of running the cabling by merely drilling a hole and running it EXPOSED over the mantel to the HDTV. Upon a return visit after the mantel was supposedly "installed," I stated this is unacceptable (my actual words that day were rated "R" because my fellow contractor/friend REALLY made me angry because of what was done). Once the client agreed to the use of a backer rim. I dismounted the mantel to rerun the cabling within the piece and to properly install the black ceramic tile on the section above the fireplace opening for heat protection while it was down. Crown molding was also installed using a 2" x 4" backer cut to basically match the crown's spring angle, then nailed into final place...

    The masonry, while acceptable for masonry, was not very forgiving with the cabinetry, but the client likes the rustic look of the cabinetry and the "cracks" when the joint exists with the brickwork. Additionally, I also installed new speaker wallplates on the mantel to conceal and better use the speaker cables, along with a better way to run the TV coax cable and a network cable...

    In all. all's well that ends well...

    Attached Images Attached Images
    David L. Velleux
    Artisan Custom Cabinetry & Woodworking (
    General Manager

  2. #2
    Member deepwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Very nice. I have a similar idea for redoing my in-laws fireplace surround. Right now it's a brick fireplace and mantle with 2 wal-mart bookshelves at either side. It should make a good Christmas present.

  3. #3
    Looks great, keep up the good work!
    Finally a free place to list your wood products!Visit us.

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