Request for plans for a fireplace mantle


Folks, I have been out of woodworking for a few years (no lack of love for woodworking, but lack of time), but the wife has been wanting a mantle to go over the fireplace. Does anyone hve any suggestions for sources for plans? Thanks so much in advance, and please reply to snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net. Thanks again!
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Please reply here too! I'm looking for the same thing!
Thanks,
Rich.....
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Richard (in snipped-for-privacy@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com) said:
| Folks, I have been out of woodworking for a few years (no lack of | love for woodworking, but lack of time), but the wife has been | wanting a mantle to go over the fireplace. Does anyone hve any | suggestions for sources for plans? Thanks so much in advance, and | please reply to snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net. Thanks again!
Questions posted to usenet groups are answered in the newsgroup - for the now obvious reason that (a) you're not the only person wanting to know; and (b) you failed to offer to compensate any of the regulars for working as your personal consultant.
With that understood, I did what you should have done before asking to be spoon-fed: I did a Google search for what you said you wanted. One of the first references was to http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/pages/bw0011.asp , where you can download a 15-page PDF document that could be helpful.
That document is an exerpt from what appears to be a book worth reading before starting your project. If you're lucky, your local library will have a copy; and if you're less lucky, you can buy it in softcover for twenty bucks.
I think that if I were serious about building a fireplace mantel I'd buy the book.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
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Morris Dovey wrote:

I have Mario's book, I built a nice mantel from it. I'd be willing to sell the book to the OP as I'm done with it. I give the book an excellent review. IIRC, it gives 8 or 10 plans, but if none of them are your taste, the construction techniques are explained in detail, and you can make your own.
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New Yankee Workshop just did a session on a mantle. Maybe you can get the plans for it from them? Just a hunch.
http://www.newyankee.com/2006.shtml
Pssssst... I have NOT gone off my rocker. NO I have NO affiliation with Norm...not even a little bit.
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Thanks again!

Yeah, saw that episode, was going to mention it, and one of the things that came up during the show - building codes. He had to modify his design to gain code compliance. Apparently there's another step beyond looking and drawing the mantle or is it "surround" itself.
I really don't believe all the answers have been given - yet - even on the web, so though I'm as grouchy as the next guy, I'd still like to see a link to someone's favorite or a picture of their home-grown. Might be the seed that grows into my next project.
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I bought several books when I was designing our mantel.
The most useful was MAKING MANTELS by David Getts. Here's a link. (Amazon.com product link shortened)
This book has examples of many different types of mantels and shows how to design and build them.
If you want a full surround, you need more than just a set of plans. Fire codes limit how close combustibles can be to the sides and above the fireplace. It's a fairly complicated formula. It's in the book.
The other books I bought are really just a series of pictures of various fireplaces to give ideas. They had very little useful information and certainly no plans.
DonkeyHody "Every man is my superior in that I can learn from him." - Thomas Carlyle
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Before you get down to actual plans, you need to decide what sort of look you are after. Here is a link I found helpful in deciding what I wanted. http://williamsburgmantle.com/samples.html
By the way, It seems there is not general agreement on the correct spelling. Search on "Mantel" and "Mantle". You'll find it both ways.
DonkeyHody "Too poor to paint, too proud to whitewash"
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If you have access to a digital camera, head to the fireplace shops and ask if you can take pictures. Central Iowa has at least a couple of speciality shops that have allowed me to do just that. My design is a blend of most all the features we liked from the different stores.
Good luck.
Darwin
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Ask your wife! There's no shortage of plans, but you need to decide on the style first. '50s pastel Jetsons is going to look a bit odd in Oak Park, Chicago.
IMHE, mantles and overmantels are all pretty easy to design. You draw out what you want, then the construction of it is pretty simple. Lots of the joinery is very crude screwed butts from behind, and you just hide the ugliness against the wall. You might find "American Bungalow" and similar magazines to be the best source of inspiration.
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Mario Rodriguez did one in FWW about seven years ago, issue 131, August 1998. Mission style in oak. Really nice job and not too difficult IMH.
Tom Cavanagh
Thanks again!

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Hi Richard,
Good luck with your mantle project. Below is a link to a plan I build quite frequently for one of my customers. The columns feature raised panel elements, the architrave is radiused, and the top is built up using stock crown molding. The whole thing is made from MDF - you'll need a sheet of 3/4" mdf, a quarter sheet of 1/2" mdf (for the raised panels), and a small piece of 1/8" hardboard. When I build this I use particle board for the blocking and non-exposed pieces to help cut costs.
http://www.architrend-woodworking.com/uploads/mantle.pdf
Here's my disclaimer: I just moved my plan for it from a spiral bound notebook page to cad, and haven't built it off this redrawn version of the plan yet - so you may want to double check the cut list (I've been know to juxtaposition numbers occasionally). The dimensions for the rails and stiles are sized to the raised panel bit set that I use - your bit set will cut differently so these dimensions will probably need to be adjusted. Also, the dimensions on the top piece and top blocking will be dependent upon the crown molding that you use.
Here's a hint: make the raised panels first, make the columns out of the raised panels second, make the center architrave third. Then, assemble these components and make/attach the top pieces.
This drawing doesn't reference any of the profiles that are routed on the edges - just about anything will look good, but I suggest using profiles that are easy to sand after they are primed and not too delicate as to avoid future damage.
To make the radiused architrave, I made a template from 5/8" particle board, carefully cut the template out with a jig saw, then laminated a 5/8" wide strip of 1/8" hardboard to the cut surface using glue and brads. This results in a great template for pattern routing (for cutting multiples, this saves a load of time and $$$). I was going to have my template cut on a CNC machine so it would be very accurate, but this method gave me close to perfect results using pieces from my scrap bin (read: kept $$$ in my pocket).
Here's a link to the offsets to make your own template. It's easy to loft the template - just transfer the offsets to both sides of a piece of particle board then you are ready to go using finish nails at the offset marks and a flexible batton (I like to use a piece of 1/8" hardboard that is about 1 1/2 inches wide as a batton when laying out radius cuts like this).
http://www.architrend-woodworking.com/uploads/radius.pdf
Finally, this mantle is designed to fit a 36" x 36" zero clearance gas fireplace - remember to adjust the dimenisions to meet your area's building codes (and to keep your house from burning down!!!).
Good luck,
Scott
--
phillips_idaho


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