shelf holders for a mantle


Hi All, I recently had a friend give me 2 large pieces of oak; one of them is 64" x 24' x 3", and the other is 64'" x 28" x 3". The request is for a mantlepiece. The wood has some cracks in it, and it was a pain to find a piece suitable. The mantle will be 8" wide. Even cutting wood that big is a challenge, but I got it done. Originally, I was going to use a French cleat to mount the mantle to the wall, but I'm concerned about it hanging together. Therefore, I plan to use shelf brackets made from the same wood - I'll cut it down to 2".
The question is this: What is the best direction for the grain to run in the bracket? Up and down, or horizontally?
thanks in advance shelly
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snipped-for-privacy@stny.rr.com wrote:

I'll start w/ a question -- where did this come from and was it dry to start? If it came from a recently felled tree owing to a storm, it'll likely split very badly and warp exceedingly when brought into the house...
There's a pretty neat style done in a relatively recent Fine Homebuilding issue I believe rather than FWW...
I've done similar; I generally make a corbel of some style suitable for the general decor of the target. One technique I've use to hang successfully that's really quite easy is to route in the rear a channel for 1/8 or 3/16" x 1" strap iron and screw it to them and then use small lag at the top to hang it from. These should find a stud or have suitable mounting provided, of course. Then a small matching decorative piece to cover the angle on the top.
More work but a flush top surface can be done by fitting a corner block that is removable to get to the upper lag bolt. Proper grain selection and fitting and it's almost invisible.
Another way is the bed hanger-style w/ the piece that would normally be on the bedpost on the wall and the other in the hanger. Could do the same simply making one's own hook/eye arrangement.
As for grain, I generally run it horizontal on these; they're big enough there's no question of strength being an issue on the ones I do, anyway.
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it's been dried for several years, without the ends being waxed. Lots of splits on the ends, but the center appears to be pretty solid.

this may not be doable for me - I don't know where the studs are

thnx for the idea, i might go that way
shelly
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If I have understood correctly the answer is that the grain in the brackets should run vertically. Then the bracket will shrink with the mantle shelf and not separate and the bracket will not shrink so that the shelf above it drops.
Tim W
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thx shelly
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If you have enough material, run the braces diagonally.
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DanG
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