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
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.
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
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