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Thread: What shall I do with this mantle?

  1. #1
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    What shall I do with this mantle?

    (I've NEVER done a mantle before...)

    My good friends have a gas fireplace, and they picked up a painted (MDF) mantle/surround from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store to go with it. I said that I would get it mounted for them.

    I think I've got the mounting planned out okay. (fasten some blocks to the wall, set the mantle on them, and nail/screw from the sides into these blocks)

    But there is one rather glaring problem. This old mantle must have been mounted in a corner because there is a 45-degree cut out of the back of both sides.

    Here, I doodled it up in Sketchup...
    Attachment 7262
    Attachment 7264

    (not an exact sketch, the mantle looks better than that. I just focused on the basic shape and then putting in the crown molding that wraps under the top.)
    Attachment 7263

    See how the top and the crown molding is cut back at a 45-degree angle?

    So... anyone have some ideas?

    First, we considered just trying to find a match for the molding and patch it... but I doubt I'll get an exact match, and so it'll show. So right now I'm thinking of putting in some sort of an oversized block-- make it a feature rather than an problem -- but I'm not sure just what to do there, and how to make it fit around the existing crown molding.

    (yes, I'm trying to keep this fairly simple)

  2. #2
    Art

    If it going to be painted make a piece to fill in the cutoff part, then use body putty to hide the seal. You're obviously going to have to do some sanding! Or, just skip the filler and go right to the body putty if you're good -- find a dowel that is the same diamenter as the routed sections, wax it up and use it to make the impression. I'd drive a few screws into the area where I was building up the body putty to help anchor it.

    I have used a product called Half Time that I got at a professional auto body supply shop. One of the contractors in town recommended it. It sets up in 15 min and when you sand, the stuff just falls straight down -- nothing in the air, not dust on surrounding surfaces I couldn't figure it out.


    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Lock; 04-14-2007 at 09:22 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mulder View Post
    (I've NEVER done a mantle before...)

    My good friends have a gas fireplace, and they picked up a painted (MDF) mantle/surround from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store to go with it. I said that I would get it mounted for them.Your first mistake! Just kidding Art!

    I think I've got the mounting planned out okay. (fasten some blocks to the wall, set the mantle on them, and nail/screw from the sides into these blocks) Good idea, if you decide to screw it into the blocks, first using a spade bit or 3/8" forestner drill a hole about 3/8" deep to be filled with a 3/8" dowel plug later, after you screw it in.

    But there is one rather glaring problem. This old mantle must have been mounted in a corner because there is a 45-degree cut out of the back of both sides.It looks like they mitred the corners of that fireplace and then continued the molding around the wall similar to a chair rail. I may be mistaken but it is my guess.

    Here, I doodled it up in Sketchup...
    Attachment 7262
    Attachment 7264

    (not an exact sketch, the mantle looks better than that. I just focused on the basic shape and then putting in the crown molding that wraps under the top.)
    Attachment 7263

    See how the top and the crown molding is cut back at a 45-degree angle?

    So... anyone have some ideas?

    First, we considered just trying to find a match for the molding and patch it... but I doubt I'll get an exact match, and so it'll show. So right now I'm thinking of putting in some sort of an oversized block-- make it a feature rather than an problem -- but I'm not sure just what to do there, and how to make it fit around the existing crown molding.

    (yes, I'm trying to keep this fairly simple)
    Hi Art.
    I think the idea of the oversized block thing could be a good solution, other than the one Jay suggested, the sculpted molding. Go look at Bryan Cowing's "oak corner mantle". He made some brackets, the inner part smaller than the replicated outter pieces. If you have a band saw handy you might try to reproduce the shape a little larger then mitre it to fit, just a little bit high too so you can run a molded backsplash full length and tie it into the new corner blocks. Anyway, good luck and keep us posted.
    Shaz
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  4. #4
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    I have a question...the molding was mitred to continue on... did it wrap around the room or did it continue upward toward the ceiling. It looks like it went up to frame panels on the wall above.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Feuerzeig View Post
    I have a question...the molding was mitred to continue on... did it wrap around the room or did it continue upward toward the ceiling. It looks like it went up to frame panels on the wall above.
    All we can do is guess, Craig, as it came from the Habitat 2nd hand building materials store. We've no idea how it was installed.

    Best, most original, idea I've had so far was on another forum where a fellow suggested I stuff the hole with cotton and put a carved wooden mouse in it. The owner is an art teacher, and I think she may actually get a kick out of that idea.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mulder View Post
    ...Best, most original, idea I've had so far was on another forum where a fellow suggested I stuff the hole with cotton and put a carved wooden mouse in it. The owner is an art teacher, and I think she may actually get a kick out of that idea.
    A friend of mine and his wife did something similar on their bathroom wall. They had somehow accidentally punched a hole in the sheetrock right above the baseboard, so they put a stuffed mouse in the hole, just poking his head out.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  7. #7
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    sorry Art, I guess my question was... which way are the mitres cut? It's hard to tell from the picture. (See I talk with my hands alot... )

    But in a related story, a friend was fixing up the basement, in order to sell the house. Really skinny basement stairs with a hole in the wall (3/4" tongue and groove) from the old oil burner switch. They couldn't give up the 1/2"... so sheetrocking the wall was out. They painted a birdhouse around the hole and glued a little stuffed bird inside. EVERY person who saw the house commented how much they loved the bird. House saw multiple bids, an sold way over asking.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Feuerzeig View Post
    sorry Art, I guess my question was... which way are the mitres cut?
    It is mitered as if the mantle continued horizontally around the room -- like if it merged into a chair rail. Or, as I suspect, as if the mantle was surrounding a corner fireplace, such that the molding just goes flush to the wall at a 45-degree angle.

    clear as mud?

  9. #9
    Is there a reason you can't just ditch the molding that's been mitered, all of it, and replace it with a new crown?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dixon Peer View Post
    Is there a reason you can't just ditch the molding that's been mitered, all of it, and replace it with a new crown?
    Well it's already assembled. Nailed, glued and painted. The idea was to keep things as simple as possible. I really don't want to start ripping things apart. Very soon you end up at the point that you wonder why you didn't just build a new one from scratch...

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