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Thread: Mantel Design

  1. #1

    Mantel Design

    I hope to get lots of feedback on my mantel design. I plan to live in this house for quite a while, so any construction tips will be very helpful. There is a carving that I bought from the internet that goes on the raised section in the center. The corbels are also carvings. They are too detailed to draw in sketchup, so I modeled them as close as I possibly could. There is a dentil molding that goes on the crown that I didn't take time to model also.

    I don't know all the terminology for the mantel parts, so you'll have to educate me. My plan is to assemble the entire horizontal section and to hang it on a french cleat. The cripples will be carefully cut to size and screwed to the wall such that the fluted uprights will cover the screws. The corbels will be glued and screwed to the fluted uprights from behind. The fluted uprights will installed with finish nails. The bases and crown will be put on last with finish nails also. Please tell me any concerns with design. Is it too busy? Will it fall apart later? Should I prefinish anything or just finish everything after it's installed? Let the commentary begin!

    Thanks in advance!

    Lee
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mantel.jpg  

  2. #2
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    Looks real good from this angle. Can you post a couple of alternate angles or post the .skp file?
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Clock View Post
    I hope to get lots of feedback on my mantel design. I plan to live in this house for quite a while, so any construction tips will be very helpful. There is a carving that I bought from the internet that goes on the raised section in the center. The corbels are also carvings. They are too detailed to draw in sketchup, so I modeled them as close as I possibly could. There is a dentil molding that goes on the crown that I didn't take time to model also.

    I don't know all the terminology for the mantel parts, so you'll have to educate me. My plan is to assemble the entire horizontal section and to hang it on a french cleat. (This all sounds like a good idea, what is a french cleat? ) The cripples will be carefully cut to size and screwed to the wall such that the fluted uprights will cover the screws. The corbels will be glued and screwed to the fluted uprights from behind. ( have you considered applying the corbels to a block that the fluted uprights would die into? I am wondering if maybe the corbel would find themselves more comfortable on a plate of their own.) The fluted uprights will installed with finish nails. The bases and crown will be put on last ( I am wondering why wait till last to install the crown when you could do it on the work bench.) with finish nails also. Please tell me any concerns with design. Is it too busy? ( My initial take on that is with the two square raised panels left and right of center. There is something about those that give me an out of place feeling) Will it fall apart later? Should I prefinish anything or just finish everything after it's installed? ( I would ) Let the commentary begin!

    Thanks in advance!

    Lee
    Hi Lee ,
    You have a very nice project here, if even just one, on paper.
    Sounds like you have the ability to put this all together which is a good thing. Be cautious about putting it all in one piece. Even big cities have parks to rest in. We need carefully chose our rest areas as they enhance the beauty of that which we wish to emphasize most, seemingly here it will be your center medallion/ scrool work, which by the way if I may suggest, just tack that on so that in the ensuing years you will be able to carve your own center applique thus making it a real family mantle piece, when you finally secure it....forever!
    good luck,
    Shaz
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  4. #4
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    i agree with shaz that the square raised panels look out of place and may take away from the applique on the center.


    its hard to tell but i would let the fluted pieces die into the blocks above and below. i have seen people wrap them with blocks creating holes where the flutes are. not easy to fill.

    overall i think it is very pleasing to the eye and i like it.

    take my ideas for what they are worth, if you really like the original design, then that is what counts the most.

    oh, almost forgot, i would build the top and wrap the crown on the workbench like shaz mentioned, much easier that way you aren't trying to kneel on the ground looking up to nail it on.

    good luck, post pics when it's done
    chris

  5. #5
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    Hello Lee, I can't call myself an expert on building fireplace mantels but I just finished building one for our fireplace and did the final install last night. You can see the Sketchup design and photos of the build on my web site. "creeksidewoodshop.com" Your design looks like an aggressive one as long as it fits the decor of the room that it's going in. Also, the cutting and attachment of the various moldings took me as long as it did to put together the flat pieces. It was more tedious work that I originally thought. It appears that you will have more molding on yours than I had. Good luck. I would like to see progress pictures once you get started. Ron

  6. #6
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    I really like the overall look, Lee. It might be a bit busy for some rooms, but I'm not enough of an architectural designer to offer constructive suggestions for changes.

    I'll also be watching to see yours get built, since I would like to replace our mantel one of these days. I hope you can do a "show as you go" thread on it.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  7. #7
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    lee,
    i`ve built and installed quite a few mantles and all where assembled completely on the bench. i call what you`re showing a picture of a "half mantle" (a full mantle has an overmantle that extends to the ceiling)....
    without knowing your familys living area and tastes i can`t offer any good advice on design.....but for the construction aspect i like to build my legs first, doing them as hollow boxes without backs so they can be scribed to the wall......the center fill panel is installed next, then the shelf itself. finally the wraps of trim...do your staining, sealing, toning and major adjustments all on the bench but save your final coat of finish for after installation.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  8. #8
    Thanks for all the interest and replies everyone! The LOML also thinks the raised panels do not look nice so Iíve changed the design to remove the panels. Even though it looks nicer without them, it still doesnít look quite right to me. I tried to remove the horizontal flutes, but it didnít seem to help. Iím waiting to see what she saysÖÖ

    Shaz,
    A French cleat is used for hanging cabinets. Works great for shop cabinets because it makes them easy to move. The cleat has a 45į bevel and is mounted level on the wall. The cabinet or in this case mantel top has a mating bevel that allows it to ďhangĒ on the cleat. If additional security is required, screws can be put into the wall through the cabinet cleat. The reason I want to install the crown after hanging is so that I can reach through the opening and put in these screws. With 3 kids under the age 5 that love to climb, I donít want this thing just ďhanging thereĒ. I would dearly love to put the crown on in the shop. It would save me several hundred trips up and down from the basement each time I have to trim a little here and little there. An alternative would be to put the top on last, but I really didnít want a bunch of finish nails going into the mantel top. Do I need to allow for expansion in a 9 inch wide mantle that will be one solid piece?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Schaubhut View Post
    Have you considered applying the corbels to a block that the fluted uprights would die into? I am wondering if maybe the corbel would find themselves more comfortable on a plate of their own.
    It took me a while to figure out what you are talking about here, but I think I understand now. Iíll sketch it up that way and post later. I like the suggestion of just tacking on the centerpiece. I will certainly take that advice.

    Tod,
    Iíll lay my uprights against the wall tonight to see if I need to change my design to allow for scribing. If there are not any noticeable gaps, Iíll leave it as is.

    Ron,
    Your mantle is beautiful! I can only hope mine looks that good when finished. Thanks for posting the construction.

    Iíve attached the new design. It looks better but still needs something. Iím wondering if shortening the horizontal flutes to be even with the raised box will help? I cant attach the sketchup file as it is too large. If you would like it, I can email it to you. The hidden structural components like the cleat have not been added to the model yet. Just trying to get LOML to say she likes it first.

    If Dave happens to stop by this thread, I had trouble modeling the start and stop flutes. I would take a line with 2 tangent quarter circles (equal size) at each end and then draw a line to close the face. I would then create a half circle perpendicular to the face and use the follow me tool. My resulting quarter spheres at each end always have missing or extra faces. Iím not sure what Iím doing wrong or how to fix it. I did manage to muddle through by deleting stuff and then drawing lines to create other faces. Wondering if anyone else has had this problem?
    Thanks again to everyone for the suggestions.

    Lee
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mantel1.jpg  

  9. #9
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    Maybe it's the period style mantel against the modern brass and marble?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Clock View Post
    If Dave happens to stop by this thread, Sorry for the delay in responding. Been kind of busy I had trouble modeling the start and stop flutes. I would take a line with 2 tangent quarter circles (equal size) at each end and then draw a line to close the face. I would then create a half circle perpendicular to the face and use the follow me tool. My resulting quarter spheres at each end always have missing or extra faces. Iím not sure what Iím doing wrong or how to fix it. It's a common problem that most folks who've used SketchUp have or will run into. There are a couple of things to remember. First, SketchUp doesn't do tiny faces. It won't fill in very small faces even if all the edges are coplanar. The fix is to scale up (by a factor of 10 or 100) the model or at least the component that contains the flutes, perform the Follow Me operation and clean up. Then rescale to the correct size. It also helps to reduce the number of segments used in the arcs. this helps keep faces from being so small and also helps keep file size down a bit. If the column with the fluting is a component, make a copy of it (Ctrl+Move) and drag the copy off away from the rest of the model. Scale the new copy of the component up, do what you need to do and then delete it. the small copies of the component will get the same editing you do to the large one, even filled in small faces, and by working on a copy that isn't needed as part of the model, you don't have to worry about rescaling and fitting the component back into its place in the model.

    Additionaly, for Follow Me to work correctly, the profile needs to be perpendicular to the first segment of the path. When you draw the arcs for the end of the path, adjust them so the first segment of the path is perpendicular to the profile. I'll make and post a sketch in a little bit.
    I did manage to muddle through by deleting stuff and then drawing lines to create other faces. Wondering if anyone else has had this problem?
    Thanks again to everyone for the suggestions.

    Lee
    Hope some of that helps.

    Dave
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