Stone Fireplace--Adding a Mantel

boystownJanuary 12, 2009

I would like to see pictures of your stone fireplace with a mantel. Husband has finally agreed to add a mantel after many years of discussing. If anyone can tell us the best way to attach a wooden mantel to the stone, it sure would be helpful. Thanks

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We put up a mantle about 2 years ago, after many years of
not having one, and we love it. We made the mantle... It's hollow inside and fits over angle brackets that we drilled into the stone. The mantle top and bottom was scribed to the stone.
We made the mantle out of black walnut.
I am now thinking about making two walnut brackets as well,
but not sure...

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 7:05PM
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Boy, we love your mantel and all of your decor. This is "our style" for sure. My husband wants to know what caliber that rifle is---ha/ha. He would rather be hunting than trying to figure out how to put this mantel up. Your's looks so great. Does some of your stones protrude out farther than others? Our's does. Was it difficult to scribe the mantel to the stones and how did you do this? I love the idea of the walnut brackets. I would love that too but I will settle for getting this mantel up. If you have any more tips, please let us know. So many questions, I just have to keep husband focused until this job is done. Thanks so much

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 7:33PM
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I'm glad you like it. Yes, keep hubby focused. The mantle is really a manly thing...LOL...He should enjoy making one.

Our FP stone is Pennsylvania Mica. My hubby and a friend built it in 1976 and only two years ago we added the mantle...
It only took me 30 years to decide that I wanted a mantle! Yes, The stones stick out at all different angles.

Tell me about your Fireplace (do you have a pic?) Does the stone go all the way up, like ours does. Some fireplaces the stone has wall board above it, and the mantles sit 'on top' of the stone. If that's the kind you have, I think you wouldn't have to scribe the wood.(that's why I'm asking)
I think the mantle adds lots of character to the stone.
You both will be happy with your decision to make one.

I'll get more specific on how we made this mantle (I have photos of the project as well) First tell me about your FP and how big (how think and how deep) are you planning to make the mantle?

after all these years I finally have a place to hang our grandchildren's stockings!

The gun is my favorite gun from hubby's antique gun collection...It's a Wesson (before Smith and Wesson merged)

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 6:12AM
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I will attempt to post a picture but not sure if it will work out or not. Here goes:

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 6:50AM
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Ok, so your stones go all the way up, however they don't protrude a lot like ours does, so it will be easier.

Here is how he did it.... He cut a piece of 1/4 " thick paneling --several inches wide and the length we planned on making the mantle. Then he cut a small piece of wood (think of a piece of wood that is the size of a nail file, only thicker) and drilled a hole a few inches back
in order to put a pencil through the hole. Hold up the paneling to the stone and run your small piece of wood (with the pencil in it) along the stone (this is the scribing part) and the pencil will be marking the paneling as it follows the stone...thus creating your pattern. Then cut the paneling following the pencil line and that's your pattern for wood that you're using for the mantle.
In our fp, because the stone is so thick we had to do this twice, once for the top and once for the bottom. The bungee
cords are acting as furniture clamps.

Here is a shot of the hollow inside of the mantle

The mantle is 3" thick...
and due to the protruding stone, depending where it's measured -- it's 9 to 9 1/2 deep

I have another photo -- of how we put the clamps on the Fp to instll the mantle, as soon as I locate it in the archives, I'll post it here.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 8:35AM
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This is the photo of the FP with the brackets atttached.

The mantle just slips on and hugs the stone snugly. The brackets are the only thing holding the mantle.

What wood are you going to use? This is a close-up of the black walnut. It is just finished with several coats of a hand rubbed mixture of linseed oil, poly and turpentine.
The wood is naturally dark. I love this wood.

If hubby has any more questions, just ask...

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 9:08AM
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Thank you so much. We are not sure what kind of wood yet but I want something dark, walnut or cherry. I so appreciate all of your details and it is going to help us so much. You mentioned your mixture of linseed oil, poly and turpentine did your buy it mixed that way or did you mix it yourself. You mantel looks so shiney and wonderful. Also your stones have a nice clean shiney look, do you put anything on them to make them look this nice? Ours are just rocky looking. Guess we will be going to Lowes tomorrow and get supplies for this project. Wish us luck and will keep you posted on progress or delays.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 6:06PM
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You're welcome. We mix the slurry ourselves, about 1/3 of each and apply it with a rag -- rub it on gently like you're applying a light wax. Let it dry thoroughly 24 hours or more (the first coat always takes longer) sand lightly with 0000 steel wool between coats. Wipe down thoroughly after sanding and apply the next coat. It appears shiny because of the lights and camera flash, however it really has a very soft luster. We do at least 3 or 4 coats on all wood projects ...Or you can also just use Minwax semi-gloss polyurethane.
The stone we cleaned just this summer, we used a mix of vinegar and water and a soft brush. Then we just rinsed it with water. It really cleaned up the old stones and brought back them back to life.
Good luck, keep us posted on your progress.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 6:20PM
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I love, love, love your fireplace -- the mantel and decorating. I have a stone fireplace with built in white shelves/cabinets on either side. I would like to add a mantel (preferable NOT white) and really love your design. How did you add the sconces? I never thought about hanging my father's guns to the fireplace -- great idea. Of course, the horns are to die for. Thank you for the step by step design of the mantel. Am going to put my husband straight to work just in time to hang the stockings for Christmas.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 9:33AM
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hi, I just saw this thread...the electric
boxes were wired for the sconces when we built the fireplace.
please post a pic when your fireplace mantel is done.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 11:42PM
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