Rough Cedar Mantel - How to make smooth

monkeymoJune 17, 2010

We have what we believe is a rough cedar mantel on our fireplace that is covered with mirrors. We are removing the mirrors and would like to know if there is any way to make the rough cedar smooth with it in place on the fireplace or will be need to remove it?

Are there people we can hire to do this type of work and if so what would I look it up under in the in the yellow pages?

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Jon1270

Your description is a little vague, but if you've got roughsawn cedar then it will probably be easiest to remove the cedar and replace it with new, smooth boards, or run the old ones through a surface planer and replace them.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 4:57PM
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someone2010

What tools do you have?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 6:20PM
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monkeymo

We are having a glass company remove the mirrors. We have no tools. We do however have a friend who does woodworking so not sure if he has the right tools...I know he has built furniture pieces before.

Here is a photo of the fireplace. It is a two tiered mantel and had corbels underneath which they sawed off halfway so it wouldn't stick out under the mirror.

I would like to salvage the wood mantel but smooth it out. Guess we will have to figure out how to remove from stone. We are pretty sure it is rough cedar as we have a basement with tons of rough cedar beams, ceiling panels, trim, and another fireplace mantel.

What tools would be needed?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 10:55AM
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dickross

How smooth and how "finished" do you want to make it? Cedar is pretty soft so sanding in place by hand is not totaly out of the question. But it will be a very long tedious job, and extremely messy. It will be smooth but not even, It won't look like planed boards you buy at the lumberyard.

Removing it may be dificult. Is this a solid heavy beam? or a box built around 2 or 3 2x? sticking out of the masonary? You may not be able to tell what you are getting into until it's to late to stop!
Have you considered covering the existing mantle with new boards? Cedar or some other wood?

You might also consider: Old cedar boards will light faster and burn hotter than any other wood I have ever put in a fire (except maybe that 2x4 that I soaked in gasoline). Not my first choice for a fireplace mantle.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 10:19PM
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monkeymo

Thanks qwertyui.... I don't think we will know what we have until we get the mirrors removed. It looks like this is actually set back into the masonry (at least the top part of what I could see as a small piece of the mirror came off). I think we may just need to get some custom boards to put over it. Probably oak or cherry or something.

The other thing we want to do which has nothing to do with wood is to remove the glass front, but it looks like the mortared it onto the stone in the front and not sure we can get that off.

Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 11:26PM
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