Mantel Reboot

By Jeff | Jan. 20, 2013

I know our last post didn’t have any pictures. That was because I had already dismantled the mantel before I realized I didn’t have any pictures of what they looked like. Sorry about that. The problem was that the boards simply weren’t square nor were they very plumb (vertically level) or flat. I’m sure we’ll find a use for the wood in some other project.

So last night it was our weekly trip to Lowe’s after dance lessons for new materials, new tools, and a new start on this mantel. The new plan, while slightly more complicated, should reduce the amount of work and greatly increase the quality. Instead of fastening the wood directly to the brick, we’re putting up cleats – in this case long pieces of wood a few inches wide that have no use – to give us a plumb, square surface to mount MDF on. The other change being that we decided to go with MDF instead of solid wood solely because it would be flatter and not warp as much. A 1/2″ x 4′ x 8′ sheet cost only $27 so it wasn’t even that expensive. The guy at Lowe’s was super helpful and cut the board down so we could fit it in our car. After a less than stellar experience at Home Depot, I’m beginning to wonder if Lowe’s is worth the extra 15 min total drive time despite their so far excellent Ridgid line of tools.

Old Shelving

The first version of the mantel needed to be dismantled.

As for the new tool, we picked up this jigsaw. Since the walls in our room are not perfectly flat, we need to scribe the wood and cut off the parts to get a nice fit. The circular saw really isn’t the tool for that job and the jigsaw will come in very handy for other projects too.

With our new materials, new plans, and new tools, we’re ready to hit the ground running again. Hopefully this round will be better than the last. At least the tile is sealed and officially 100% done!