A friend cleans out old buildings and sells the metal for a living.  As you might guess, he is also a collector.  You never know what he will be up to.  A real one of a kind person, he is gruff on the outside and an artist on the inside.  He has commissioned Glenn and me for several works of art.

He called us the other day saying that he had some old windows for me.  We jumped in the truck.  Came home with windows and the following: an old mantel with gorgeous texture.

IMG_20150922_161530840

We recently had a kitchen fireplace mantel accident and hoped this would work as a replacement.  It did not.  We worked on it anyway.  I took off all paint that was flaking off, intending to preserve the rest.

IMG_20150922_161536470

A long slit on the backside of one of the columns needed repair.

IMG_20150925_111650111

A simple box made the base for the column.  All that was needed was to nail them in place.

IMG_20150925_111819884

IMG_20150925_111824852

As a piece was sufficiently sanded, layers of varnish were applied.

IMG_20150925_111850991_HDR

This board, which supports the top shelf of the mantel had its original moulding.  Glenn had to recreate the rest.

IMG_20150925_111914916

Good that he didn’t have to recreate details the way this old mantel was made in the first place.

IMG_20150930_140919160

Here the mantel is reconstructed, with new moulding at the right and left of the opening, and a new (old) board chosen to connect the columns.  We brought the mantel into the kitchen to compare the two openings.  Not a match in any way, we had to hesitate for a second.  We already have one fake mantel in a bedroom, used with a big mirror over it to expand the room, and two fireplaces, each with two faces, in the round, so to speak.  All but the one in the kitchen have a hearth, so this kind of mantel cannot be used.  What to do?

IMG_20151010_111930041

Our bed angles to the middle of our big bedroom.  It faces two windows so we can watch our birds.  The large head of the bed partially blocks off vision into the room, provided by a set of French doors.  This would be a perfect place for this mantel, but there wasn’t enough of it.  The mattress and wire are flat out ugly.  The mantle needed something more.

IMG_20151010_140755487

Glenn glued together two boards he rescued years ago from an old wooden boxcar.

IMG_20151013_142011547

He found two more old boards, one for a shelf, and another board for the top of the mantle to make it weightier visually.

IMG_20151013_142017419

He cut the second shelf board to account for moulding.  It adds a nice bit of interest.

IMG_20151013_142027555

The edge of this board had some writing on it.  We preserved it with varnish.

IMG_20151013_142032176

IMG_20151014_094539868

Voila!  Would love to put more stuff on the very top of the mantel, but the cats are finding this place very inviting.  Pretend you don’t see that wire.  It’s gone now!

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “THE STORY OF A MANTEL

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s