To truly become the focal point of a room, a fireplace needs a mantel. And whether the end product is simple or elaborate, all of Mario Rodriguez’s mantel installations start with the same foundation—sections of plywood joined to surround a fireplace opening. This foundation serves as the canvas for a multitude of mantel styles, from Arts and Crafts to Victorian. Rodriguez explains the essentials every woodworker should know about building a fireplace mantel, from surveying the site, to cutting and shaping the components in the woodshop, to final assembly. From Fine Woodworking #184
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