Free Plan: Arts & Crafts Mantel
UPDATE – June 20, 2011: Plans featured in FineWoodworking.com’s Free Plans blog expire after a period of one year. This plan has already expired but is still available to members for free download.
Very often there are projects that don’t strictly fit into the realm of fine woodworking because there is a homebuilding aspect to them. Built-ins are one example, and this Arts & Crafts mantel is another. Mario Rodriguez shows how to update an old fireplace. He takes you through the design phase, prepping the site, and a smart way to cut the mortises and tenons on the frame-and-panel overmantel. And after a step-by-step installation, Rodriguez ages the wood with a gel finish and naturally blends the new project into an existing room.
Start with surface preparation. For Rodriguez’s design to work, he had to frame the area above the fireplace flush with the brick.
Frame-and-panel joinery is quick and easy. Rodriguez cuts the mortises, which also are in line with the grooves for the panels, in one pass on the tablesaw with a dado blade. The tenon shoulders are cut on the tablesaw, and then he moves to the bandsaw to quickly remove the cheeks.
An antique finish on a new project. McCloskey’s glazing gel combined with Japan color creates a warm, aged look that fits into the existing space.
This free plan has expired, but members can still download the original article and plan online.