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A Fireplace Mantle for a new Friend

comments (0) March 13th, 2014 in Reader's Gallery

MarkAReed MarkAReed, member
thumbs up 3 users recommend

I finally had the opportunity to take a picture of this mantle and share it with you.

The client originally hired me to help him with his stair railings.

They turned out really nice, so he asked me to build the mantle.….. still waiting for the carpet.

We had a lot of fun designing the mantle together.

I jokingly told him I was going to build it so the top opened and a spring loaded hydraulic rack for an AR-15 rifle would pop out!

He grinned and said, " Sure!.....why not?"

Then, I said we could make the sides so they open up with a hidden push button to hide the handguns, tear gas, ammo and banana clips.

The other side would be for hiding his Bitcoins, gold and silver stash!.... Ha!

It was pretty funny. We continued to joke about it and he came up with some good ideas too!


Of course, it's a silly idea. The doors would show, the lid might warp, there'd be seams, not to mention the cost. But it was fun to think about it and joke around.

….. Otherwise, it's just a simple painted mantle!

We were very pleased the way it came out. It's nice to have repeat clients and I'm glad to have a new friend. 


So last Saturday, we went to the World of Wheels at the Stevenson Convention center in Chicago.

… no wives, guys only.

We had a great time. Lots of cool cars,....the place was huge.

We drove there in "the Starship", my 2012 blue Ford Explorer we just bought for my wife. What a nice ride!

She let me drive it to the show instead of the big work van or my modified jeep.


I've owned a lot of muscle cars in my days. I used to fix them up, put a set of shiny rims and tires on it and make a few bucks after driving it for a month or two.

If I wasn't so involved in woodworking, I would've been a motor head with a complete shop set up with antique signs, metal lathes, welders and drawers of tools.

I would probably have a lift too…. Man, I love cars!

I had an orange 70 GTO Judge once, paid 1800.00 for it. Fixed it up and sold it for 2300, thought I was rich.

I had a 56 Chevy pickup too. I wanted to paint it canary yellow like the one at the show but, I had to sell it to pay the rent..... always regreted selling it.

Lots of 56 and 57 Chevy's, Nomads too.

They had several 1932 hot rods there. I never owned one but they sure looked cool.

One of my first cars was a 66 El Camino SS 327 with a 2 speed power glide, fat Posi traction tires on Cragar rims, and cobra style chrome header side pipes.

It wasn't that fast but boy, was it loud!

The 62 Chevy 11 SS is one of my sleeper favorites. although, the one at the show was no sleeper!

I've always wanted to build a 65 Ford Cobra 427.

They make the Performance kit so well that Carrol Shelby gave it his blessing.

It's on the bucket list anyway.

The 67 impala was the first car I bought when I moved here from California.

I bought it for 200.00 from the owner of the Lake Forest Standard gas station I remodeled many years ago.

Many fond memories in the back seat at the drive in….great view! Ha!

The 69 Camaro SS RS is by far my favorite car. The hideaway head lights and front grill are just killer.

I had a 68 with a 350 4 spd. but it wasn't worth much at the time, sold it for 1500.00…. sure wouldn't mind having it back now.

Scott has owned several corvettes and really liked the newest model. It's completely changed – looks like a Lamborghini from behind.

……so many toys, so little time.

Even though we had GPS, we got lost and ended up driving through the O'Hare airport on the way there AND on the way back!

If you lived in Chicago, you wouldn't laugh…. you'd know!

It snowed another 4" while we were there so we couldn't drive home faster than 30 MPH.

The streets and signs were covered in snow and my wipers were a mess. It took two hours to get home.

A limo almost ran in to the front of us at the airport too! wife, Lynn would've killed me! Ha!

What a Great adventure!

BTW – Now, he wants me to build him a wrap around bar. Stay tuned…...


you can see more at Lumberjocks/ reedwood

Design or Plan used: My own design

posted in: Reader's Gallery, built-in, mantle, painted poplar

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