Archive for December, 2011

Custom Carved Fireplace Mantel

Custom Carved Fireplace Mantel





Recently, I completed a commissioned project to custom carve an insert for a fireplace mantel. The client’s request was for the ‘Family Crests’ to be carved, flanked by a drapery motif.

Red Oak was the choice wood to keep continuity with existing paneling and moulding in the house. (Note: contrary to walnut, mahogany, etc., oak , with its distinct characteristics of grain and texture, presents its own set of challenges for a carver. To achieve a fine professional finish, extensive refining, including multi sandings, will be required).

An overview of the process is as follows:

1. the layout design of ‘Family Crests’ and drapery motif; approved by client.

2. to achieve a 3/4″ final background, I needed to start with a 1-1/8″ solid red oak plank.

3. to produce approx. 3/4″ background, I routed the background to approx. 5/8″-3/4″; this left 3/8″+ revealed, to carve the pattern.

4. upon completion of the carved mantel insert, to enhance and contrast the Crests from the drapery motif panels, I recommended the Crests be color stained (according to the existing colors of the Crests); the client approved.

5. following the installation, the piece was finished with stain, sealer, and finish to match the existing mantel and surrounding wood paneling.


Follow the progress in the photo gallery below..









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