Build a Fireplace Mantel


Build A Fireplace Mantel For Built-In Comfort.

 A simple frame is all it takes to build a fireplace mantel for carving and molding.

The one above is typical of the fireplace surrounds I used to make in the Westerham workshop before I moved to Norwich.

When you make yours it’s always a good idea to draw your present fireplace to scale first, showing:

  • Height and width of the gap.
  • Height and width of the fireplace wall and...
  • Height of the room ceiling.

Using tracing paper sketch your new surround on top of your old fireplace drawing. It's got to look attractive so don't rush it.

The following drawings show you how the fireplace mantel is put together.

Even the most basic frame can be very pleasing to the eye and can change the look of your room.


Build A Fireplace Mantel

Use a straight pieces

of planed, reclaimed timber if you can. Reclaimed timber is not likely to twist and warp. It also gives an aged look, which is what we are looking for.


Make the jambs by sawing 9”x 3/4” wood along it's length into 5” and 4” widths. Use the 5” for the jamb front and the 4” for the jamb return. Pin and glue the jambs using clamps!

The fascia board is next. It is also made from the 9”x 3/4” pine and sometimes wider. To fasten the fascia to the jambs first roughen up the area of contact; apply the glue and screw from the back of the fascia into the jambs. You will need 4 screws for each end of the fascia.

Now pin and glue the centerpiece onto the fascia. You do not need a centerpiece if you want to keep it simple. When you build a fireplace mantel you can make it very simple or ornate depending on the style and decoration in your room.

Glue and nail the shelf into the ends of the jambs and also into the fascia top edge.

Glue and pin the molding under the shelf. Use molding also on the three sides of the opening. If you want the carved effect pin carving on the fascia and jambs. This part does need careful planning to create a balanced effect.

There are many old buildings in Norwich which display these older type fire surrounds. I love them because they are easy to make and they can look very attractive.



Go  to How to build a fireplace

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