Some friends of mine had a friend moving into a new home and wanted to do something special for her so they called me about building a new fireplace mantel for her as a housewarming gift. I was happy to do it. 

I met with the homeowner to assess the situation, take some measurements, and shoot some pictures. One of the things I noticed about the fireplace was that the two columns on each side were level, but the row of bricks across the front had dropped about 5/8″ of an inch going from left to right. If I just do a flat mantel between the two columns then there would be a 5/8″ inch gap on the right side. I needed to do something about this. 

I could either make a flat mantel and put a piece of trim around the bottom or I would need to carve out the bottom of the mantel enough to cover the gap. I chose the second option. 

My client had a TV over the fireplace so she wanted a mantel that wasn’t very thick. I had anticipated using a wood beam from an old barn but decided on a 3″ piece of Douglas Fir. I found a good piece of 3″ wood at ReVolve Reclaimed and brought it home in the back of my Honda Pilot. 

I brought the wood home and cut it down to length. I routed out the bottom more than 5/8″ of an inch and sanded it down progressively until it was smooth. I finished it with some stain and matte polyurethane to match the other furniture in my client’s home. 

I installed the mantel without much problem. I toenailed into the studs and was secure. And that was it. 

The client and her friend who placed the order were very excited about the results and I’m happy with how things turned out.