Shortly after buying our home and moving in nearly six years ago, I discovered that the rough cedar mantle, stained a dark walnut, had been broken and reattached to the stub hanging from the rock wall. I noticed later that it also had about a half inch lean to the front because of the poor quality of the mend. I vowed to fix it one day.
This week I took on the project, and finished it today.
Last week I found a nice piece of walnut at Midwest Woodworking in Omaha (now Woodcraft) that had a lot of character to it. I used that to wrap the front and the sides. The finished product shows many shades of color to it between the sap and heart wood.
Being lovers of the Arts & Crafts style, and Greene & Greene lovers on top of that, the wife and I agreed to use some of the style characteristics from Greene & Greene. Borrowed from that style are the finger joints, ebony plugs and cloud lifts which can all be seen in the one picture of the left corner.
We also decided to use four 3/8 inch ebony plugs in the front center to make a bit of a statement. The clock I made for Judy a while back, and the four ebony plugs tie into the four square boxes in the corners of the clock face.
The top was a piece of walnut that I have had for several years that I picked up in St. Joseph, MO. It has some amazing cathedral and knot grain that won’t be seen much, but it was the right piece.
The wood was sanded to 320 grit and then given several coats of Danish Oil. It is silky smooth, and easy to care for should it get scratched a bit.
Previously, the mantle ledge barely held the clock. It was just wide enough that the top of the clock would not hit the rocks in the wall. This ledge is nearly two inches wider, which provides the luxury of moving the clock into the center of the top’s width.
Unlike the old mantle which was ugly and not worth a second look, this one has lots of grain and color changes. Throughout the day, and with different lighting, it seems to change significantly. At the moment, it is more interesting than the items sitting on top!
I was recently reading Krenov, and he stated that he eventually moved away from woods with lots of figure. I know he made great sense, but I hope I continue to be able to find places where beautiful figure is appropriate. It is hard to stop looking at it!