Remodeling my home has certainly been a rewarding experience. From kicking off the renovation in the guest bedroom with new hardwood floors, shelving, and the unveiling of a fireplace to remodeling the first floor, I’ve certainly had my hands full. Oh, and did I mention I got married somewhere within the mix? (!!!)
It’s been a crazy several weeks, but I’m excited to finally see things taking shape around the house. To put a finishing touch on those new fireplaces I’ve found, I decided I’d take on the task of making a reclaimed wood mantle for each one. Luckily, I had taken some massive wood beams from an old barn about two years ago. I threw them in an old parking lot until I had a project for them, and I’m proud to say the beams are finally in my home looking sharp.
Making these reclaimed wood mantles is a relatively simple task if you have the tools to do so (and is definitely made easier if you’re a human sasquatch like me). Below I’ll break down a list of tools and materials and give you the step-by-step for tackle a reclaimed wood mantle like this one. Check it out!
Start by removing the nails from your wood. This is an important step in any reclaimed wood project because the metal could affect your tools or go flying to cause an injury. Project yourself for this entire project by wearing protective eyewear.
Next, cut your wood down to size. With giant beams like the one I’m using, this can be rather difficult. The easiest way to do this is with an electric chainsaw, but you can also opt for a beam saw or proxy beam cutter attachment that goes on nearly any circ saw.
Once your wood is cut to saw, check again for nails. Remove excess nails or simply hit them deeper for jointing and planing.
Next, joint two sides. This will provide you with a flat hanging surface and a flat top surface for... you know… succulents and stuff.
Next, run your giant beam through the planer to break down to a consistent thickness.
Next, you’re going to want to sand down your mantle to a smoothe finish. Start this with your brush sander, being sure to wear eye protection and a respirator. Then go in with your hand sander lightly, being sure not to sand away dips and rivets that give the beam character.
Apply your finish. I recommend spraying on your finish in even coats or using an HVLP.
Once the beam is dry, it’s time to mount. I used sleeves and lab bolts for a really sturdy fit. Start by measuring out the location of your sleeves, using a hammer drill with a masonry bit to drill into the center of bricks on your fireplace. Add the bolts and cut off the head with a hacksaw.
The mark where the holes will go on your reclaimed wood mantle, using a square to find the center.
Drill the holes in your reclaimed wood mantle, being sure to drill completely straight inward. Grab a pal and have him or her help you hold up the mantle and place on the bolts, shoving inward until it’s in place. And there you have it: one beautiful reclaimed wood mantle.
If you guys liked this video, check out some of my other recent projects:
Want to try this build out for yourself? Download the digital plan now for step-by-step instructions, measurements, and a detailed look at how to punch this project in the face.