The building of fireplace mantels is fast becoming one of the most popular home renovation projects in the country. The attractive and distinctive fireplace mantels in this book will inspire you to build your own.
Nine projects reflect all the popular home styles from Colonial to Arts and Crafts and Contemporary, ensuring a project to suit your home and tastes. Step-by-step instructions, cutlists, and excellent process photography and illustrations make the mantels accessiblewhatever your skill level. An initial chapter surveys materials for building and finishing mantels. You won't find a better how-to book on fireplace mantels anywhere.
From the Introduction
The idea for this book came from the steady stream of comments and questions generated by the material on fireplace mantels I've written for The Taunton Press over the years. Of all the woodworking projects I've built, and written about, the fireplace mantel projects have drawn the strongest- and longest-lasting response.
I think that even for owners of contemporary homes, equipped with powerful and efficient heating systems, the fireplace has come to symbolize a safe and stable refuge from a hectic and sometimes hostile world. Commonly situated in the family or living room, it is regarded as the hub or center of the traditional home and often serves as an attractive backdrop for both solemn and festive family occasions. So, even if it's not used to provide heat, the design and decoration of the hearth is considered an essential part of an attractive home.
By presenting a broad range of designs, this book contains something for almost everyone - and every style interior. I've designed and built mantels dating from the early 18th right up to the 20th centuries. There are several early American designs for traditionalists, a Victorian mantel stuffed with rosettes and bold trim, a solid but elegant Arts and Crafts design, and even a zigzag Art Deco piece. Altogether, the projects in this book present a broad range of mantels, not only in various styles, but in different skill levels, too.
Like my previous book, Traditional Woodwork, my goal was to present well-designed projects, built with time-saving techniques and modern materials available to the average woodworker. Almost every mantel features a technique or product that could be useful in the design and construction of woodworking projects other than fireplace mantels. And while designing and building the mantels, I tried to keep one goal in mind: The finished product should definitely appear more difficult and complicated to build than it proved to be during construction.
While writing this book and building the mantels, I was fortunate to have students from the Restoration Department of the Fashion Institute of Technology, eager to help. It was tremendously rewarding to work side by side with my students. The experience allowed me to measure how well I taught them and to gauge the clarity of my material (for the book). I was happy to discover they also made excellent models, posing and contorting their bodies while I struggled to get the perfect shot.
Table of Contents
IntroductionMantel-Making Basics; Simple Colonial Mantel; Georgian Mantel; Simple Federal Mantel;
Arts and Crafts Mantel; The Mackintosh Mantel; Victorian Mantel; Greene and Greene Mantel; Art Deco Mantel; Contemporary Architectural Mantel.