Q:

What tools do you need to build your own fireplace mantel?

A:

Quick Answer

Building a wooden fireplace mantel requires the use of a circular saw, a miter saw, an electric drill and driver and a brad nailer. Supplies necessary include veneer plywood, shoe molding, crown molding, integrated baseboard, wood glue and finishing nails.

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Full Answer

The first step to building a fireplace mantel is cutting the shelf, breast, returns, legs and nailing strips to size. Next, attach the breast to the legs by screwing plywood cleats along the back seams before screwing nailing strips to the back of this assembly, less than one inch from the outer edge. Set the returns against each strip, flush with the outer edge, and use screws to secure them.

After this, cut and add the trim by nailing centered pilasters to the assembly's legs. Upon installing a nailing block to each pilaster and nailing the trim to the mantel, begin to add molding to the assembly for ornament. Saw a doorstop to the interior edges of the mantel as well.

At this point, attach the shelf to the top of the assembly. Trim the shelf with a miter saw and attach shoe molding to the edges. Nail the top of the shelf to attach it to the mantel assembly and fill the fastener holes before sanding the piece and finishing it.

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