How To Turn An Old Box Beam Into A Fireplace Mantle

Homeowners who need to add mantels to their existing fireplace are often faced with the dilemma of matching their existing wood grain to the grain of the wood being used for the fireplace mantel. In order to match the gain of the wood exactly it is often desirable to have a sample of the wood that will be matched. This way the new wood can be as close as possible.

Oftentimes the situation arises where you will not be able to find the exact type or hewn of wood needed to exactly match the existing wood grain. In this instance a suitable replacement needs to be fabricated for use on the mantle.

How To Use A Wood Box Beam For Your Fireplace Mantle
This presents fairly unique challenges. The carpenter must understand which types of wood grain are similar and which are drastically different. For instance, Doug Fir can often be replicated using cedar and if the stain is done in the same fashion the end result can often be a mantle that is completely indistinguishable from the original beam.

We learned a few things from the carpenters we spoke to at a seminar in Toronto, apparently, here are other things to consider when matching the grain from existing wood trim to wood for the mantle above the fireplace. Many different types of stain will show the grain of the wood differently. With brighter stains and lighter colored finishes the grain is often more pronounced, making it harder to match. With darker stains the grain can be more difficult to see and the beams appearance is more easily replicated

Another consideration when using an Arizona wood box beam to create a wood fireplace mantel is to consider the style of hewning that will be needed to reproduce the exact look of the original beam. This often requires special tools, and sometimes even tools that were in use when the beam was originally made and yet may no longer be in use. An example of this is the adze, which is probably the best-known of the rare woodworking tools. There are many other ways to achieve different styles and looks, such as using a hammer and chisel, chainsaw with a broken blade, wire brushing, rusted hardware, and many other tricks for achieving the exact look desired.

Note: check out City Floors.

Mike Capuzzo Owner of Woodland Custom Beam CompanyWoodland Custom Beam Company
4107 E. Ashler Hills Drive
Cave Creek, Arizona 85331

Office: 480-575-6758
Fax: 480-575-2716