Mantle shelves.    

 Good day

A good day in the workshop always involves the production of many shavings.

Our daughter has several cast iron fireplaces which we have installed in her house, some of which require mantle shelves rather than fire surrounds.

I had sourced a 3.2m board of 50+mm thick oak, changed the blade in my table saw and was working on the detail of the project when a customer contacted me with a similar project.

Emails were exchanged with possible profiles for the edge detail on the customers shelf, but as hers was to be painted she decided on pine as a material rather than oak.

The oak board for our daughter was rough sawn, (what a difference a sharp table saw blade makes!!) several passes through the thicknesser and a bit of time with a hand plane give me a bit of stock to work with. 

The pine board was not wide enough, so two lengths were biscuit jointed together to form a wider board.

 The next issue was the router cutter. The one selected was a large diameter, but the collet on my small router did not allow the cutter shaft sufficient support so I brought out the big guns. A much more powerful Hitachi machine which has a much longer shaft.







Having done the first stage of machining, both shelves were sanded having been through the thicknesser. both the customer and our daughter had asked for radiused corners on the shelves, these were marked out, rough cut with a jigsaw then sanded to final shape with a belt sander. Router was next, taking the cut in repeated small increases in depth to reduce the risk of burn marks from the cutter.

The next stage was sanding, most of which was done using a half sheet orbital sander, unfortunately that machine was too big for sanding the detailed edge profile, so it was back to old school hand sanding, a time consuming process but worth the effort.

All that now remains is delivery to the customer, and fitting our daughters shelf next time we visit.