Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Home is where the hearth is.

Yeah we didn't build a hearth, but it's the only fireplace pun I could think of.

Christmas time is fast approaching, and this is our first Christmas as a family with a fireplace. But you know what we were missing? A mantel to hang our stockings on! It's one of the only things you can't buy at Target so like any red blooded DIY family, we decided to build one.

In keeping with the mid-century style of our house, we didn't want anything ornate. Just a clean, simple mantel. We took some measurements and photos, and I put them in SketchUp so we could play with heights and sizes. I decided to actually "build" it so that we could use the model to get lumber measurements.

You're right, the actual hearth IS sloping and we need to jack it up.  Stop being so judgy.

So on a Saturday morning, my trusty project manager and I headed to my parents' house to use dad's table saw. I wanted to build a frame that we'd attach to the brick, and then a sleeve of  nicer wood to slide over top. That meant we had to build the 2x4 frame first in order to get proper measurements for the sleeve.

Frame - done.

This part was super easy and then all we had to do was measure and cut for the sleeve - which due to my project manager's nap schedule, would have to be constructed back at home.

Since drilling into masonry would probably wake him up, Sarah and I used nap time to put the sleeve together. Using the slightly more expensive wood was definitely worth it. Once everyone was awake, it was time to attach the frame to the hearth. This required another set of hands, so we called on our good friend and extra muscle, Kenneth (last seen ripping out the old desk in the den). With a long masonry bit, some masonry anchors, and brute force - that thing was up in no time. And thanks to careful measuring, the sleeve slid right on. Easy. Breezy. Beautiful. Cover Girl.

Took the face off of the frame so that I could drill into the masonry.

They're beautiful. They're brilliant. And they work for Charlie Sarah.

The next morning, Sarah painted the sleeve while that lazy project manager napped and I raked leaves. After a few coats, it was ready to be put permanently in place. Slide on, screw down. Puddy holes. Merry Christmas (and all before Thanksgiving).

Ho-Ho-Hope you don't notice the puddy sitting on top!

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