Building a Decorative Mantel

All the parts for this ornate mantel were fabricated and installed on site.

Marks are transferred from a story pole to lay out the upper mantel on the wall above the fireplace.

After the plywood is attached to the wall for the overmantel field, layers of ornament create a frame around the perimeter of the field.

U-shaped pilasters are glued and pocket screwed together on site. Here a decorative corbel is screwed to the top of the pilaster.

A board is screwed to the wall beside the firebox for attaching the pilaster.

The pilaster with all its ornamentation attaches to the block.

The first layer of the mantel shelf attaches to a length of plywood on top of the pilasters.

After a layer of decorative crown is applied, the top of the mantel shelf slides into place as the top layer.

Pilasters smaller than the ones below the mantel are fabricated with molding made to look like fluted columns.

Like the pilasters below, the upper pilasters attach to a block screwed to the wall.

A decorative frieze board fits between the pilasters to visually support the mantel.

The final detail is a pediment that frames the overmantel and sits on the upper pilasters.

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