Last weekend, I put the final coats of polyacrylic on the mantle and inserted the steel rods which will be supporting much of the weight of this big stick. The stickinoutical part of the rods go into predrilled holes in wall studs.
Waiting to see if the rods lined up with the predrilled wall holes was very stressful... I just couldn't believe it was gonna happen, even though I had made a template for the mantle drilling.
I built this temporary form to hold the weight of the mantle while Mrs. FC and I fiddled it into place. This worked like a charm.
When the mantle rods and the wall holes matched so well that all it took was a wiggle here and a wiggle there, ... well, I was one happy camper. We gooped the rods, the holes, and the back of the mantle with the best polyurethane construction adhesive I could find before we did the final setting.
Then we left it to dry.
While it was drying, I bored holes in the two supports ... (corbels?). After the glue had a good 24 hours to dry, I installed these with nice big lag screws for extra support ... and purtyness. You can see them in the last picture.
These are the faux stone that we purchased from a local manufacturer ... waaayyyyy cheaper than ordering it through the big box DIY places. These are dyed a bit yellower than our native limestone, but the buff color was the closest match. We sprayed these with an acid solution to bring out the color and then quickly rinsed it off.
They will get a coat of concrete sealer after they go up.
Tuesday, I applied wire mesh to the wall where the faux stone will go and then applied a scratch coat of mortar to create a single stiff palette for my faux stone artistry to come.
That is what I will be doing this morning, so my stress level will be high as it always is when dealing with cement ... time, tide, and wet cement wait for no man.
Luckily, Mrs. FC has a ticket to the Gator game, and Junior always has something to do, so I can work alone and not snap anyone's head off due to unwelcome advice given to a stressed out mock mason.
Wish me luck.