Saturday, November 15, 2008

More Mantle

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.


S N B said...

Quite an impressive project!

Laura said...

That's going to be spectacular when it's finished. I liked the color of the wood, very striking! This is a big project you've undertaken, but it will look great when it's done and the stockings are hanging from the mantle. ;)

threecollie said...

Sure gonna be something when you are done! That is beautiful wood!

edifice rex said...

Yea! that looks great! that is a beautiful piece of wood. can't wait to see the whole finished project. good luck but I'm sure you'll do fine.

Deb said...

I can totally relate to your cement anxiety; I felt the same way about doing the slate floor. It'll turn out fine!

Word verification: under

Aunty Belle said...

Lovely holdin' mah breath to see the finished project --Good thang Bear doan give no advice.

Pablo said...

Love the green in that wall. All of your rooms, as I remember from other pix, have lively colored walls. Must be a happy place.

Ericka said...

wow! that's going to look incredible when you're finished!

kathy said...

Looks very nice! I love the green color, also.

Floridacracker said...

Thanks. It has been impressed upon me that I need to finish it!

Coming from a master, perpetual remodeler, I'll take that complement!

I love that wood too. Very grateful to have that piece.

Your advice was very helpful and if the mantle stays up, you get part of the credit! Thank you.

There's no fooling around with this stuff is there? It's changing the whole time you are working.

Don't forget to breathe now sweety. Bear gives approval rather than advice so he was safe from head snapping.
He does knock things over alot though :)

You have good memory ... and a long history here :)
Yes, it is like the rainbow connection in this house... Yellow, red, orange, green, purple, blue ... even white!

I have to finish?
LOL! Some people here think I'll never finish.

Kathy A,
I like it too and I was really worried when she went to pick paint ... after the orange kitchen and all.

Miz S said...

As always, I am awed by your many talents. Can't wait to see the final pictures.

Floridacracker said...

Miz S,
Don't be awed, just be glad I'm not tearing up your living room!

Floridacracker said...

To everyone: an update on the rock mortaring.
It's going okay. I have rock up the left side to the mantle, the hearth is almost totally done except for two stones I have to cut, and the skinny section between the fireplace and the woodbox is rocked.

misti said...

That is going to turn out so great!

edifice rex said...

IF it stays up! Ooohh, you cut me to the quick, FC! Ack! the pain!! ;D

elpbulls said...

I can't wait to decorate THAT mantle for Christmas! xoxo

Floridacracker said...

I am allowing myself to believe that too now!
Thanks for the confidence.

Not doubting your advice dear. It is rock solid in the wall. That was just my own self doubt surfacing!

You can go to town on this baby, she's got room for lots of twinkle.