Memories for the Mantle – Phase 2


phase 2 mantle

Welcome to Phase 2 of Operation Mantle Magic

With the heavy lifting done in Phase 1, it was time to transform this log into a mantlepiece. Santa will be so happy we made this just for him!

Some people hang bikes in their garage. Not us, we hang trees.

hanging out

Hanging out

We oh so ceremoniously tied ‘er up where the punching bag had been. This was to stain all the log’s surfaces with polyurethane varnish. We want this to be a long-lasting piece of furniture, not firewood.

satin varnish

Time to paint you

We chose a satin finish that would seal the log from air and moisture, but not look glossy or inauthentic. And of course clear to keep its natural color. By going with satin, we gave it just the right amount of “Hey, I’m all prettied up for the great indoors” while keeping the “I’m straight outta the forest, baby.”


Meet hammer drill

Anchors of mantles past

You can see these anchors in the brick where something rested, but we needed to drill bigger

We measured up the piece of wood and marked where to drill through both brick and log.
wall anchorRemember Mr. Hammer Drill? We used that to make anchors in the brick to secure the mantlepiece.

gun show

Another great shirt, Joe 🙂

After that, we used an attachment to chisel out space for the long anchor rods we’d be screwing into the brick anchors.

Auger drill bit

Auger drill bit

Hammer them in place

Hammer them in place

work time

And now to level and test it

check 1, 2

check 1, 2

It has a firm hold, but do you see the screws? We do too…

So we scavenged the woods again for some matching pieces of bark to glue over them.

Blow dry

Blow Dry

The good news is that we found some! The bad news is that they were damp. This blow dryer gets more action on projects than my hair.

bark covers the screws

Covers the screws

Eh voila! We varnished over the new pieces, and it blends right in.


Here’s the final product!

Now, we just need some stockings and photos. And a toasty little fire would be nice.

Is anyone else getting a little bit excited for the cold weather? Time to get toasty!

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