Floating Live Edge Slab Mantel – How To Woodworking


I’m redoing the fireplace in my house and I want to replace the original mantel that came in the house when it was built years ago with this slab of Hickory. I want to create a floating live edge look that’s just mounted directly on the brick without any brackets or anything holding up the mantel and so it should look really cool. Now this Hickory slab on one end has got some rotten areas, so the circular saw had no problem whatsoever cutting that. But this other end is very solid and so I went to the reciprocating saw or the sawzall and I just had a lot of trouble with this. The blade kept coming out, and so I just got frustrated. I finally got enough cut to where it started to get into the rotten area to where I could just hold this thing up and just break it on into two pieces. And since I did that, I needed to clean up the back edge that would mount up against the brick wall. To clean up the edge, I got out the random orbital sander just to go to work on it. I think I was using 80 grit, but it just wasn’t doing the job, I guess fast enough. So I got out the hand plane and went to work on it as best I could but if you’ll notice I’m working on a couple of sawhorses here, and so it wasn’t the best setup. So I just did the best I could. I could have gone inside and used the vise but I wasn’t through sanding yet. So while I’m finishing this up I want to let you know that I write articles on my website for every video project that I do. I usually leave a link down in the description, I’ll throw a card up on the screen, some way to let you know that hey there’s more details on this project and it’s over on my website. So if you don’t normally go to my website to get the details on this project, I want to encourage you to check out the links down in the description of this video to go check it out. So, this Hickory has some really nice grain to it. I’m really excited about it. This is just a water-based polycrylic clear finish, and it just really brings out that grain. But I’ll show you more about that later. The first thing I wanted to do is figure out do I have the right length. This slab that I’ve got it’s about five feet. I don’t want to shorten it any more than that so I just made a couple of marks, marked out where I wanted to drill the holes, make sure it was level and then I just started drilling holes with a hammer drill. I’m going in the brick right here because I don’t want to go in the grout and so after I drill the holes I mount these little sleeves that are called drop-in anchors. There’s a tool to set them to where it will expand those anchors up against the brick inside that hole to make a nice sturdy mounting location. Now, I’m going to be using ten inch bolts, I’m going to cut them off to the desired length, and I do that for all five bolts. Now I could have very easily just put the bolts into the anchors that I’ve already got in the brick and just cut them off inside, but I didn’t want to use an angle grinder in my house. So here I’m whitewashing the brick I’m gonna do this before I mount the mantel. I’m not gonna get into how I painted this brick, but That’s the look that my wife and I are going for. Now here are the drop-in anchors in the brick, so once I zoom in you’ll be able to tell that these anchors have threads on the inside and that’s to accept a bolt. These are hex head bolts like I mentioned. They’re ten inch. And I cut off what I didn’t need and so now that I’ve got the fireplace painted I can just twist these in by hand and then tighten everything up with a pair of vise grips and really, honestly this was just as easy as driving them in as if the heads were on there and using an impact wrench or something. I got them tight enough to where they weren’t loose at all. It was really really secure so I had no worries that this was gonna be good enough. Now to get the location of the bolts and to know where to drill the holes, I don’t really show it here, but this kind of gives you an idea. I laid the mantel on top of these bolts and took a pencil and just traced out where the bolts were. That way I could just transfer those marks up to the back edge of this mantel, make my mark in the center, and drill my holes. Now for a little extra holding power, I’m just applying some really strong silicone to the bolts and the brick. I wasn’t worried that the mantel was gonna fall off or anything, but I just tend to overdo things. That’s just me. So, here I’m aligning the bolts with the holes and I’m sliding it on just enough to get my hammer and mallet so I can finish pounding this thing into place and everything turned out just fine. I want to give a huge shout out to John Malecki. I reached out to him because I knew this was his jam. He gave me a few tips, so Thank You John. If you’re new here, or you’re not subscribed to the channel, I want to encourage you to go ahead and subscribe. Hit that red button. I’d love to have you back here each and every week. I also write website articles for each of my projects where I include all of the links to the products that I used and resources about the project. I go into greater detail about what I did and sometimes even provide step-by-step instructions. You can find the links to those website articles down in the description of this video. So go ahead and check it out. While you’re there at the website sign up for our newsletter, so you don’t miss any future projects. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you next time.

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38 thoughts on “Floating Live Edge Slab Mantel – How To Woodworking

  1. Get the project details and step-by-step here in the website article: https://www.stoneandsons.net/floating-live-edge-slab-mantel/

  2. This is a pretty timely video for us! We have slab of ambrosia maple drying for our mantle! Thanks for the how to!

  3. Thanks for another interesting video. I always enjoy your site. Do you know where that cross to the right of your fireplace came from? My wife has one that looks very much like the one on your wall. It was given to her by a friend from the Dominican Republic.

  4. Whitewashing brick fireplaces seems to be a thing this week. Did you happen to see Gunflint Design's video this yesterday (or maybe it was earlier today)? That video goes into more detail about the whitewashing process since it wasn't about the mantel.. Enjoyed your video as always!

  5. That looks cool, Shawn! I've never seen those anchors where you can just use bolts. That's cool! That piece of hickory has a lot of interesting things going on.

  6. Wow Shown 😱 this is why i became a woodworker ! All of the colors and the grain , just amasing and breathless . Unfortunate that you had to bang the mantel to get it in to it’s place ! Hopefully it was’nt damaged 😬 All in all exellent job , love it and breath taking 👍🏼❤️🇨🇦😜😎

  7. Looks great Shawn! That's a pretty striking difference from what was there before. For your whitewashing, was it just watered down white paint, or was there more to it than that?

  8. Came out great Shawn. Loved that you showed the challenges you faced. Sometimes all we see is what worked. Makes me feel better about when things go wrong in my projects

  9. Nice work! How did you manage to drill the holes into the hickory at the exact same angle as the support rods? Wow.

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