Birch Fireplace Mantle

Hawleyscape Tree birch 01

At the request of a client, we found a local piece of parkland birch harvested by a certified cutter. The log was cut into two slabs, then one slab was cut again into posts. Next, ten months to dry.

Inside we found some luxurious dark chocolate heartwood. We decided to preserve the birch bark, sanding it lightly to apply an even poly finish.

inlay gravel adds natural depth
inlay gravel adds natural depth

The surface was ground, then sanded. The core of the heartwood had some deep crevices, which we filled with river gravel and applied a layer of 2 stage cold poly to create the look of water.

Installation was easy using a flat steel bar moored to the wall studs. The mantle was predrilled with 4″ lag bolts and the lock nuts aligned with the thickness of the drywall. The result is an eighty pound log floating on the wall securely. The pillars were fit to cedar shoes and pegged. The mantle was set on top, clicked into place, and then the lock nuts were tightened. This allowed us to install the mantle with minimal destruction to the drywall. We only had to cut a three inch strip to mount the flat bar.

The client now intends to fill the area inside the mantle with stained glass. We’ll post pics when it’s done. Wood source: