Warming by the Fire

I grew up with a wood burning stove. I remember the fire blazing on those cold winter nights and it was nice and warm inside. Since I moved out of my childhood home, I haven’t lived in another house with a fireplace. Boo. I’ve always wanted a fireplace, a place to hang stockings and a mantle to decorate for the holidays. Well when Ana White posted her building plans for a fireplace anywhere, I knew it was just a matter of time before we had one in our house.

Image from AnaWhite.com

Last week Michael got out the sander and the Kreg Jig and went to work. If you’re a regular reader, you’ve already seen it. My coffee filter wreath and ruffly tulle lights are sitting on it right now.I used Ana’s plans but did some things a little different and still have more plans to make it go a little better in our Victorian house but I wanted to share with you what we have so far. I’ll give you some advance warning that the lighting in our garage is beyond awful and therefore some of these pictures are not that great depending on where I was standing. Michael has been wanting new lights in the garage for when he is working on cars and if I’m going to be doing projects out there too, I might cave and get him new lights for Christmas.

Anyway, back to the fireplace. When I bought all the wood I was headed to my Dad’s house so while I was there I asked him to cute it down for me. When I got it home and in the garage, here’s what I was starting with

I used an electric handheld sander and 220 grit sandpaper to make it nice and smooth.

For me, sanding before assembling is much easier than trying to get into all the corners. I didn’t know where the sawhorses were (although I did find them after I was done) so I grabbed these two chairs. Those are another project for another day, but for this they worked great so I could sand the wood to build with.

After everything was sanded I busted out the Kreg and the user’s manual and made my first pocket holes.

Then I attached the legs to the top piece. I laid both pieces on the garage floor and put them together

Once I was done, I stood it up and saw this

The unevenness of our garage floor also made my fireplace uneven too. So sad. Before I messed it up anymore I decided to wait for Michael to help me. We took it apart, flipped the top piece over and put it back together…even. Then we followed Ana’s step by step directions putting the rest of it together with a series of clamps. We added the sides on. Ana’s plans were for 4×4 posts or use 2-2x4s instead. Since the 2x4s where on sale and I’m a cheapskate frugal girl we went the 2×4 route

Then we added on the first top piece

Notice how we have it standing up so we could work with it? Those are ramps that Michael uses when working on cars.

When we put the top top piece on we noticed that I should not be sent to Menards by myself to get wood it was twisted…bad

No joke, that was 3/4″ twist there.  We got the top screwed down as much as we could but I’m still going to be looking for a new 2×6 for that top piece but for now it works. Bella seems to like it

You make have noticed a gap between the 2×12 and the 2×4 mantle part. This one here

Well, we’ve established before that sometimes I’m not good at following directions. Here’s a snippet from Ana’s plans. I’ve circled the important part

Yeah, mine were not 11 1/2″ wide. Mine were more like 11 1/8″. Had I followed directions, I would have caught this. We thought about cutting down the 2×4 sides  but decided to leave it because we have plans to add some crown moulding around the top which will hide that so we decided not to worry about it. It’s also currently in primer because Michael and I can’t agree on a color to paint it. We’ll need to decide soon so we can get the stockings up on it. Not that we use them much, but I’m making pretty ones this year.

I want to see pictures of your mantle decorations! Whatcha got for me? Has anyone else made a faux fireplace for your dining room?

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