One Tree Woodwork

Custom woodworking and art

Post Oak Mantle

I’ve spent the last several weeks burning the candle on both ends. But today I had a break from the lightning pace of trimming and building cabinets. This mantle is made from Post Oak and weighed as much as a Volkswagen bug. The tree that this was milled from was obviously growing twisted as many Post Oaks do. You can see in the closeup pics that the flitch’s grain is under incredible pressure and is splitting in an incredibly beautiful pattern. I mortised the back to fit the tenon that was bolted to the fireplace. It was sanded through the courses down to 320 and then soaked with deft oil and wet sanded with 400 wet/dry sandpaper until the paper got hot and this method was continued for about 30 min and then buffed dry with a rag. A couple more times using this method and it will make for a nice durable finish that will give the figuring in the wood the 3d look without loosing the all important feel of the wood. The connection between your hand and the wood must never be forgotten if it is you have failed as a wood worker.This wood is incredibly hard,my chisels are dull and in need of sharpening,my Forstner bits are worn out and the pile of sandpaper gone through is staggering but the outcome was worth it. I too am a little worn and maybe a little dull. Maybe I can go in for a sharpening.







12 comments on “Post Oak Mantle

  1. Daniel Weise
    August 7, 2013

    Absolutely Gorgeous!

  2. James Noles
    August 7, 2013

    A mantle to be proud of. Nice job!

  3. Nick Sidlaruk
    August 9, 2013

    Beautiful mantle. I love the live edge against the stone.

      August 9, 2013

      Thanks, I too love the symbiotic relationship that the natural live edge has with the natural texture of the rock.

  4. diydad
    August 19, 2013

    Nice work. Where did you find the oak?

      August 19, 2013

      Actually my client found this at a local mill close to his other home. It was a nice surprise because usually when we let clients pick mantle material they don’t always choose wisely. It takes a little practice to know what the wood will look like finished from its rough milled form but he chose wisely or just got lucky (more likely). In the past I have milled these post oak trees its sort of like sawing into concrete not very nice on the old blade but the sawdust sure smells good.

  5. Trailer Park Cyclist
    August 19, 2013

    Yer sharp enough, lad, although an occasional honing is never a bad idea. I am undergoing such a wetting now, and it is worth the pain.

    Is that your shiny new rolling scaffold? Tools! I am back in harness with old friends and having a twisted kind of fun. After living the Way of the Bicycle for a little while the Way of the Job is a familiar old friend. I was planning to dip in, crank up a few grand and head back to the trailer park, but things with this crew look…permanent. I inevitably will, I fear, tool up and stay out.

    The piece is, of course, Tohner-like and wondrous. If the client found the stock item by luck, good for him. Finding T Jackson as his installer was greater luck still.

    Stay salty, my friend. Could you do a piece about those saw horses? I worked for an old master once (Disney Studios) who had a groovy jig on a piece of plywood that set up the various table saw cuts to make horses that looked like those. I have always wished I had paid better attention. Maybe you would share your formula with we your fans.


      August 19, 2013

      Hey! ol buddy it’s good to hear your (voice)typing. Yep that scaffolding is great especially if you can get on it and push yourself around which never works because of all the cords and hoses. What I need is a small motor on that thing maybe a bike motor or maybe not…. I am glad to hear about your work I believe people like (us) should never be still or in one place for to long unless you are fishing,drinking,meditating,etc…etc, but wtf do I know.

      Wild Horses that is saw horses are a window into a carpenters soul. These particular horses are incredibly simple to build,minimal lumber but very strong. For some reason these horses often run off by the end of a job or are forgotten and left when its past time to get to the next job. So I find it best not to spend to much time or money on them. Although in the past I have given them custom paint jobs can you imagine a candy coated red saw horse…..hmmm.

      It is good to hear from you. I did always want to hear stories from the (Disney) stint you did.

  6. ChrisHasFlair
    September 2, 2013


    I love the surface checking of the oak. Great material selection!


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This entry was posted on August 7, 2013 by in General woodworking, Homebuilding and tagged , , , .


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Backyard bike ride.
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