Old oak timber mantel custom mantel made from reclaimed beam. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

How to Choose a Mantel that's Right for You
In our opinion, the best way to choose a mantel that is right for your home and for you, is pretty simple - buy the mantel that you LIKE the best!   Now, having said that, there are a few fairly straightforward guides.  The first is to make sure you know the requirements of your local building code to make sure you install your mantel at the proper legal height.  The LENGTH of your mantel, when all is said and done, is a personal choice. Our suggestion tho is NOT to make it too short.  The classic historically typical length of a mantel over the centuries is - at or close to - the entire length of your fireplace wall.  It seems it's just the last few decades where we've begun to make them shorter.  Again tho, there is no definitive "rule" re: length.  Buy what you like.  Sometimes a compromise might be in order too. The same "non-rule" applies to  THICKNESS. How thick your mantel is is strictly a personal, aesthetic choice.  Generally, the higher the ceilings and bigger the room, the thicker the mantel. 
But Again, buy what you like!  
RE: the DEPTH of your mantel:  When you think about the depth of your mantel, make sure you take into consideration whether or not the mantel will be recessed into stone, thereby reducing it's shelf dimension by an inch or more.  It's wise to imagine what you might, over the seasons want to place on the top of your mantel.  Make sure it's deep enough for the items you might want to display.   
One last good thought:  A word about "MATCHING"  your mantel to the rest of your woodwork: Although its tempting to try to find a mantel that matches other wood in your house, it's often not necessary nor is it always the best design option.  Sometimes it IS but often, it ISN'T.  Again, there is no hard and fast rule.  Both options can work swell even tho our bias, over the years is to find a piece you like and let it 'stand alone', on it's own merits, whether it "matches"  or not.
We've observed over the years, that folks that buy the piece they LIKE, rather than the one they think "matches best",  are the happiest with their choice.  Good Luck and Have Fun choosing!

Why buy a "RECLAIMED" timber Mantel?

Al: *see: MM Sales Booklet for pics and text about this! 

- a dwindling resource, etc. 

Maintenance of Mantels   
Our mantels typically have at least five coats of finish applied so they are finished to withstand typical modern furniture use.  To clean, simply use a slightly damped cloth and wipe clean.  If you wish, a finer furniture polish or wax can be used on rare occasion.  RE: SAP: * In the case of  any sap leakage from the timber's knots, apply "Goo Gone" type product on a clean rag. Rub the sap area until the sap is removed. It might take a few times but it'll come out. So,  repeat as necessary. NOTE: Primarily with PINE or FIR pieces, it is not unusual to experience some sap or pitch leaks, especially when the mantel is under heat.  This is normal for these species and no amount of sealer or finish can stop what nature has created.  Believe us, we've tried everything! It's just the nature of real wood.  If you have concerns about this possibility, we suggest you stay away from pine or fir and instead, look at some of our hardwood pieces. 
We're happy to discuss this concern relative to the piece you are interested in, so feel free to ask us our opinion about the potential of sap leakage.    
Will my mantel "check" or crack?
The Reclaimed Timbers that we source from a variety of historic buildings in the Midwest for our *Olde Growth Woods line were originally harvested in the late 1800's and early 1900's.  Most have therefore been air drying for over 100 years already.  That means that the cracks and checking in them now is likely to remain stable from here on out.  That is one of the main reasons we use them - so we can more safely make our thicker "real" mantel pieces!  So - not only are they historic, often more beautiful with denser growth rings, and have lots more character, they are also more stable and MUCH less likely to check or crack then 'new" wood.  We also take a great deal of care with our finishes to seal all cracks and checks so the chances are even more remote.  HOWEVER, know that it still is possible that a particular piece could still "move' some, especially when hit with heat. Again, like sap in wood, all wood moves some.  No way around it. 

With our *Mendota Mantels line, we use wood that is NOT reclaimed.  It is therefore more likely to check or crack.
Again though, thru our careful milling and finishing, we try our best to limit this condition.  We also only timbers that have either been kilned dried, OR have air dried for at least three years. A requirement we adhere to religiously even though it is way above "industry standards".  So, yes, your timber mantel could check or crack, but we do our very best to limit that possibility.  Again, it's nature doing it's thing.  We can limit, but not always prevent.   So buyer beware eh?
If you are real concerned about this possibility, buy a reclaimed piece! 
Installation of Beam Mantels
Timber mantels can be quite heavy but can easily be installed by any contractor/ builder or by most do-it-your-selfers.  There is no reason a very heavy timber cannot be easily and safely installed in just about any application. Here we describe a method that applies to either new or existing construction, is relatively easy, quite effective, and inexpensive. Don’t be concerned if your contractor has other ideas. There are many other acceptable ways to install beam mantels.

If your fireplace has a brick or masonry wall, you will need two three-quarter inch (¾”) re-bar or threaded rod pieces.   Pipe also works well. The exact length of the re-bar depends on the size of your mantel.  The rods, bars, or pipes must be long enough to penetrate both the wall studs or header and about two-thirds through the depth of the mantel.
Find the desired height of your mantel. (see your local codes for assistance) Drill holes into the masonry at least 30 inches apart - wider for longer mantels. Be sure that both holes are level. Cement the bars, rods, or pipes into place with a good construction adhesive.
Drill corresponding holes into the back of the mantel to approx 2/3’s its depth.
Guide the mantel on to the rods.  Glue as needed. 
For a wood framed wall, double up on the studs to be drilled or install a header.
Drill through the wall into the studs or header for ¾” threaded rods, pipes, or re-bar.
Add construction adhesive. Hammer or screw the rods securely into the holes.
One inch or larger pipes can work well in place of re-bar if you wish. The larger the pipe the more stud support will be required.
Drill corresponding holes about two/thirds through the back of the mantel.
Guide the mantel onto the re-bar (threaded rod, or pipe) and slide against wall.
You are now ready for stone.
FLOAT MOUNTING:  Consider it!
Our mantels present very well when ‘FLOAT MOUNTED’.  Float mounting is installing the mantel in front of the stone or wall. This allows for a more natural stone appearance. It also allows for the mantel to be back lit or installed at any time after stoning.  This option is often used in more contemporary applications but can work in any design in our opinion.  Some of our past customers like it too because with 'float mounting" they were able to more easily remove the piece and bring it with them when they moved to another home.  

(INSERT TWO PICS: SEE MM SALES BOOK - "float mounted prep" and "sample of completed float mounted mantel")

Feel free to contact us for further information about mounting timber mantels.
Contact us: tomschoeller@gmail.com
651 271 7544
Purchasing and Shipping
Place your order by calling (651)271-7544, or email us at tomschoeller@gmail.com
Tom will contact you to confirm your order was received and send you an Invoice. 
We accept only personal checks or money orders at this time.
Mantel pieces require 50% down to 
confirm order, with balance due at time of shipping or delivery.  
Tom will coordinate the shipping, delivery process, and schedule with you via phone or email once your down payment is received. 

If your mantel is shipped via UPS or Trucking Company, please inspect the packaging for any apparent damage upon delivery.  Do NOT sign to accept it from the driver until you determine that the mantel has no damage.  If you sign for an accepted mantel that is damaged, the replacement insurance will not apply!  Inspect before you accept please!
Feel free to contact  tomschoeller@gmail.com  or call Tom at 651 271 7544 to discuss information regarding shipping information.  
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