Thursday, December 1, 2011

faux mantel

When we moved into our previous home it had a fireplace with no mantel. There was a "modern" treatment around the firebox..sort of a morphed out from the wall southwest looking thing. Here in the mid-Atlantic. Homer added a mantel made from mahogony that looked like it was original to the house. Here on the farm there are 2 buildings, 2 chimneys, and no fireplaces. It makes us wonder if someone lived here who hated fireplaces? No mantels, nowhere to hang stockings, no focal point. Yesterday, Homer and Jess returned to the saw mill around the corner. We are doing our best to buy local, and supporting this small business sure fulfills that goal! The approach is creepy..a beatup gravel road, full of ruts, straight up a hill. Through woods with electrified barbed wire fence on either side. I'd never travel up that driveway on my is the perfect setting for a slasher movie. At the top of the driveway the property opens up, and the entire hilltop is grass and sawmill and a couple of buildings. Perfectly normal. The sawmill itself looks to be 100 years old, with a blade 6 feet across in the middle. The wood purchased yesterday had been milled long ago and was stacked in piles out in the open. The planer (the piece of equipment that cleans small bits of wood off rough sawn lumber to convert it to the dimensions wanted) is operated by starting up the 100+ year old engine that used to operate a ferris wheel. Every planer we have ever seen requires serious ear protection..but this beauty was as quiet as it could be. It took large slabs of wood with a very rough finish and converted them to what, at the end of the day yesterday, is the new, faux mantel in our living room. There is not a photo of the saw blade itself. Homer will have to stand next to it for a sense of scale, as that blade is quite impressive!Pictures of the trucks used to transport full tree trunks are here. The planer in use. And the completed faux mantel. He made the shelves shallow, as this house is small and furnishings can't be large. And now he realizes we need a couple more of these around..

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