Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fireplace Makeover Part 2: Yummy Mantel

Catch up on Part 1!

Here's where I left off last time. I had just finished the tile and was ready for the FUN PART (I like woodworking, can you tell?)! This post is long, so buckle up.

For the materials, we decided to go with a combination of MDF for the face and poplar wood for the trim. Both materials are paint-grade, which will give us a super smooth surface once we paint everything.

We just barely got away with using one 4'x8' sheet of MDF, which we had ripped into long boards at the hardware store, then when we got home we ripped them up even more. For this, I got to use my new toy, the Kreg Rip Cut!

Board has already been ripped. I'm just showing you how it works.

This thing is seriously fantastic. I've always run into problems with ripping large boards on my own, and table saws scare me (um, hello unprotected blade sticking up in the air that I'm supposed to slide my fingers near, no thank you). This Rip Cut guide attaches to most circular saws and has a built-in ruler, so no measuring is required EVAR! It took some calibrating, which the instructions are very clear about, but once we got it set up, it worked like a dream. Basically there is a right angle guide (you can see it on the right-hand side below) that slides along the edge of the board, while the blade cuts at the specified width. Awesome straight cuts most of the time (obviously if your guiding edge is not straight, you'll have issues) and added confidence when using your circular saw!