Brown board is a term for generic lumber that is found in barns. If the material is well aged, but kept dry, it develops a wonderful deep auburn color. This is called patina. We prepare as plank flooring, but leave the sanding of the face up to the installers so that they can control the final color. A light sanding will go a long way; with a heavy sanding and the wonderful color disappears.
Most of our brown board comes from wall sheathing in granaries and old houses. It is usually pine and runs 5-6 inches wide. We prepare our brown board like we do our barnsiding. We re-cut, or “straight line rip” the edges so that they are clean and straight. We also go through and “defect,” or remove, all of the rot, cracked, or questionable pieces. We also plane one side down so that the thickness is consistent.
We can hand sand the surface so that the edges are beveled and it is ready to install. We recommend a “glue-and-face-nail” installation approach. We’re a big fan of the Tremont Nail Company in Massachusetts. They still use some of the old turn-of-the century machines to manufacture square cut nails.
Prepared Brown Board – $4.95/SF
Hand Sanded top with bevels – add $1.00 per square foot
More Mantel Inventory
However, our website here only contains a small number of all of the mantels that we have in stock.
We are literally a mom-and-pop shop that does lots of custom work. We often just don’t quite find enough time to update this website regularly.
We have nearly 150 finished mantels and another 500 or so unfinished pieces in stock at any time that can be viewed with other links.
We also do lots of custom work. If we understand what you are seeking, we can find and create that magic piece.
Please contact us for a full list and personal recommendations. We’re happy to chat and find a great piece for you.
Mantels with Metal
We work with a great local blacksmith to add metal straps and other ornamentation to our mantels. He is the real deal — coal forged and hand hammered. The metalwork has great color and tight fit. Nothing machined. We can start with a finished mantel you find on our site, or we can start with raw stock for more options.
Here are a few examples of the hundreds that we have crafted over the years. We can work together to create something unique. You can also browse our Mantels with Metalwork page.
In most cases, no special and expensive brackets are required — just some lag screws. The different approaches outlined are very strong, simple, and economical. Take a look at our mantel installation tips.
Contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 612-281-9330.