Available! 10/3/2021 – Fantastic Hand-hewn Mantel Shelf.
We cut an old 1800s vintage hand-hewn 10×10 barn beam in half to create a great mantel shelf. However, as often happens with Red Oak, we stumbled across a rotten spot. We have filled the hole with epoxy, but it really doesn’t make the greatest floating or free-standing shelf. It would be ideal for a brick or stone bump-out fireplace where the cut side could be face down with only an inch or two of reveal overhanging the masonry.
The mantel has been sanded, but there has been no finish applied. We splashed mineral spirits on to give you a sense of our typical finish, but that is certainly not the only way to go. We can keep it close to the natural color with a hand-waxed finish, or we could play with some stains. The unfinished pictures are first, followed by a few with mineral spirits
This really is an exceptional piece. The hand hewing is smooth and flat with crisp corners. I’d imagine that they took several passes with different tools such as a broad ax followed up with an adz to create this nice smooth surface. It is a sign of fine craftsmanship. Even as “just a building,” the men took pride in their work.
The top face has one little mortise pocket (where another beam joined with this one) that has been filled. See if you can find it. The cool thing is that there are actually original scribe marks where the craftsman wanted to place the mortise pocket.
The original beam came from an old barn in Southwest Wisconsin. It is amazing to think that this is the real thing from early American settlers. It probably dates back to the late 1800s. We purchased this wood from an Amish gentleman who lives out in the rolling hills of the area. That area is still dotted with small farms where the cows and other livestock wander out in the corrals and fields. It’s not like the modern farms that we see by our place in Minnesota with hundreds of cows stuffed in a tin building. It is great to see agriculture the way that I remember it as a kid.
The ends of the mantel are currently unfinished. Once we have an exact size from you, we can cut, sand, and finish the ends. We can cut this mantel shorter and refinish the ends for an additional for no additional cost.
It can be shipped anywhere in the lower 48 states via FedEx Gnd for $125
About the tag – Minute Rice – I think that this ad is from the 1960s. It reads, “Fix it with tomato juice instead of water — see the rosy-red rice you get!” I think this is right up there with putting things (including meat) in Jello. I don’t think I’m a fan.
Our website here only contains a small number of all of the mantels that we have in stock. Please contact us via email at email@example.com or call 612-281-9330 for a list of more mantels that are available. We are a small mom-and-pop shop and don’t usually find enough time to update this list. We have nearly 100 finished mantels and another almost 500 unfinished pieces in stock at any time that can be viewed with other links.