Sold 12/17/2018 to John M in Tallahassee, FL
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Here’s a gorgeous, naturally streaked, white oak fireplace mantel shelf with lots of character. White oak starts out as a wheatish tan but can become nearly java black in a barn environment. Because this was a sill timber, it was very rotten and rough looking to start (see pictures). However, because it is white oak, there was some solid wood hidden underneath. We removed an inch or two of rot off of both the top and the bottom of this beam. This revealed some wonderful streaked color on the top side. The bottom side became pretty clean except that one patch. We could darken this side just a skosh to blend it with the face and top. Perhaps we have the top and bottom flip-flopped. This mantel might work better with the clean side up (and less visible).
Of course, the front face is where all the action is. Much of the front face has rotted away. We chiseled, dug, brushed and sanded and then we chiseled, dug, brushed and sanded some more. The result is this great texture and color variation.
As mentioned, this particular piece was a sill timber from an old barn. It was a big beam that rested on the cement or stone wall foundation upon which they built the rest of the barn. You can imagine it was pretty wet right near the ground. They used white oak for sill timbers and fence posts back in the day because it has a good natural rot resistance. The wood was probably sawn on-site with a mill somewhat like the one pictured.
This mantel beam came from an early 1900s vintage barn between Waconia, MN and Cologne, MN. About 40 miles SW of Minneapolis downtown. This is the beginning of modern farm country West of the Twin Cities. The soil here is rich and black and runs black as deep as three feet. This was the Western edge of the Big Woods, if you are familiar with the Laura Ingalls Wilder books.
This mantel beam is priced at $100 per LF at 60 inches. We can cut to any size, but the price on this one is firm. It can be shipped via FedEx Gnd for $75. If you’d like it cut down, please contact us at email@example.com or call 888-226-5370.
The Tag — This ad came from a circa 1965 magazine. Gotta love the copy, “Get the double reward of RC Cola: zzzip you can taste — zzzip you can feel.”