Greenwood Mantels

      Sawn, sealed, and installed when green, a large-dimension timber mantel should perform well. October 25, 2006

I have a customer requesting that I cut a mantel piece 8' long x 4" thick x 8" wide. First, is walnut a good wood for mantels? Second, would he ever be able to dry this to an acceptable moisture content without a kiln?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor D:
My father has a mantel of similar dimensions cut from green white oak. The mantel has been in place for 25 + years and still looks great. There is some checking and a little bow on one end that has a large knot, but other than that it hasn't moved too much. Setting the right expectation with your customer could be your first approach, as it is not realistic to have a solid mantle dry to a consistent MC of 6-8% throughout.

From contributor J:
I cut a walnut mantel that was 4 x 6 x 8. I sealed it fairly green with paste wax. It's about fifteen years old now and not a crack in it.

From contributor B:
We regularly sell green mantels and I think it is important to follow basic "parallel to the grain" sawing patterns. Box heart is okay from small diameter logs, but quartersawn should draw a premium and is what you want to minimize checks (though it takes twice the log). If you saw it well and seal it up well, it will do well. Green mantels do best when they are not subjected to the sudden change in RH that comes in the fall when the heater is turned on. Think shrink (to the wall for q-sawn, thickness for flat sawn).

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: Air Drying Lumber

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article