"Madrone Mantle"

This was a great opportunity to be involved in an extensive fireplace conversion. I worked on each of the following steps; removing the old mantle and fire box, demo-ing the chimney on the exterior of the house, repairing the eaves, replacing windows, installing a new gas firebox and custom building a new mantle. Here is a brief overview of the whole project with a focus on the custom mantle.

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Here you can see the old exterior, the encased vent dominates the exterior.

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The old mantle.

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This is after the new fireplace was installed. You can also see the two windows above the fireplace, these were buried in the wall and uncovered during demolition to everyone's surprise. It was decided to keep the windows there and just update them.

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Thanks to being able to have a direct vent for the fireplace we can avoid the big clunky exterior. Here you see a new simpler version of a firebox on the exterior of the house, it really cleans up the space.

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My sketch of the new mantle.

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I approached the client with the idea of using Madrone for this, once they got a good look at the wood they were on board. It is a species native to the Pacific Northwest. It is fairly new to the scene of available hardwoods because it was not able to be milled effectively until more recently. It is a coastal species harvested not far from Portland. It has beautiful contrast and I was able to find a piece for the breast that has some stunning markings. Above it is without finish.

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I decided to finish the pieces with a few coats of a custom mix of garnet shellac and then several coats of spar-varnish.

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The mantle is in place and ready for tile.

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I have finished the tile work and window trim, it is done...

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Here is a good view of the markings on the breast.

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Close up on the left side. All of the mouldings you see were made from dimensional lumber that I milled just for this project.

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The right side with some flare.

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Close up on the right side profile.

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The final result with all the furniture back. The clients and I am really happy with how this came out, it truely takes center stage in their living room!

Back To Carpentry...

Second Nature Design is run soley by Ed Challed. Ed is originally from Long Island NY and is a graduate from Syracuse University. After college he made his way to the Bay Area in California in order to pursue a career in the tech industry. He worked for many years doing web development, and after a large wave of outsourcing hit this industry and jobs were moved to India, Ed made his way up to Portland, Oregon. He has resided here for over five years and has been learning the skills of woodworking during this time. Ed works with a few basic goals; to use as much second hand materials as he can for a project, and to keep the concept of functionality in all of his art.

He spends time re-appropriating bits out of the scrap pile, doing his fair share of dumpster diving, and is continually on the lookout for inspiration and parts that fit the whole. Attempting to strictly use materials that are on their second or third life is an important part of the work process. Abundant resources have already been used to get materials to the consumer level initially, with their lives often cut short there is still great potential in what some might discard.

Though the concept of reuse in this capacity is nothing new, Ed hopes to intrigue and possibly stimulate others to creatively look at the potential of things around them. We have the capacity to make better use of the resources already tapped, and there is no time like now to do it.

Herein lies part of the ultimate solution to the new economy; think locally about your resources, get creative, and support your fellow craftsmen and community members.

If you have any ideas for projects please call or email. 503.860.3142 - info@secondnaturedesign-pdx.com

Thanks For Looking,

Ed Challed

For the time being my blog will be directed back to this site. After I really finished building out this site and get some more time I will begin the blog activity again. Thanks. -ed