Place the log on a work surface. Look over the log and select the sides you would like as the front and top.
Pull a chalk line across the length of the log about 2 inches in from the back edge. Snap the chalk to transfer the line onto the log. Use the line to guide the amount of wood you cut off with the adze.
Chip away slices of the back edge of the log using an adze. An adze is similar to a hatchet and is used for hewing timbers into beams. Stop when you've reached the depth of the line along the full length of the log. The edge should be flat so it sits against the wall.
Flatten the top edge of the log with an adze. This will be the shelf. Cut gradually deeper strips from the log until you've hewn a flat surface that will act as the mantel shelf. The adze will create a rustic hand-hewn mantel.
Sand the mantel with a progression of rough, medium and fine-grit sandpaper until the log is completely smooth. Always sand with the grain of the wood.
Apply a wood finish. Allow the finish to dry before installation.
Things You Will Need
- Cedar log, dried and treated, the length of the fireplace
- Chalk line
- Wood finish
- Poly brush
- Cut a small carving detail or lettering into the front side of the mantel to give it a personal touch.