diy mantel surround

EMINEM & You: Both Are Wrappers

[This is part of my FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 series.]

Now that the pilaster core is complete, we can turn our attention to wrapping the small crown molding around the top of the pilaster and then wrapping the poplar baseboard molding around the bottom.

Don’t be intimidated by all the corners you’ll have to cut.

If you can cut one 45 degree miter, you can cut one-hundred!

Wrapping the Crown Molding

The right tool for this job is a 23 gauge micro pinner. I prefer the Senco or Accuset brands.

You’ll also need a bottle of your favorite wood glue, and perhaps a miter saw. Yeah, you’ll definitely need a miter saw.

My starting point was to make the small outside corner pictured below. After I test fitted the mating pieces on both sides I installed my little corner.

crown molding

Below  It’s easier to wrap the crown after you have one piece nailed in place.

crown molding

Below  I wrapped the crown all the way around the far side but left the right side open. I’ll need the space to work the frieze in later.

crown molding installation

Below  Now you can stand your pilaster up on your workbench, not only so that you can admire your creation, but so you are prepared for wrapping the baseboard molding.

fireplace corbel

Wrapping the Baseboard Molding

I had a small issue when cutting the poplar baseboard that you should be aware of, a problem I wouldn’t have had if it were a three-piece buildup, where the fascia (flat-stock) was made from mdf board.

The Problem: The heat from running my miter saw blade through the wood is enough to warp the smaller pieces.

The warping didn’t happen with every piece, but when it did it sure was frustrating because the piece would be too warped to use.

The Solution: Use a super-sharp, fine-toothed blade. Then find the fastest rate you can cut through your molding safely, creating the least amount of heat in the process.

baseboard molding

Below  The below picture is pretty self-explanatory.

I made each outside corner as a single unit — test-fitting as I created each and every piece — and then prepared to assemble them in one shot.

diy baseboard

custom fireplace mantel

Now stand back and admire your work!

how to moldings & millwork

You’re Finished Building the Pilasters

When you first started looking through this series, did you ever think it would be so easy to build these highly detailed pilasters?

Well I hope you’re encouraged enough to jump in and make your own.

Because the rest of this fireplace mantel build is even easier!

Posts in this Series

1. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 for $333.08

2. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 2: Materials Inventory

3. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 3: Pilaster Cores

4. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 4: Corbels & Inset Panels

5. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 5: Shadow Pilasters

6. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 6: Wrapping the Crown Molding & Base

7. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 7: Pilaster Extensions

8. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 8: Lanterns

9. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 9: Lantern Crown & Collar

10. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 10: Paneled Frieze

11. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 11: Making the Hood

12. Before & After: Great Room Fireplace Mantel with Overmantel

13. How to Make OVERMANTEL-100 for About $87.39