[This is part of my FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 series.]
Lantern is a term I use for a capital that has three prominent sides, like this one.
I wanted the lanterns on this surround to be the focal point of the entire design, where even the beautifully carved corbels take on a supporting role.
Oh, and I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but they are very easy to build!
Step 1 Build the Lantern Core
It’s important to note that the lantern core (pictured below) sits lower in the top of the pilaster than do the pilaster extensions.
Below Start with a simple mdf core made from MDF-200. It does not have to be pretty, this core, but it must be perfectly square so the layers that go on top look good.
Below Lay the three components you built on a flat surface for final assembly.
Below Glue and nail the nailer on top of the pilaster extension.
Below All three pieces should be flush at the top.
Below The bottom should look like this.
Below I set my new assembly in place to see how it all fits. But don’t install them permanently just yet.
Step 2 Build the Lantern Frames
The only tricky part about making the frames is making the narrow bevels that fit on the outside corners of the lanterns.
And even those are easy to make once you know the trick.
And that trick is to:
- cut a piece of MDF-200 with a bevel on each side by running it through your table saw with the blade set at a 45 degree angle.
- Now return the table saw blade to its normal position and rip off the bevels you made to the exact width you want.
Below As always, I test fit all of the pieces before installing them.
Below When it’s time to install all the frame pieces, just use wood glue and 23 gauge micro pins to hold them in place.
Below I’m using PM-004 to fill the frames, and so I scribed their positions as one last check before I permanently installed them.
Even after all of my careful checking, I made a small mistake with my lantern proportion. I should have made them about 3/4″ taller.
You’ll see the easy fix I used on the next post in this series.
Below This is such a wonderful little panel molding that I love using. But some day I’d like to make some inset panels using ornate compo pieces, like an acanthus motif.
Below At this point you should have left and right pilasters that look something like the ones below.
With the lanterns built we can now turn our attention to building the frieze, also with an inset panel.
Posts in this Series
8. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 8: Lanterns