Live edge shelves, reclaimed wood shelves, and fireplace mantels are very popular right now! Though we are very biased toward Redwood, there are a lot of woods to choose from when selecting a live edge shelf or mantel. Here at Dias Artistries, we cut almost 100% Redwood, so we offer mostly Redwood shelves and mantels. That said, we know a lot of suppliers, so we can find the other woods too. But so can you really, just search out the woods you want, and someone will likely come up.
If you are selecting a shelf, these are some questions you may want to ask yourself :
First, how do you want to hang your shelf or mantel? Do you want a floating shelf or mantel?, (Doesn’t show any brackets) Do you want natural wood brackets, metal brackets, or do you have your own brackets? This is important, as floating brackets are prettying inexpensive, and natural wood brackets, or metal brackets often have to be fitted to the piece, where floating brackets just have to be fitted to the width of the natural edge, and often a simple cut to the bracket can fix any inconsistencies with he wood.
Also, you need to ask yourself how wide and long the shelf or mantel will be. Natural edges rarely have uniform shape, thats what makes them so appealing. Because of this, measuring your space is very important. Try and find the maximum width and the minimum width your space needs. This way you can find a middle ground for your size and it won’t be too wide or narrow. Do this with the length as well.
Another important aspect is the thickness. This is really important when choosing how the shelf or mantel will hang. When you hang a shelf that is say 2″ thick, then you may want brackets that are also 2″ thick, and so on. When looking for a mantel, it is often suggested the width should be in a ratio to the hight of your ceiling. The higher the ceiling, the thicker the piece should be.
At Dias Artistries we really only stock shelves and mantels between 1″ and 4″ thick, but there are lots of places to find thicker mantels. Redwoodburl.com has a great selection.
Other things to think about are finish. I like and recommend Danish Oil finish for most DIY homeowners. Its east to apply, and even easier to maintain. At Dias Artistries, we prep even our raw material to a much higher standard than most other places that sell raw wood. We often sand our pieces to 60grit, run them through industrial planners, and do our best to make the DIY homeowners experience a little better. However, not all supplier do this, and often you will receive some pretty rough material, especially if you are buying on the cheep, as all that extra prep costs. This being said, if your piece is a rough, unworked piece, be prepared for a lot of sanding. You will need at the very least, a random orbital sander, 60 grit up to 220 grit sanding disks, a paint brush, Danish Oil, and likely a strong drill to finish and hang your shelf or mantel.
If you are looking to have your piece custom finished, then there are a lot more options. We mostly spray lacquer and have many sheens available. Satin, semi gloss, gloss,