I finished painting the corbels a couple of days back, but saved the sanding for Erin.
She cut apart the individual halves of the corbels on the band saw staying to the outside of my CNC cuts where possible.
Then we moved over to the spindle sander to sand the cuts down flush.
They turned out pretty good except for one problem. I had carved both of the corbels in the same orientation. That means if we had glued the carved side to the blank side, we would have wound up with two left corbels… I am going to pick up another block of wood tomorrow and carve out a reverse one. I may even carve out the picture I made of a hop plant instead, we lost a bit of detail on the wheat stalks. In the picture below, you see the two sides as they would be, if joined to make a 4″ wide corbel. I made a sample rosette to lay on the end so Erin would have a visual. I think we are going to leave the Rosette square, then recess it into the face of the corbel.
Before applying finish or continuing to build the rest of the project, I want to do a test fit of the cabinet into the fireplace. I had Erin drill, counter-sink, and screw the sides and top onto the cabinet carcass, then I hauled it to her house.
I measured out the opening before starting this project, but I started worrying that the inside of the fireplace may be out of square, possibly tapering in at the back. Luckily, it did not. The cabinet was a perfect fit.
I intend to polyurethane the inside of the cabinet as well as the face, but I am planning on using some exterior porch paint on the back of the cabinet, to prevent any moisture from penetrating from the chimney side. To further protect from moisture and temperature, We emptied a couple of cans of Great Stuff spray foam into a contractor bag.
I tied off the bag and placed it up the chimney, on top of a stand, made from scrap. My hope is that the foam will expand 3 to 4 times, inside the bag. This will hopefully fill the entire opening, expanding to the edges, then hardening, creating a plug of insulation. It may not work, but it is worth a try.
Erin is going to be gone for a couple of weeks travelling, so I won’t know if it worked, till she gets back. I will take the time to wrap up a couple of other projects that I have been ignoring…