In 2004 when we built the cabin at the ranch I really wanted a big mesquite mantel we had seen outside of San Antonio at a place that made them. But it was outside our budget and we were running out of money.
He was headed to the ranch alone that trip and in spite of the mantel being heavy he unloaded it himself. He sanded it and finished it and got it on the two cedar support posts he had bolted to the framing when we were building the cabin.
I don’t have a fireplace in my remodeled space and the cabin fireplace here already has a mantel custom cut to fit it. And it has its own story. So we put the mantel on the wall as a shelf.