Mantle: it's finished! Yesterday I got the mantle, with its two corbels, mounted to the living room wall over where the fireplace will be. I'm very pleased with the result of my mounting plate design – the finished mantle is very strong, doesn't jiggle at all, and the reclaimed wood will all be exposed once the rock is in. The plywood mounting plates that are visible now will be completely covered by mortar and rock. Behold (and use your imagination for the rock)!