Our Handcrafted Corbels

At Mountain Woodworkers we believe that our woodcraft should follow the classical, clean, and simplicity of the American Arts and Crafts style. Our corbels are crafted from a variety of hardwoods and traditional construction techniques.

The curves of the Mountain Woodworker corbels soften the look of any room with the straight edges. They may be painted or stained according to our clients' needs.

The Craftsman and Mission style woodwork, such as furniture, kitchen cabinets, and mill work have made an immense comeback into today's world of design.

Finding the Right Corbels

Corbels come in different sizes and a variety of different woods which makes it easy to fit a wide range of design needs and easy to fit a type of application desired. You can even choose the same design of corbel to carry a theme in a room, but use the right sizes to fit the different tasks in the room.

In a kitchen, for example, smaller corbels may be used in the design of cabinetry, while medium and large corbels may be used as support structures for counter tops as well as shelves.

This makes it easy to find the right wood corbels for different types of applications. As an example, the same wood corbels can be used in different parts of the kitchen: smaller corbels can be incorporated in design of the kitchen cabinets, medium corbels and large corbels can be used to support counter tops, kitchen hoods, ledges. Large wood corbels can be installed in the door openings or incorporated in trim-work throughout the house.

If you are choosing a corbel for a shelf, desktop, or mantel usually its depth would be 1 to 3 inches less than the overall width of the shelf, desk, or mantel .

Our custom wood corbels and brackets can be used to beautify a room and unite the room's decorative scheme.

Corbels Depth Requirements

When choosing corbels to support your kitchen counter tops the most important thing you should focus on is the corbel's depth. In order to provide the additional support required for granite and marble counter tops the corbels depth should be at least half of the counter top overhang depth. For example, if the overhand of your marble or granite top on your kitchen island is 12"deep then you should select a corbel that is at least 6"deep. This rule also applies for applications where a knee wall is present such as a kitchen pass-through or bar counter top.

To support a simple shelf or mantel shelf the depth of the wood corbels should be at least 70% of the overall depth. For example, for a 10"deep shelf the corbels should be at least 7"deep. In many cases it is more appropriate to select a wooden corbel depth that is 1 to 2 inches less than the overall shelf width. For example for a 10"deep shelf a corbels that is 8 or 9"deep would be recommended.

Wood Selection for Corbels

Which is the right wood for your corbels? It's not always an easy choice. But our Selection Guide can help you pick the best wood for your home improvement project, with a particular eye toward corbels. Whether you're a homeowner, designer or builder, we hope you find this guide to be a valuable resource.

Corbels are made from select hardwoods, which are durable but also pliable enough for woodworking. We use seven hardwood species: alder, beech, cherry, hard maple, mahogany, oak (red and white), poplar, walnut, and white hardwood.

You can accentuate the corbel's wood grain by putting just enough stain on to bring out the texture, or paint it to bring out the design. The look of the corbels also heavily relies on the existing style of the room in your home. In some spaces and with certain designs one finish may look better than another. What you don't have to worry about is corbels being finish-specific, but some may work a bit better than others in certain rooms and finish ideas.

Alder, a hardwood grown in the Pacific Northwest, is a common choice for corbels as well as cabinetry and furniture. This wood is prized for its consistency in color and ability to take stain well—two factors to keep in mind if you're considering alder wood corbels.

A beautiful wood that is growing in popularity, alder is relatively soft compared with other hardwoods and thus easy to work with. It features graining and rich tones that are similar to cherry, but at a much lower price tag.

Beech is a cream-colored hardwood that grows primarily in North America and in parts of Europe. Perhaps best known as the wood used in baseball bats, beech is also found in wood corbels and hardwood floors.

Three factors that make beech a popular choice for corbels: it takes stain well, is easy to work with, and has an excellent finish.

A perennial favorite among homeowners, cherry has been used by furniture-makers for literally thousands of years. This beautiful hardwood brings a classy touch to corbels, flooring, cabinetry, butcher block countertops, and other home furnishings.

Strong and relatively hard, cherry is known for its durability. But its beauty is the primary reason it's so often chosen for corbels. Initially light brown in tone, cherry gradually darkens over time to display warm, reddish-brown hues. If you're looking to add a special touch to your cherry corbels, this wood looks spectacular when finished with a clear polyurethane varnish.

Hard Maple
Whatever your family can dish out, hard maple can take it. This wood is used in flooring and even cutting boards, so you know it's more than tough enough for corbels. Its hardness and stiffness make hard maple more difficult to carve, but these features also enable crisper detail and more intricate carving motifs.

Hard maple generally has interesting graining that adds life to corbels. A relatively clear wood that ranges from light brown to creamy tan in color, it takes nicely to natural or light finishes. Honey brown stain tends to complement hard maple corbels particularly well.


Oak (Red and White)
Oak, the most abundant hardwood species in the United States, has been a favorite of craftsmen for hundreds of years. Very hard and durable, oak is a popular choice for corbels, cabinets, floors and many types of furniture. The species comes in two basic varieties: red and white.

Both red and white oak stain beautifully in most any color and sport distinctive grain patterns ranging from straight lines to wide arcs. Red oak, the more common of the varieties, has a pinkish tint and open grain pores. White oak has a slightly greenish hue and smaller pores.

Red oak is porous hardwood with a texture that ranges between medium and coarse. The red oak wood is strong, quite heavy, and wears well. When stained, the grain of oak is exaggerated beautifully.

Poplar trees can reach heights of 150 feet, making them the tallest of all U.S. hardwood species. Prized for its durability, the wood is used in corbels as well as kitchen cabinets, moldings and doors. You'll also find poplar in many musical instruments.

Poplar is pale yellow to white in color with a greenish tint in the sapwood and open grain pores. It stains well across a range of colors (including a honey tone with darker colors) and holds paint quite nicely too. It is a reasonably priced option when choosing a wood for your corbels.


White Hardwood
White hardwood, or basswood, is used for corbels, moldings, furniture and even Venetian blinds and shutters. In terms of appearance, this wood is fairly plain: very light cream in color with little to no grain.

What makes white hardwood stand out -- particularly for crafting corbels -- is that it's so easy to work with. The softness and straight grain of white hardwood make it the ideal carving wood. It also takes well to paint or a polyurethane finish.