Saturday, October 11, 2014

How to Make A Tree Round Table

I'm thinking that this is going to go down as a good year.

This could be the year that all my 2 year old projects get done.

Already this fall I've finished this, and this, and this, and this.

That's a lot of this-es.

Perhaps though, my favorite this, is this

or actually, these

The thinner slice of wood came from a neighborhood tree that blew over in a storm. When the tree guys came to saw it into pieces, I bribed them into cutting me this slice as well as the smaller slices I used in my garden way back when.

The larger piece was one of the last pieces left from a tree that was chopped down in a nearby park.  I think it was still there because it was incredibly heavy.

I dragged Mr. Quirky out to go pick it up. We opened up the back of the SUV and squatted down to pick it up . . . and nothing happened. Nothing, except that strain you feel in your chest when you try to lift your car.

We had to go pick up another friend to come and help us.

We brought it home and rolled it into the garage to dry out.

After about a year of drying I got out my chisel and hammer and started knocking off the bark.

Some people use a grinder for this.

I removed everything that was bark colored - which was really about an inch all the way around.

It took a while to do this with a chisel but it wasn't too long. I did it all in one sitting of maybe a couple of hours.

Then let them sit for - oh, maybe 6 months or so.

That was a mistake.

During that 6 months or so they both cracked.

I will say here that I don't have the scientific answer to why the wood cracked. I do wonder if there is a connection between removing the bark and splitting. But I do not know.

Dang it!

And then . . .

I sanded.

and sanded.

and sanded.

and sanded.

Believe it or not this picture was taken after a considerable amount of sanding.  See all those chainsaw marks? I wondered if I would EVER get rid of them

I sanded with a belt sander and with an orbital sander.

I sanded with 60 grit.

Lots of it.

I sanded for hours.

I sanded for days.

I sanded until I could no longer sand.

I sanded on the top.

I sanded on the sides.

I did NOT sand the bottoms.

Or at least not too much.

Then I sanded with 220 grit.

That went a little faster.

Thank goodness!

Then I went to Lowes and bought these casters.

I wanted rubber casters so they wouldn't scratch the floor if there wasn't a rug underneath. But man, they looked completely unlike I wanted them to look.

So I wrapped the outside of the wheel (the part that actually rolls on the floor) with painters tape and sprayed them all with Rustoleum's Oil Rubbed Bronze Enamel.

They look quite a bit better, don't you think?

I screwed them on the un-sanded side of the table and a table was born! If you look closely you can see that I had to shim one of the wheels to help balance the table.

Then I went to the basement and found the hairpin legs that I bought from an estate sale just to put on the thinner table top.

The thinner table is covered with 3 layers of hemp oil and then about 8 coats of Homer Formby's Tongue Oil Finish.

The thicker table has been treated with about 3/4 of a bottle of hemp oil.

It's weird how the wood is so irregular in color - especially on the sides.

I'm getting used to the flaws.

They are wonderful.

They are interesting.

They are heavy.

They are perfect!

I especially love the cracks.

If you came here to find out how to make a wood stump table stay tuned for a short version of the instructions.

If not just skip down to the comments and tell me how wonderful my tables are. I need to hear that - after all that sanding.

To make a tree stump/slice table:

Tools needed:

Orbital sander
Belt sander (not imperative, but they do work faster)
Lots of 60-80 grit sandpaper
220 grit sandpaper
Legs, casters, or whatever you want your table top to sit on
A product to finish and protect the wood - you pick your favorite, I prefer the finish I got with just the hemp oil.

What to do:

Let the wood dry out for a few weeks. You may actually get a puddle underneath the wood.
Remove the bark with a chisel and hammer
Attach legs
Finish and protect the wood with the product you chose.

That's it. It's that simple.

Sharing here:
Miss Mustard Seed
Funky Junk
The Dedicated House
Between Naps on the Porch


Danni@SiloHillFarm said...

Really pretty Karen! Your hard work sure paid off! Love that you put wheels on the one and especially love that you spay painted the wheels.

Laura @ duke manor farm said...

karen, they are perfect. i love the imperfections in them.

Art and Sand said...

You are way more determined than me.

I have a stump in my yard that someone dropped off for me and I am still trying to figure out how to get it to the back yard.

Your tables look great!

Art and Sand said...

You are way more determined than me.

I have a stump in my yard that someone dropped off for me and I am still trying to figure out how to get it to the back yard.

Your tables look great!

Sandra @ Sandra's Ark said...

Love these tables. My husband would definitely approve once he would see the castors and they look great after being painted too. Dropping in from the 31dayers group

NanaDiana said...

Karen- Those turned out great. My father-in-law had one made out of a slice of Rosewood and it was gorgeous. He paid a fortune for it...and it burned when his house burned down.

Yours are gorgeous- you did a wonderful job with them. Great idea with the rollers-they look much better bronze. xo Diana

Unknown said...

I love these!!

Funky Junk Interiors said...

My goodness... these are so amazing! I've featured them on my Facebook page tonight. :) Thanks for linking them up at Party Junk!

Ronna said...

Wonderful job with the sanding! What kind of trees are the slabs from? I would assume that some types of wood would be better for this project than others and also determine how much cracking happens.

sarah krouse said...

So impressive!!! I love, love, love them! Really, really love!!!!

Donna Wilkes said...

I do buy those casters from Lowe's, but time I get home I paint them rusty colors so when I need them they are ready. I LOVE these tree slices. The cracks give them character and the coloration is beautiful. the tree tables belong in a design magazine.

sports club la dc said...

superb work yaaro......
best personal trainer in houston

Unknown said...

love the tables, what a ton of work you did~ i would love to feature them if that would be ok please let me know,

Kathryn Ferguson Griffin said...

Karen, that is truly amazing! Thank you for sharing! You are the Star Feature tonight at the Before & After Wednesday party at The Dedicated House. Here is the link to this week's party. Hope to see you again at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse


The coffee tables are awesome, wow, you are so talented! I love them! Enjoy your weekend.
Came from before and after Wed.

Linda @ it all started with paint said...

I'm speechless at how truly wonderful those tables are!!! Wowza! That is some crazy complicated and time consuming project!

:) Linda

P.S. My heart did a little leap when I spotted my old rug. Made me feel just a tad bit sad and nostalgic for my red wall and red couch ...

Unknown said...

Wow, they are gorgeous. Definitely worth all the hard work. I've been wanting to do a project like this for a while.
Mary @ Orphans With Makeup

Unknown said...

You are Brilliant and the tables are Gorgeous. I wish I had seen this last week when our neighbors were having a tree cut down . I would have bribed the tree company for a slice or two.

Unknown said...

Those tree stumps are gorgeous as coffee tables. I have a few trees that need to come down. Recently, I had been wondering what I would do with the stumps that would be left over. These coffee tables are a great way to use as much of the tree as I can.

Rose said...

wow! very nice post. I have read your post. I like this tree cutting & nice designing. Awesome post. Most informative. Thx! , Super! Thanks especially for the pic!

sarah krouse said...

Ha ha! I had to search to find your tree table tutorial and saw by the comments that I was already here! You've blown me away twice now. (There's something to be said about senility and how everything old is new again.)

Lynn K. Bryant said...

Impressive! Cannot wait for the next idea. Given a free hand, no telling what your young man will create! The law of diminishing returns is at work here – new technology equates to startling new creations – old technology equates to few new creations.
Kind regards

Andrew said...

Belt sander certainly are a much rougher application when compared with almost all sanders and are generally only important for particular projects strenuous quick eradication or hard exterior skill point gain. They've also been widely used to get rid of coloring or other is done via resources.

James Evan said...

I'd have to admit that I admire your effort and patience to make these round tables. I also love DIY stuffs, but I don't have much time for my hobby. Anyway, these tables look very natural.


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