Friday, 13 July 2012

Tackling the Log Table

I am not talking about the mathematical thing here. I am talking about taking a part of an erstwhile tree and making into a table. I am talking about creating an objet d'art to serve as an article of use!

The idea started off modestly enough. I had a crab apple tree in the front yard which pretty much keeled over and died one fine morning, without much warning. Actually, there was enough warning, but we did not really know what to do about that warning! We hired someone to chop it up into fire wood for our wood burning stove. Something must have been lost in translation between me and the husband, because while I was expecting to find neatly stacked chopped up firewood in my garage, I found this:
Meh.. at least Saamiyaar was finding it interesting.
This pile was rather impressive and there were some tree trunk sized stumps at the bottom of this pile.

For several years, I toyed with the idea of renting a tree-shredder from the local box home improvement store and shredding it all into much needed mulch. Never happened. So finally, since I seem to be in the "finish all the project you put in the back burner since 2003" phase, I decided I will go back to my original idea of making tables out of these stumps.

I have been chipping away at the bark of some of the stumps in the garage every time I could spare a few minutes, but there was a wider pair of stumps that were right by the garage entrance, on which I had my heart set. These were placed so close to one another, that I had a sneaky suspicion that this may well be one large piece that the guys were unable to saw in two.

Today my suspicions were proved right! The log is about 3 and a half feet long. Perfect height for resting your drinks when you are standing around chatting.

That deceptive cut did not go deep enough and should not really matter to the structural stability for the purpose I have in mind.

So I set about peeling the dry bark off mostly with my hands, occasionally assisted by a pry-bar and then rolled it out of the garage. As I was doing this I noticed a large hole right down the middle of the log!

It is almost like this log was designed for the application I had in mind!
I gouged out more of the stuff from the centre of the log, because it was already close to saw dust

Turning it over, I noticed that the hole went right through the centre of the log!

I continued with the de-barking of the tree and the bark was mostly spread around as mulch for some of my back yard gardens

 One side of the log looked almost smooth

 The other side had this under the bark.

 While I was busy hacking at the log, I heard a commotion behind me and turned around to see Dufus, the original clown particle (click here to evidence of why he is an elemental clown particle), giving me his "Help! Please!" look for the umpteenth time in his life.
I swear his only mission in life is to find impossible situations to trap himself into and then preferably hurt himself physically.

 That's him, trying to extricate himself from some thorny weeds that he had tied himself up with.
This of course, only resulted in further particle entanglements until he was well and truly bound up and immobilized. On a piece of log!

The next fifteen minutes was spent in me trying to disengage him from his killer vine prison.
After all that drama and a little more elbow grease, the log is pretty much de-barked!

 There were some very interesting burnt looking pieces of bark on one side of the tree.

Then I started randomly bludgeoning the perimeter of the stump with my hammer to see if there is anything that will "give". And it did!

Several times over. The little speck of doubt at the back of my head kept getting louder. "What if it is because of termites?"

If it is termites, then that is the end of my project. Well, at any rate, the table will not make it to my home. It will have to stay out.

I just hope it isn't. The perimeter of the stump does have some very porous parts. At the very least, it is going to take me a lot of hammer work to sort this one out!

If you would like a tutorial on how to finish a stump table, here is a very good one at
If you are wondering whatever would cause such a hole right smack through the center of a tree, like I was, then here is a good read for you.
And if you are wondering if I will ever finish this table, stay tuned! :)

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