How to Make a Round Timber Side Table from Logs

How to Make a Round Timber Side Table from Logs

Crafting a Cozy Cabin Vibe at Home

Have you ever spotted those rustic, natural-looking tree stump side tables in your favorite home decor stores and thought “Hey, I bet I could make that”? Well, my friends, let me tell you – you absolutely can! I’m about to walk you through the step-by-step process of how I created my very own round timber side table from a log, and let me just say, the results are nothing short of stunning.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “But Justine, won’t that be super complicated and time-consuming?” Nope, not at all! I’ll admit, when I first laid eyes on the raw, unfinished tree stump in its original form, it was a bit daunting. But I promise, with a little elbow grease and some patience, you can transform that humble log into a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind piece of furniture that will elevate the coziness factor in any space.

Sourcing the Perfect Stump

As with any good DIY project, the key to success starts with finding the right materials. When it came to my natural tree stump side table, I was lucky enough to have a friend with a well-stocked acreage who was more than happy to let me forage for the perfect candidate.

After scouring the property, I stumbled upon a beautifully weathered piece of wood that had been freshly cut down. The type of wood doesn’t really matter – I’ve seen these side tables made from all sorts of trees, including oak, maple, and even poplar. What’s most important is that you love the overall shape and “bones” of the stump.

Drying Out the Stump

Now, before you can start transforming that log into a show-stopping side table, you’ve gotta give it some time to dry out. This is a crucial step, as it ensures the bark will come off easily and prevents any cracking or splitting down the road. My stump had about 6 months to fully dry out, but you’ll want to plan for a minimum of 1 month in an indoor environment.

During the drying process, you may notice some natural cracks starting to appear – don’t worry, that’s totally normal! In fact, I absolutely love the unique, rustic character the splits add to the finished piece. It’s all part of the charm, my friends.

Removing the Bark

Alright, now that your stump is good and dry, it’s time to start the hands-on work. The first step? Removing that pesky bark. Don’t worry, this part isn’t as daunting as it may seem.

I used a few different chisels and found that the bark came off quite easily, especially on the drier areas of the stump. For any particularly stubborn spots, I carefully chipped away at it with a hammer, always working with the grain in downward motions. Once I had the bark mostly removed, I gave the entire surface a quick once-over with a 60-grit sanding sponge to clean things up.

If you’re dealing with any protruding branches or uneven surfaces on the top of your stump, you can use a saw to trim them down flush with the rest of the wood. I opted for a Sawzall for this step, but a trusty hand saw would do the trick as well.

Sanding and Smoothing

Now that the bark is off and we’ve tackled any major unevenness, it’s time to start sanding and smoothing our raw timber. I began with an 80-grit sanding sponge, using it to bevel the sharp edges on the top and bottom of the stump. I also ran the 80-grit over the sides, making sure to get into all those nooks and crannies to create a nice, uniform surface.

Next, I moved up to a 120-grit sponge to really refine the wood and remove any remaining imperfections. Finally, I finished things off with a 220-grit sponge, which left the stump feeling silky smooth to the touch. You’ll notice a significant amount of dust being kicked up during this process, so be sure to thoroughly vacuum everything once you’re done.

At this point, your timber building company-worthy side table is really starting to take shape! The natural textures and colors of the wood are beginning to shine through, and you can just imagine how cozy and cabin-inspired it’s going to look in your space.

Sealing and Finishing

Alright, the hard work is done – now it’s time to seal and protect our masterpiece. For this, I opted for a satin-finish Varathane, applying three coats to the top and sides of the stump. Be sure to follow the directions on the can, letting each coat dry completely before moving on to the next.

After the final coat had dried, I noticed the top was feeling a bit rough – that’s just the natural texture of the wood being accentuated by the sealant. To fix this, I gave the top one more light sanding with the 120-grit and 220-grit sponges, then went in with a fourth and final coat of Varathane.

And voila, my friends – our round timber side table is complete! I let the whole thing dry for about a week before putting it into use, just to be on the safe side. The end result is a stunning, one-of-a-kind piece that’s guaranteed to elevate the rustic, cozy vibes in any space.

Embracing the Imperfections

You know, as I was working on this project, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the old adage “embrace the imperfections.” Because let’s be honest, a piece made from a raw, natural material like this isn’t going to be perfectly symmetrical or flawless. And you know what? That’s exactly what makes it so special.

The unique splits, knots, and variations in the wood grain are what give this side table its character. It’s not mass-produced, cookie-cutter perfection – it’s a true labor of love, crafted with your own two hands. And really, isn’t that what makes homemade decor so darn charming?

So, as you’re working on your own round timber side table, I encourage you to let go of any preconceived notions of perfection. Celebrate the quirks, the imperfections, the little details that make your piece one-of-a-kind. Because at the end of the day, that’s what’s going to make it so special.

Enjoying the Fruits of Your Labor

And speaking of special, can we just take a moment to appreciate the fact that you’re about to have a stunning, custom-made side table that would cost you a pretty penny in the stores? I mean, the similar version I spotted at West Elm was retailing for a cool $249. But thanks to a little elbow grease and a whole lot of creativity, you’re about to have the same look for a mere fraction of the cost.

In fact, the total materials I used for my natural tree stump side table came out to just under $100. That’s a savings of nearly $150 – not bad for a weekend project, if I do say so myself. And the best part? You get to enjoy the immense satisfaction of knowing you made this beautiful piece with your own two hands.

So, my friends, are you ready to channel your inner cabin-dweller and get to work on your very own round timber side table? Trust me, the end result is going to be absolutely worth it. Just remember to embrace those imperfections, have a few (responsibly-consumed) drinks while you work, and most importantly, have fun with the process. After all, that’s what DIY is all about.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some plans for a giant natural wood coffee table that I need to get started on. But don’t worry, I’ll be sure to document the whole process and share it with you soon. In the meantime, happy crafting!


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