Drumstick

I've been stumped!

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Howdy folks! About 8 months ago our neighbor had a tree cut down. I asked the guys doing it to give me part of the trunk. It's about 2 feet long and is not level on either end. I figured I would do something with it. It's been sitting in the back yard ever since. 

Fast forward to a week ago. While shopping for a new chair my wife sees a end table that's a part of a tree trunk finished and on legs. Something like this. 

Got a couple of questions on how to make it happen. It's been out in the rain and sun.

How long should I let it sit and dry before trying start working on it? Figured I'd peel the bark off right a way.

How should I get level cuts on the top and bottom? It's about 18 inches thick. I have a table saw and a radial saw. 

When I finish it what should I use? It's going to inside.

I'll put a pic of what I have up when I get a chance. 

Thanks in advance for the advice!

 

 

 

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Edited by Drumstick
Put in pic of the actual stump

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I would build a box that fits around it and use a router sled to flatten one end. Then cut the box a bit taller than the height you want, chainsaw the log a bit oversized and use the router sled to flatten the other end. Then it's sandpaper & elbow grease time !

As to moisture weigh the log on the most accurate scale you have and track the weight every week or so. When the weight stabilizes try working on it. Let it dry laying on its side so both ends are exposed. Roll it slightly after each weighing. Painting or waxing the endgrain will slow the drying time but may reduce splitting & cracking.

Any poly or other tabletop finish should do fine.

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I just did 3 of these for my brother's apartment. He lives on the jersery side of NYC, and apparently these are cool. Anyways, i made a sled and cut them on my bandsaw. I think his were 15" in diameter. Off the top of my head, i think your options are chainsaw with a TON of sanding or some type of router planing jig with a good amount of sanding. 

 

I would bring it into a basement or somewhere similar to dry a bit. Green wood dulls carbide quickly, i think. Also, you want to keep an eye on it during this drying phase for bugs. I cant guarantee it has bug larvae hidden inside, but theres a pretty good chance it does. You can skip this part of the process if you enjoy practical jokes. 

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I wonder if sealing it up in a plastic bag and giving it a week or so in the sun would kill any larvae ? Or do the temperatures need to be higher ? Seems I remember some treatment ( bora something) can also be used.

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I had some Norfolk Island Pine logs that resulted from having to take down the tree to build our home. I didn't get to the logs right away to prepare them for turning. When i did, i discovered Power Post Beetle had infested the logs. After preparing them and painting the surface with Anchorseal to slow down the drying process, but discovered overnight, what looked like hair growing out of the logs where the beetle was active. I had to cut the surface to remove the Anchorseal to expose the raw wood and treated it with Tim-Bor (a powder that needs to be dissolved in water). Boracare (a liquid) could also be used. They are both borax solutions that kill all wood boring organisms  including termites, Powder Post Beetle, etc. It worked! I recoated the blanks with Anchorseal and after 3-4 years there is still no evidence of live insects remaining. Hope this helps.

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17 hours ago, wdwerker said:

I wonder if sealing it up in a plastic bag and giving it a week or so in the sun would kill any larvae ? Or do the temperatures need to be higher ? Seems I remember some treatment ( bora something) can also be used.

There's a few but boracare or timbore should work. 

I think it only needs to hit 130 degrees sustained so a "mini solar kiln" of a bag may not be a bad idea. Unless you have access to an industrial oven. 

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This appears to be cedar and from your area, probably western cedar. After a google search, the biggest bug problem is from a bug that lives just below the bark, as evidenced by the white trail lines on your stump. It was said that the bug seldom penetrates thru the sapwood. 

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Sharp eyes Coop !  Those are definitely bug trails . If it's cedar that should make routing and sanding easier . 

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Sorry folks, I had a stock photo up originally. I put up the actual stump. I tried a few other shots but they wouldn't upload. 

Unfortunately it went and rained before I could move it on to my patio. Who knew it would rain in Southern California. I'll try and get a better pic up.

This is from a Brailzain pepper tree. It was about 50 years old.  

Thanks for the tips on bugs. I can just imagine my wife using it for the first time and creepy crawlies come pouring out of it.

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I would peel it, trim the ends roughly (chainsaw or handsaw ? ) treat for bugs and after the bug juice dries seal the ends. Weigh it every week or so & track the weight. When the weight quits changing you would be ready to flatten the ends & start sanding. If your not going to keep it in the house or shop at least keep it out of the rain. But eventually it's got to come inside to really have a chance to dry out. Barn, shed, garage, shop someplace shielded from the elements.

When you start to consider the time and effort envolved the prices people want for log stuff doesn't seem so high anymore.

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Saw mills have told me that air dried wood take a year to the inch plus one year. For rustic stuff I don't think it matters. My guess is over time the shape will change a little. I think if burned the smoke is toxic. So is the sap. There may be beautiful figured wood inside.

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Curly is right, it's gonna change shape. And probably crack at least somewhere.  You might be cautious of contact dermatitis & dust inhalation just to be on the safe side.

Cocobolo made my nosebleed & skin sensitive. Gloves and a mask worked fine. It was the 80's, no one told me.

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On ‎3‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 6:29 PM, wdwerker said:

Curly is right, it's gonna change shape. And probably crack at least somewhere.  You might be cautious of contact dermatitis & dust inhalation just to be on the safe side.

Cocobolo made my nosebleed & skin sensitive. Gloves and a mask worked fine. It was the 80's, no one told me.

Are you for certain it was the Cocobolo?

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On 3/12/2018 at 6:29 PM, wdwerker said:

Cocobolo made my nosebleed & skin sensitive. Gloves and a mask worked fine. It was the 80's, no one told me.

 I have been turning some chisel handles but haven't had any adverse affects...yet :o

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When I was a kid my sand box was in a patch of poison ivy. My brother and I got the rash all the time but mom had no idea what was causing it. Then we quit getting the reaction, constant exposure built up a immunity. Never had an issue with it camping etc until I was in my late 30's gardening. I guess lack of exposure and it wore off.  The opposite happens too, occasional exposure is no problem but constant exposure can trigger a reaction. 

Some people are sensitive to woods from the rosewood family , some aren't.  Using rosewood tool handles doesn't cause any problem but fresh cut or fine dust does. Best practice is be cautious with most exotic woods at first.

Poison ivy stems and roots can cause a reaction. Japanese urushi resin is used on lacquerware bowls & crafts. Urushi is in the poison ivy family.  Dried and hard it's safe but it's a problem when wet. Never burn poison ivy ! The smoke is quite dangerous.

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On 3/12/2018 at 9:46 AM, Drumstick said:

 Who knew it would rain in Southern California. 

Crazy right. There's a bunch of green things poking showing up around the corn hole boards in the back. 

Lucky thing is, with our summer, wood dries relatively fast.

Where in so cal are you?

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4 hours ago, Mick S said:

I made an end table out of a stump some years ago. The golf course behind me took a few oaks down and I asked for one of the stumps. I let it dry for about a year then took a router sled to it. When it started splitting I added a butterfly here and there. I gave it away when we moved out here a few years back.

 

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 6.02.17 PM.jpg

This is great, Mick.  This show's how to display the figure that Curly was talking about.  [Edit: and would help immensely with the drying time.]

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3 hours ago, Brendon_t said:

Crazy right. There's a bunch of green things poking showing up around the corn hole boards in the back. 

Lucky thing is, with our summer, wood dries relatively fast.

Where in so cal are you?

I'm in Lakewood. Just north of Long Beach.

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Had a some time tonight and peeled the thing. I wrapped it up in a couple of black garbage bags and stuck it in the garage. I would have left it out but it's supposed to rain. Gonna look at getting some bug killer this was weekend.

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