How to make a tree stump coffee table

Written by marjorie gilbert
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George Nakashima changed the way we look at furniture with his beautiful pieces that incorporated huge slabs and roughly-hewn blocks of wood. It is possible to create your own unique furniture in a similar style to Nakashima. Start simply by making a tree stump coffee table.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Chain saw
  • Eye protection and ear plugs
  • Source of heat
  • Sander and sandpaper
  • Linseed oil
  • Brush
  • Spar urethane

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  1. 1

    Decide the height you would like your coffee table to be and cut your stump to that height with a chain saw. Make sure you wear eye protection and ear plugs. The heights for coffee tables vary, but they are usually 30 inches (2-1/2 feet) or less.

  2. 2

    Strip the bark from the stump. An axe works well for this task. This step is very important for if there are any insects living on the stump, they will most likely be found in the bark.

  3. 3

    Place the stump in a warm environment. If need be, place it by a heater or a wood stove. Allow the stump to dry for at least a month until you see cracks or checkering on the stump's top or bottom. Turn the stump regularly so that it dries evenly.

  4. 4

    Use a sander to remove any rough edges of the stump. This will prevent anyone getting splinters from your tree stump coffee table.

  5. 5

    Paint the surface of the stump thoroughly with linseed oil. The linseed oil acts as an insecticide which helps to preserve the stump. Allow the oil to dry before continuing; this may take a full day or longer.

  6. 6

    Finish the stump with four or five coats of urethane. This will give the stump a smooth finish that will help preserve it still further and make it easy to clean.

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