Monday, November 4, 2013

Rustic wood nightstand

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I've been a fan of a blog called Liz Marie...and she has a great way of blending traditional, modern and rustic styles all together, and it all looks great mixed up!  Taking some inspiration from her designs and another blog  I decided to give this project a try.  A co-worker was kind enough to bring me some slices of a tree that he was taking out.  They were beautiful rounds of wood back in June...and when I came home from a trip, both slices had split as they dried (I think a possible solution would be to use older wood...a log that had dried for a year before being sliced into rounds).

My tree slice is cherry, and may I say cherry is HARD wood.  I started by using my nail gun to make sure the bark was firmly attached (not that it seemed like it was coming off, but just to be safe).  I also used a stiff brush to clean up any stuff on the bark--I wasn't gentle with the bark at all--I figured if it was going to come off, now would be the time to address that.  Next, I started the sanding with 36 grit sandpaper and my palm sander.  You know its super hard wood when hardly any sawdust is created.  I eventually got to 80 grit, but I didn't think it was going to get any smoother (took about 1 1/2 hours of sanding).  I had hoped to sand out the lines from the chain saw, but seriously, cherry is hard.  I guess that bodes well as a table top though.  It is very smooth to the touch and has no slivers.

Using the IKEA marius stool ($5.99) as my base, I flipped the legs of the stool upside down and attached the wood to the legs.  I replaced the screws that came with the stool with 3" wood screws.  I did pre-drill the holes since the wood was SO hard there was no way I was going to be able to muscle in the screws without the pre-drilling.  Did I mention cherry is hard?  Maybe next time I'd use pine :) As my one mistake in the project, I was using a 5" bit and drilled all the way through the log in one of the holes, so I had to fill that in.  Darn it.

I coated the top of the log with Minwax paste wax and buffed it the next day.  I decided that the split just adds rustic character (which I could also cover with a lamp).  This table is super stable and could be used as a stool if you wanted, but its pretty heavy. 

Really, it wasn't a difficult project, just lots of sanding.  I like it-how about you?