Prepping a Tree Trunk to Make a Tree Table

What You'll Need
Utility knife
Safety glasses
Safety gloves
Wood Preserver

If you want to use a tree trunk to make a tree table for your home, then you need to prepare it carefully, in order to ensure that you can transform it successfully. It is not enough just to put a glass top on a stump, as the wood may rot and leave you with a nasty stain on your carpet or floor. In order to avoid problems like this, you need to prep the tree trunk carefully, before you turn it into a tree table. This can involve several hours of work, so make sure that you have set aside enough time to complete this project.

Step 1 - Remove Any Bark

Before you can begin converting the trunk into a tree table, you have to remove all of the bark around the outside. Put on your safety glasses to protect you from splinters. Use your chisel and hammer, to strike down any loose pieces of wood. Cut around the edge of the log, using a utility knife, making sure that all of the edges are removed, and that you end up with a smooth block of wood, which is completely free of any type of bark. Once all the bark is removed, inspect the wood carefully. Check for woodworm and termite damage, and also remove any large knots, or other unsightly formations of the wood, using your utility knife.

Step 2 - Cutting the Wood

In order to make the perfect tree table, you need to square the wood. This involves making sure that the top and bottom of your tree table are level with each other, and running parallel to the floor. This will ensure that the table surface is completely flat. Using the smaller side of the tree trunk, square off the end as closely as possible. Use your chain saw around the edges of the wood, to cut a flat surface. You should use a framing square, so that you can get as close to the shape of a square as possible. Once you have done this on the small end, mark the measurements on the larger side, and cut this to the same shape. You should now have a flat, square piece of wood from which to make your table.

Step 3 - Finishing the Wood

Once the wood is cut, and before you make the table, add wood preservative to the outside surface of your tree table. This will help to keep the wood from rotting, and allow you to give the wood a good color. A wood stain should be used first, to give the trunk a suitable color. Allow this to penetrate the wood for at least 24 hours, and then apply your varnish. Use a wood preservative varnish for the first coat, and spread it all over the surface of the wood. Leave to dry overnight, and check that it is dry before you add the second coat. This coat can be a colored varnish, or simply more of the wood preservative varnish. Again, cover the entire surface of the wood, and then leave to dry.