Tree Stump Nesting Tables
The moment I saw this photo by The Art of Doing Stuff, I knew I had to have my own DIY style stump table. I immediately looked up the nearest lumber yard, drove there + had a bulldozer haul a massive stump to my car where it took four people to load it into my backseat. After handing the attendant a $10 bill, I drove off with a big smile on my face, thrilled that I was about to embark on such a cool DIY project.
I was barely able to roll the stump out of the back seat of my car (+ I dented the door in doing so). The dogs were ecstatic that I had brought a giant stick home for them, although, I think they were disappointed when they figured out that they could not fit their mouths around it.
After a solid six months of letting the wood dry out, I finally got around to pulling off the bark. I did just what The Art of Doing Stuff had recommended - I used a hammer + a chisel. During this process I discovered quite a few bugs still living in the stump, so I slopped some wood stain on it to kill the critters + let it sit for another six months. The amount of time this project sat unfinished in my garage was never intentional - life just got really busy!
Once the bugs were gone, it was time to get to going on this thing! I was concerned that the stump was entirely too heavy to leave it as it was, so I had to revise my plan (insert chainsaw into tool lineup). The Mr. cut the wood into four slabs of varying widths for me, two of which I used to complete this project.
That’s when the real work began - sanding the wood. If you’re doing this project yourself, sand until you think your hands are going to fall off. When they do, put them back on + keep sanding. I’m so thankful that I had help because it probably took at least 10 hours of sanding get the finish I desired. Don’t even get me started on how difficult it was to make each slab level. Two different sanders + a multitude of paper grits were used to get the job done.
I had originally planned to buy some steel hairpin legs to complete my table set, but I opted not to in order to keep this project as cost effective as possible. Luckily, my dad is a skilled welder with access to steel scraps. I asked him to keep an eye out for materials that I could use as table bases + sure enough, he had options for me to choose from. After I came up with a design plan, we got to work! The guys polished the steel while I supervised (from inside the house, sitting in the air conditioning, occasionally coming out into the 105 degree heat to snap a few photos + ensure quality control).
Next I added sealant to the wood. Once several coats were on, I decided that I didn’t like the look of the polished steel legs with the natural wood after all (sorry that all that hard work went to waste guys!), so I bought spray paint in a deep oil rubbed bronze finish to coat the table bases with. If you’re doing this project yourself, you can leave the legs in a polished state as long as you use a rust resistant product on the metal.
A light sanding, one more round of poly + my wood stump tables are finally finished!
This DIY furniture project was super cheap to make since I only spent $30 total on supplies. Yeah, they’re not perfect. But to purchase something similar in a retail store would run you a couple hundred dollars. Besides, to know that they were handmade by me plus a couple of people that I love dearly is priceless. Take a look, aren’t they absolutely gorgeous?! And Duke assists in modeling them pretty nicely too!