Monday, August 2, 2010

"Stump" is fun to say!

Warning: The content of this post is intended for mature adults who are interested in, or are actively pursuing the perfect tree stump side table. If you unable or unwilling to experience further stump content, shut down your web browser now. Brooklyn Limestone accepts no responsibility for unintended stump overload.

I had some free time this weekend and the weather somehow managed not to be sauna like so it was the perfect opportunity to finally get going on the tree stump* table now that I had a place for it! Let's start at the beginning.

About a year ago, I saw the idea at Kara's blog and loved it. I asked around for tree stumps. A very nice stranger offered me a pile o stumps and I made my poor husband donkey them home (bugs and all - it was nasty!)

photo taken july 2009

The stumps sat in the backyard drying out for the last 12 months. I had sort of forgotten about them (except for the times when Mr. L suggested throwing them away, then I vehemently refused suggesting I had big plans for them!) Poof - your suggestions that I should use a tree stump side table at the shore along with a pile of unused stumps in my backyard creates home decor harmony in the universe. (I really should have thought up this idea myself but sometimes I'm not so swift)

After a year it had dried out considerably which you can see from the cracks all around. It was by no means perfect but its what I had.

I picked the stump that look best and scrubbed it down with clorox and water. Sat it in the sun to let it dry out for a few hours. Once I deemed it dry enough it was time to get to work.


This is going to be the most boring tutorial ever as it's made mostly of one directive: SAND.


Sand, sand, sand, sand. Then sand some more. Then sand more. Then think you are done and have your husband come out and suggest it needs another hour of sanding. Raise and shake fist in the air at your own idiocy for thinking up this torture for yourself. Return to sanding.


Then when its not quite perfect, decide you've had enough of sanding and call it good enough. Then realize you haven't even started on the sides! More sanding!


Thankfully the sides are a lot easier. It only needs a few minutes to rub all the yuck off.


Now I had all kinds of plans to paint the tops ala Martha Stewart's version. But as I stared at it I actually liked the cracked texture on the top so I decided to leave it. I had also planned on sealing it with this spray poly but the unfinished nature screams driftwood to me. Perfect for the beach, right?. So again, I decided to leave it is as is. (Although I'm still considering sealing it - what do you think??)


You could easily just stop there but I decided it needed to be on wheels for a few reasons. One, it was suggested that I not rest it directly on the floor in case of sap leakage. Two, it was a pretty squat stump so it could use the height. And three, I don't want it scratching up my floor. So on went some cheap casters I found at Home Depot. (Ideally some small pretty brass ones would look better.)


Screw those bad boys willy nilly on the underside of the finished stump.


A better person than I would have used a level and shims to get it perfectly flat. I could not find the level nor did I have any shims so this is what I did. I figured I could always unscrew and futz with it later.

Shockingly, I turned it right side up and it worked perfectly fine. No wobble.


Thus concludes my Guiness World Book of Records entry for blog with the most photos and mentions of the word 'stump'. I think I nailed it. Where is my prize?

*After last week's tree stump free for all, you might think I had covered every kind. But evidently I totally missed one my very favorite blogs, Three Men and a Lady, interpretation. I think this one might be my personal fav so it was worth mentioning. Thanks whatthevita for reminding me of it.

**It should also be noted that the word 'stump' is fun to say. Especially when its said 1,000 times while covered in sawdust.