I have a large pine tree stump that I would like to finish and make into a coffee table, but I am unsure of how to do this. It is 3 feet high and 2 feet in diameter with the bark still around it. Any advice would be appreciated.
Karen from Boise, ID
My neighbor had to cut a tree down, and it has a big hole in it where coons lived. I sealed the inside with wood sealer, I think I used the deck sealer, and sealed the outside, bark and all and am using it as a planter.
I also have a big stump I am using as a table, all we did was seal it really well with a good sealer, we have had the same one for about 7 years now, and am getting ready to reseal it.
Go to the paint store or hardware and tell them what you need a sealer for and they can tell exactly what you need. No need to remove the bark, if it is sealed good. The seal will run down between the trunk and the tree itself.
I make these professionally. I remove the bark. Beetles and other bugs live in the bark. Pieces if not dry need to be dried. Airdried, for a few months, or helped along with a heater or woodstove. What you want is for small cracks or checks to appear all around the top and bottom, not 1 or 2 big cracks.
So if you do heat it, you would want to turn it regularly. Sand the cut edges smooth. Then treat it with a modified linseed oil. This is a natural insecticide and will help with the curing. Then I finish with 5 coats of spar urethane. Your piece still may develop a crack. Chock it up to character. This piece, I cut the sides to expose more of the beautiful grain.
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