Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Potholes and Pantyhose Guest Post - Mod Tree Table

Ok, fasten your seat belts. Today, I have a guest host by the name of Rebekah Greiman, from Potholes and Pantyhose. Not too many people out there are bigger tool fans than me, but Rebekah might be close. This is a woman that has no fear of running a chain saw, or swinging a sledge hammer. Gotta love it! I was ecstatic when I read her blog. It is quirky, fun, and will make you laugh. She also happens to be pretty good at what she does. So, I knew she would make a great guest host. Enough from me. Here she is.....

I just love ‘Tools Are for Women Too’ and am so thrilled to be a guest blogger today! I’m Rebekah from and I blog about my life on the road with my musician hubby, my remodeling projects, my photography, and making arts and crap from cast-offs. And I try to maintain a somewhat normal life. However, normalcy keeps escaping me.

Mod Tree Table

Today we are going to make a very mod table out of a cross section of a tree. This table will be truly unique and is very simple to make.

While solving the world’s economic problems one day, I heard my neighbor outside revving up a chain saw. I poked my head outside to see him eagerly chopping down his very dead pine tree. Not wanting to see all of that beautiful wood go to waste and with the neighbor’s invitation, I hopped the fence and chose my victim carefully.

What you will need:
A cross section of a tree, metal legs, dowel rods, recycled legs from another table, or table legs from Lowe’s ($4-8 a piece), a belt sander with 40 & 80 Grit, a sandpaper drill and a drill bit slightly smaller than your lag screws. Lag screws should be appropriate to how thick the cross section is of your wood is (I used 1/4” x 2”). Small ‘set’ screws. Socket set (not pictured), level, Possibly scrap pieces of plywood & a jig saw if your wood isn’t level. Polyurethane-I chose Minwax Fast Drying. Brush to apply polyurethane (I buy disposable ‘foamy’ brushes)Rubber Gloves, Steel Wool.

Start sanding your cross section with a 40 grit sand paper on your belt sander. After you have taken off the bigger problem areas of the cross section, use your 80 grit sandpaper to smooth that sucker out even more.

Step 2. Next, test the level of your table by screwing in small screws (NOT your lag screws), to the legs. Flip the table over and set your level on top. If it isn’t level, begin to shim up the lowest leg with scrap plywood. When you are satisfied with it being level, measure how much plywood it took to shim it up. This is the amount you will need to cut out and attach to the underside of the table.Or, you can choose to make it level by sanding until your shoulder falls off.

Flip the table back over and before removing the small ‘set’ screws, mark where your table legs rest with a pencil. Remove the legs.

Using a jig saw, cut sections of plywood that make up the difference in your table being level.

Using a drill bit one size smaller, drill pilot holes for your lag screws or the screws attached to your pre-made legs. This will help your wood not to split when you muscle in your lag screws or your legs.

Use a socket set to insert your lag screws, if you have legs like mine (tee hee). If you have pre-made legs with the screw already sticking out of the end, just screw them into where you drilled your pilot holes and into your cross section.

Once your legs are attached, wipe your cross section down with a micro fiber cloth-get all the nooks and crannies.

Apply a coat of polyurethane while wearing gloves, or you’ll be sorry. Let the poly dry according to your manufacturer’s recommended time.

Once the cross section is dry, lightly buff the surface with a steel wool pad. Use your microfiber cloth again to remove all of the dust.

Add a second coat of poly to ensure you every little tiny bit has been covered.

What a wonderful table you have made! Grab a cup of coffee, a good book, or a great blog and snuggle up next to it this afternoon.

I would love to know how your log table has turned out. Come visit me at and tell me, or see some of my other crafts.

Rebekah Greiman

Rebekah, besides being a terrific craftswoman, is also as nice a person as you will ever run into. Please take the time to go visit her. Rory


concretenprimroses said...

Looks great!
I have some long board like pieces of fir with bark I'm trying to figure out what to do with.

Veryirie said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this table! I found an old piece of burlwood years ago at a garage sale for $3 and I paired it with some authentic hairpin legs, but my natural table top was not level. Thanks to your guest post here, I've learned a new skill. Thanks! Pam

Rebekah Greiman said...

Thanks Rory for featuring me today! I am so excited about putting your post together too. I am so glad that I found you out here in blogosphere!

Ocean Peg said...

Now I know what to do with trees when they go down during a terrific windstorm as we had about a month ago. Next time, when they cut up the trees, will have them leave a few chunks behind.

Ocean Peg said...

Now I know what to do with trees when they go down during a terrific windstorm as we had about a month ago. Next time, when they cut up the trees, will have them leave a few chunks behind.