Introduction: Firewood Wall Art
Hi all this project is about making a decoration piece with material you would normally get rid of or would use in different situations!
It's a fairly easy project and you could get a lot of satisfaction out of it. It's a project you don't need to be very precise to make it look nice.
Plans and dimensions are available from my website.
Step 1: Design
The idea behind the design was to use waste material for decoration. You could see firewood 'not' as a waste material, but it's not practical to use it for furniture. It really depends on how you look at it and how you want to use it, even if it's going through it's first cylce of use or second. If you are creative enough; you could determine for yourself if there is actually any waste material. ;) But that's a diffrent discussion.
So in this project slices of wood branches and tree trunks are used. But you could use off cut's of dimensional lumber. Or other stock materials.
Step 2: Collect Material
The project was started off by my father, he needed to clear a few trees in his garden. Don't worry new same kind of trees are already growing in these spots so fauna will be preserved. These trees were Birch, with a white bark. Soft material and with a nice white color. The trees were 7 to 8 meters high (about 20 to 25 feet). They were not really long enough to make nice wood for furniture out of it and my dad was planning to use it as firewood. I said I'll you him out if I could use a portion of the wood for this project.
Step 3: Saw Through the Stock
To crosscut this wood I used a crude toothed branch pruning saw. This is probably the quickest handsaw for this job. You could use a chain saw, but then you need to have one, my father has one but he could't miss it while I was doing this project.
The rough finish on the wood was not an issue in the process.
Step 4: Layout and Trimming
When I had enough pieces to cover the area I was planning to create. The fun part could start. I could layout the bits and pieces and continued until I was happy with the proportions. This is different for everybody so nobody can mess this up.
The structure piece or base plate was a piece of OSB in my situation, a thinner plywood than 18 mm (3/8") is sufficient.
Here you can see it does not matter if the pieces are exactly parallel sawed and perpendicular to the branch or at the same lenth. In my opinion the differences in the stock add value and makes the piece look interesting.
When the material was in it's place, I stroke a line over some of the stock. On this line that material was cut, later on when the piece is finished this will give the impression the decoration piece does not end at the trim but continues.
Step 5: Assembly
Primarily for the assembly I used white wood glue and hotglue. You could use more wood glue as in the image. It can't hurt there. The hotglue made it possible to continue after glue up. It's not necessary. When the stock was attached I drove in some pins from the back. Screws could be used as well. If the glue has set and the stock is firmly attached 'without' the pins or screws that will be sufficient as well. The pieces are only so small so it's not much weight to be held up.
The trim around stock pieces was oak in my project, but any kind of nice looking wood or material would work. In my situation it even was segmented out of shorter pieces. Even that can work out fine.
I'd let the trim 'hang over' the edge. This gives the impression the art piece is 'floating' in front of the wall.
Step 6: Finish
The only part which was actually finished was the oak trim (boiled linseed oil). You can finish the stock without any problem. I wanted the wood slices to stay natural.
Step 7: Hang
The system to hang this piece was with a french cleat. This was convenient because you can make it very strong and the art piece can slide a bit to left and right. This was perfect because the wall cleat can have a sideways tolerance of a few inches or centimeters.
In total the piece weights 10 kg (20 pounds) so one screw to hang it to wall wasn't going to cut it.
Overall I think this project can be executed with a small knowlegde and skill in woodworking (hold a saw and saw straight) and a limited amount of tools (saw and screw driver). French cleat systems or cabinet hang systems can be bought at most home centers now.