This instructable is basically a home-made firewood holder for a hearth that is made from the raw firewood itself. I made this as a present to my mom for Christmas, and it turned out great. We had a huge red oak that had fallen in our yard to provide the wood. This instuctable is easily modifiable to various hearth sizes and shapes.
OK, I will start out by listing the tools needed and then move on to the lengths of wood you will need.
The tools are as follows:
1: TABLE SAW------A table saw will turn the wood logs into wood boards. A planer would work as well, but might take awhile. God help you if you use a handsaw, but it will eventually get the job done. (A band saw might work too)
2: HAND DRILL------- The drill is to screw it all together, and make holes for those screws.
3:SANDING TOOLS------A machine sander would be great, but I used a regular strip as well, and it seemed fine.
4:SCROLL SAW, OR BAND SAW, OR CARPENTRY SAW---------these are to cut the curves of the arms. (you only need one).
5:WOOD GLUE------I don't think the brand matters much, because the screws will also hold it in place.
6:STAIN-----I used regular deck stain, but it would look nice with high quality craftsman stain and polyurethane. The grain will look great either way because it's oak, and keep in mind it will hold firewood, so the gloss might rub off.
Now I will list the lengths of the wood pieces. You can grab either the logs with bark, or pre-split logs, they will both work.
A -four 18 inch long boards of 1 and 1/4 inches by 2 inches------these are for the arms
B -two 11 inch long boards of 1 and 1/4 inches by 2 inches------this is for the curved piece at the top of the arms
C -two 15 inch long boards of 1 and 1/4 inches by 2 inches------this goes on top of the board above, it is on the arms.(its the highest board off the ground)
D -two 15 inch long boards of 1 inch by 1 and 1/4 inches-------these rest on the base next to the arms, and hold the arms together
E -two 17 inch long boards of 1 inch by 3 inches-----these are the base boards, the arms rest on them
F -one 18ish inch long board, we got out of the scraps for the back piece. it can be any width or height as long as it looks nice. (its about 1/4 inch by 3/4 inches on ours)-----its on the back for support
This step is pretty self- explanatory. You have the wood measurements; go make some boards. Also remember to leave about 1/8 of an inch on the board for sanding, unless you want the final rack to be slightly smaller, and not as good of a fit. The grain should look great if you are using raw wood, not store-bought. If the log is too big to cut on the table-saw with one pass, just flip it over and go from the other side for the cuts to meet.
This step is long and painful: sanding.
After all of the boards are cut you have to sand each board on all sides till they are smooth. This step is important (although long) because if the boards aren't sanded correctly they won't only feel and look rough, but the stain won't work very well. Even though this rack is for firewood, we want it to look and feel like furniture.
We mostly used a power sander and we only hand sanded on the curved boards, but you could use hand sanding the whole time.
Once all of the boards feel very smooth and any uneven parts are flat, you are done.
This step is the cutting of the two 11-inch boards at the top of the arms (B).
We used a scroll saw for the curvature of these pieces, but a band saw would work fine.
We only cut the B boards before gluing, but you could also cut the two C boards at this stage. The reason we only cut the B boards was we didn't quite know how much we would end up taking off of the C boards in the end, but it would work out fine to cut both now.
The first step in making the arms is to glue the top pieces together. Apply glue by squeezing it out on the board, then rub it all over the surface with your hand (the pictures are in order of what to do). After they are glued you need to clamp them together. Then glue the two arms to the right and left of the curved board. Bungy cord it up, and let it dry overnight if possible. When it's dry, you must sand the corners of the touching boards to be flush. It should end up as one smooth curved board (look at last picture above). After that, add screws to reinforce the glue. It would be smart to pre-drill a hole before you screw anything in, but I got impatient by the end and it surprisingly didn't crack when I stopped pre-drilling.
Screw the base boards (boards D and E) together. Again, pre-drilling is smart if you have the time. Next screw the arms to the base boards (D and E). once that is completed then you can screw on the back board (board F). After that is screwed on, you can dance a little because it looks so good and is done except for stain.
This is the last step. As I said previously, I used outdoor deck stain because it is cheap, easy, and heavy duty. Higher grade stain with polyurethane would look good as well, but the gloss might rub off as the firewood scratched it. Brush it on sparingly; a little stain goes a long way, and you want the grain to stick out. Also, be consistent with your strokes (I.E. all up or all sideways), otherwise the texture will look rough. GET ALL SURFACES!
Now you have a awesome firewood holder, and it will hopefully serve you well throughout the years. As you can see, it holds quite a bit of firewood. This was our first instructable, and I hope you liked it!