Introduction: Log and Concrete Fire Pit Benches
Steph was in need of seating around her fire pit that could withstand Florida weather. What better material to make benches than tree logs! There are lots of ways to make log benches. Here's our take on the idea.
Step 1: Watch the Video
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Step 2: Find a Source of Logs
After a hurricane in Tallahassee, there were lots of downed and damaged trees. We had no damage, but the across the street neighbor was not so lucky. Soon after the storm, a very large pile of neatly cut logs appeared on the curb. We wandered over and chose all that would fit into the back of a Honda Pilot. A "team lift" is extremely important when moving logs of this size!
Step 3: Allow Time for Logs to Dry and Debark
The logs need time to dry. These aged in the garage for about 10 months and were ready for processing after that. We chose to debark our logs. It can be done by hand with a chisel and mallet or with a rotary hammer fitted with a tile chisel. This is a very quick and efficient method.
Step 4: Sand, Sand, and Oh Yeah, Sand Some More!
After debarking, there's a lot of fibrous matter left on the log. We used a belt sander with 40 grit sandpaper. A belt sander is designed to get rid of a lot of material in a short amount of time. It was perfect for this application. Once the fibrous material and other debris were removed, we continued sanding with a random orbit sander starting with 150 grit sandpaper moving through to 220 to give the logs a smooth finish. A Dremel was used in the slash on one of the logs to sand it smooth.
Step 5: Clear Coat
We used Minwax spar urethane to clear coat the outside of the logs. We used two coats allowing the first to dry before adding the second.
Step 6: Arrange Benches Into Place
We purchased concrete blocks to set our logs onto as we did not want to set them directly onto the ground. The longer log got two blocks, the shorter just one. The shorter log did not nestle securely into the block so we drilled two holes on the underside of the log and added rebar to each hole. We then simply pushed the rebar into the spaces in the block into the ground. It provided just the right amount of support for the log.
Step 7: Sit Back and Admire Your Work!
There is still room for additional log benches so we will be on the lookout for suitable logs. Note: the table shown in the above picture is also from the original logs we sourced after the storm. You can see that tutorial here.
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