Rustic/Industrial Log Table

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Introduction: Rustic/Industrial Log Table

About: My name is Blake, I make things for a living. I love experimenting with new materials to create sculptures, furniture and everything in between.

From Forest to Table I take a Log, split it in two and make it into a coffee table. This Rustic / Industrial coffee table was not easy. I used a bandsaw and chainsaw to cut the log in half. I then used a router jig to plane down both sides. I used my Track saw to cut off a portion of the each log so I can then epoxy them together. Once cured, I welded up some steel legs and made a joint in the side of the logs for it to slide into. Once all that was finished I topped it off by adding 5 bow ties to prevent the logs from splitting over time. This was a really fun build and challenged all of my woodworking skills.

Supplies

1. 20V Chainsaw (highly recommend) - https://amzn.to/3hQpvD2

2. Wood Finish- https://amzn.to/2TmgWq6

3. Epoxy- Get 10% off by using code "Blake" on Checkout! https://masepoxies.com/product/handy-repair-kit

4. Biscuit Jointer- https://amzn.to/3hTupiG

5. Track Saw (corded version)- https://amzn.to/3zicNTz

6. Angle Grinder- https://amzn.to/3rpEBTq

7. Tig Welder- https://amzn.to/3xoL6rL

8. Router- https://amzn.to/3wXDRG2

9. Surfacer Bit- https://amzn.to/2UvDmWz

Step 1: Check Out the Full Video for All the Details!

Step 2: Find Nice Log and Cut to Length.

Search the forest for a nice log. When looking, make sure that it is wide enough, and try and find one that doesn't taper a lot because once cut in half, you want both sides to be fairly square. Also look for rot/bugs/wetness.

I used my 20V dewalt chainsaw to cut this downed tree in half.

Step 3: Cut Log in Half.

Draw a centerline for reference. I first tried to put this large log through my bandsaw but ended up breaking the blade. I then switched back to my chainsaw. If I were to do this again I would have started with the chainsaw. Make sure to keep it as straight down the centerline as possible.

Step 4: Flatten Both Tops and Cut Down One Side.

I used my router jig to flatten one side of each log. Once flat, I used my track saw (you can use circular saw with a guide) to cut one side off about 2" from the sides. This will allow me to get a good glue up when both logs are combined.

Step 5: Join the Logs

I first made sure the ends were perfectly flat by using my #6 hand plane.

Once flat, I used my biscuit jointer (you can use dowels/dominos ect.) to help strengthen the joints. I used a liberal amount of epoxy to glue both sides together. I then clamped them overnight.

Step 6: Flatten the Top... Again

Once the epoxy was cured, I used my router jig and flattened the tabletop once again. I then used a belt sander/ hand plane/ orbital sander to get it perfectly flat and smooth.

Step 7: Metal Legs

I wanted my legs to be slightly over 90 degrees so using an angle grinder and an angle finder I traced lines at around 50 degrees or so. I then made two cuts, making sure to not go all the way through the 4th side. I can then bend the metal for a clean joint that is around 100 degrees. Make sure to match both sets of legs before welding together.

I used my TIG welder to weld everything. I then cleaned off all the metal and welds with an angle grinder. Lastly I painted the metal black followed by a "hammered black" spray paint.

Step 8: Cut Groove in Log Ends for Metal Legs.

Using my track saw I cut grooves on the log ends. I made around 8 passes so that I then could clean everything out using a chisel/router. Once cleared out test fit with a scrap piece of metal.

Step 9: Bowties and Wood Finish

I placed 5 bowties along the tabletop. These bowties will prevent the logs from splitting apart overtime. To maker the bowties I used a simple jig on my bandsaw.

I traced the bowties onto the tabletop. Using a chisel I outlined each bowtie. I then used my router to bore out most of the material making sure not to get too close to the edges. I finished up using a chisel. I then glued in the bowties, planed and sanded flush.

Once the tabletop was nice and flat, I did a final sanding before applying my heavy duty wood finish. I decided to use Fabulon super satin because it is extremely durable and easy to use.

Step 10: Attach Metal Legs

I first centered my legs on the table. I then drilled 4 holes into the metal with my drill press. I then marked the location of the holes on the wood and used a slightly smaller drill bit to drill those holes. I used 4 6" lag bolts painted black to secure each leg to the table.

Step 11: Wooden Leg Ends

I wanted to add another element to this table so I milled up some walnut and added some leg ends to each metal leg. I first cut down to size on my table saw. Then using my miter gauge I cut multiple passes on each piece to then chisel out so It would fit into the metal leg. I used my router to round over the edges before applying epoxy to the ends and hammering them into the metal legs. I then traced a line on all legs so it would be flush with the floor and used a hand saw to cut them flush.

Step 12: Check Out the Full Video for the Reveal and Detailed Steps!

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    32 Comments

    0
    MikhailD3
    MikhailD3

    1 day ago

    Can you recommend arch welding classes and resources. I am trying to get a consistent good welding but have a bit trouble with it.

    0
    whca89
    whca89

    Reply 1 day ago

    What welder are you using?

    0
    MikhailD3
    MikhailD3

    Reply 18 hours ago

    Lincoln Electric

    2174FA61-E893-49BA-B9A8-038F3B7F3D1E.jpeg
    0
    whca89
    whca89

    Reply 14 hours ago

    I was using a Hobart 140, transformer based welder, and my welds absolutely sucked unless I was using gas shielding. Because I got tired of having to use a stick welder at my house in Costa Rica, I picked up the Titanium 125 Flux welder. It's really compact, light, and is inverter based. It welds like a dream for a flux core only welder. It throws very little slag, to the point I rarely need to use a chipping hammer now.

    titanium125.JPG
    1
    BMsculptures
    BMsculptures

    Reply 1 day ago

    Unfortunately I don't know of any. I ran into the same problem when I started a couple years. I wanted to take a class so bad to learn but there were none in my area. I just went on youtube and did hours upon hours of research and eventually got better and better after practicing. Maybe you will have a class nearby, if not, youtube is great!

    0
    DanielS1005
    DanielS1005

    2 days ago

    It looks nice, but I have to say whenever I see a project like this I remember the rings in the trunk are the years it took that tree to grow, and it was cut in minutes for a good-looking table. Please use more sustainable sources of wood...

    1
    whca89
    whca89

    Reply 1 day ago

    "Please use more sustainable sources of wood..." Please elaborate. Do you mean using a different type of wood?

    0
    DanielS1005
    DanielS1005

    Reply 1 day ago

    Thanks for asking instead of laughing in the middle of a heat wave or a flood.

    Sustainable wood comes from managed forests, where it's ensured that the trees taken down are replaced in a sustainable way. Even downed trees in an area are important for the flourishing of ecosystems, so it is important to keep in mind what we're using and where it comes from, and create awareness, because logging is a big problem and a great contributor to climate change.

    Here are a couple of articles where you can get a more in depth idea of what it means:
    https://bit.ly/3rrRb4m
    https://bit.ly/3rrFf2G

    0
    whca89
    whca89

    Reply 1 day ago

    I didn't laugh, because I know about sustainable forestry, irrigation, pests, bugs, etc. I asked, mainly to see if you were just one of those who throw out buzz words to LOOK cool. :) I own 15+ acres of land here in Texas, and it's adjacent to the Sam Houston National Forest. Pine is very sustainable. As for Blake's source, I can relate to that situation. If his case is anything like mine, you don't just go cutting down trees to make stuff off of a whim. I've had to cut down several pine trees that were 30ft or taller, due to drought, pine beetles, overcrowding, and deadly leaners. Some trees just fall on their own for various reasons. It's pretty scary being in the woods and hearing a tree falling, and not knowing where it's falling.....

    A few years ago, I was given permission by the forestry service to down four pine trees that pine beetles had infested. These were pretty old 3ft diameter, 50ft tall widow making trees. I couldn't sell the wood as a stipulation, as the forest service was extremely busy and undermanned during a drought at the time.

    As for sustainability, one big problem with Cali versus Texas, is they appear to be bad when it comes to forest management. Too many wildfires each year could be prevented if common sense was allowed to be used. Pine sap, the resin, and needles are very flammable. Prescribed burns happen here every year to thin out the combustible underbrush, including pine needles. When the logging companies take logs out, new saplings are inserted. And not in a haphazard way. There is order and spacing to allow for easier management later. Now, having said that, I also understand Cali has a lot more forest to cover than Texas, but they have more political issues as well.

    Without knowing Blake's full situation, I'd say his source seems to be sustainable though. Pine trees also propagate on their own pretty quickly.

    I understand your concern, and thanks for posting the links. They can help others who genuinely have no idea. I couldn't help but laugh at salemslot1968's response of using "Vegan wood" though. ;)

    1
    DanielS1005
    DanielS1005

    Reply 1 day ago

    Also I'm saying it as a general recommendation, it is not intended as judgement to the author. Now that you pointed it out, I realized it can be interpreted in both ways.

    1
    salemslot1968
    salemslot1968

    Reply 1 day ago

    Maybe use Vegan wood next time 😉

    1
    whca89
    whca89

    Reply 1 day ago

    LOL. Problem solved.

    2
    Sean Phillips
    Sean Phillips

    Reply 1 day ago

    It looks like pine softwood. That is about as sustainable as wood can be. It is farmed; as companies log they plant replacements.

    11
    jessyratfink
    jessyratfink

    Reply 2 days ago

    The author clearly mentions the tree was already down - there are photos.

    0
    JohnC430
    JohnC430

    1 day ago

    Very nice and rewarding. Even if the wood splits later it will stay together and ...
    (Sudden thought) Why seal the moisture with "Fabulon" instead of letting it dry out naturally while indoors? and maybe seal it some years down the road?
    One way or another it is a great project. Very well designed out and engineered.

    0
    mpschilp
    mpschilp

    1 day ago

    Regardless of how this turns out in a couple years, this is a really nice piece. Even if the wood acts unpredictably, this is a good instructable, and the hardware you crafted will stay the same and if you want/need can replicate. Two questions though, how many coatsof Fabulon did you use and did you also use the Fabulon on the bark side? Cheers dude, thanks for sharing.

    0
    BMsculptures
    BMsculptures

    Reply 1 day ago

    Thanks! I used 3 coats of fabulon sanding in between coats. I also used it on the bark. Ive tried quite a few wood finishes, and by far fabulon has been the most heavy duty-durable. I went with this so I could try and seal the bark on there as strongly as possible.

    0
    mpschilp
    mpschilp

    Reply 1 day ago

    Very nice, I am going to try it with a live edge piece I'm working on out of ash. Thanks for the response, keep up the good work!

    0
    whca89
    whca89

    1 day ago

    Whether it shrinks or warps later, It's pretty dang cool right now. Nice work!

    2
    inchman
    inchman

    Question 2 days ago

    First, this table is amazing and I really can apprecaite all the work that went into it. My question is about drying the logs. It seems that you worked with these when they are fairly fresh from being cut. I hope it doesn't split or warp. Did you do anything to cure this wood first? Did you have any problems with it since completion? Again, thanks for sharing this project. It looks amazing!