Hardwood Rug




Introduction: Hardwood Rug

About: My Grandpa got me into wood working when I was five years old. Ever since then I have been hooked. I love creating something out of nothing, making something old new or using trash to make something beautifu...

Instructables inspires me to make stuff. That is one of my very favorite parts of this site. I would have never thought to make wood sandals or a ring made out of a penny and wood. I click through the the different instructables and contest and by the end I am inspired to make something cool.
It happened not so long ago when I saw the rug contest. I dismissed it at first but then, on one of the nights that i was going over all of my different projects in my head, and I thought, I wonder if I could make a small rug out of wood.
I started brain storming and looked for some inspiration that night. The next day I dug out some wood and got to work.
This was a very tedious little rug but totally worth it in the end. There are 136 individual pieces of wood that makes up this rug. Each one of those pieces had two holes drilled through it and the edges sanded over. About half way through I was tempted to abandon the project due to the tedious steps involved but I stuck with it and I'm glad I did. Thanks so much for reading and I hope you enjoy my hardwood rug.

Step 1: What You Need

Miter saw



Table saw

Drill press

Bench sander

3 feet of 1x8 walnut

" " Cherry

" " Oak

30 feet of twine or other natural fiber rope

Excess time

These are all of the tools that I used but they are by no means a necessity. This can be done with simple tools it just isn't quite as easy.

Step 2: The Wood

I used cherry walnut and oak for this rug. The great thing about this is that you don't need a lot of each kind of wood. I used scraps that I had lying around my shop.
These scraps were different sizes and different thicknesses. I ran all of the wood trough a planer to make sure that it was the same thickness so it didn't feel uneven while walking on the rug.

Step 3: Join, Cut, Cut, Drill

I started by sending all three of the wood scraps through the joiner. I need to rip them down to 1.5 inch strips but I wanted to make sure that they had a flat side when I sent them through the table saw.
Once they all had a flat side I ripped them with the table saw. I set my fence for 1.5 inches and ripped 20 pieces.
I had varied amounts of the wood. I cut a lot of cherry and had less of the walnut and oak. When you have all the strips cut you can decide on what length to cut your individual pieces. I went with 3 inches. I'm not sure why, I just thought this looked proportional.
What would have made this really easy is a cross cut sled but I don't have one of those yet. I have been meaning to make one but... Well I really don't have an excuse i just haven't done it. Anyway, I clamped a stopper to my miter saw so I could get consistent lengths of block. This took a long time to cut. I ended up using 136 pieces but i cut, drilled, and shaped around 180 just so I made sure that I had enough.
After cutting comes the most fun leg of this journey- drilling. If you choose to tackle this project I really hope you have a drill press. If you don't please go to someone's house to use theirs. You do not want to do this step with a hand held drill.
In my shop I set up my fence and stopper so uncoils drill in the center of the block about .5 inch from the end. I used a 7/32 drill bit. This was not super fun. For one when you are drilling 180 pieces, you are drilling 360 holes! Take your time and try not to get burned out. Also be very carful because your drill bit will get very hot while doing this job.
Just to be clear I drilled before i sanded so I had square edges. I wanted the holes to be as even as possible.

Step 4: Sanding

So I don't know if I made the right decision here. Let me know your thoughts. I was thinking I could run all of the slats over my router table with a cove bit to round over the sides. Then I would just have to cut them and drill. But I worried that if the sides were rounded before I drilled them, I wouldn't be able to drill I straight hole with the drill press.
I don't know if it would have made a difference but that is not the route I went. So instead I sanded each and every one individually. That was a lot of work. I put some 60 grit sandpaper on the wheel of my bench sander and 80 grit on top. I wanted to round the pieces over fast and then I smoothed them with the 80 grit.
This really wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I had a nice little system going and it didn't take too long to finish.

Step 5: Making a Long Needle

So i needed a way to get the twine all the way trough all of the individual blocks. For this i decide that I needed a very long needle. So we have these signs that we put up at our orchard. They are just little paper sleeve signs that we slip over heavy wire. I have found a million different uses for this wire when it will no longer work for the signs.
I needed a needle about two feet long so I cut the wire to that length. Then I put a blunt point on the end so it would go through the holes better. Then I needed to attach the twine.
My first attempt was to use ca glue to glue the twine onto the needle. That did not work. I got through half of my first run when it came off.
Next I decide to cut a small slot in the end of the needle and crimp the twine in the end. This worked great. I used my angle grinder to cut a small slit. Then I crimped the twine with a pair of channel locks. This worked the whole time and it never came out.

Step 6: Weaving??

So I'm not really sure want to call this step. It's kinda like weaving... Anyway, I wanted these to be in a random order so I just grabbed a handful and started setting them up. When I laid them out I tried to line up the holes as best as I could. This helps later.
I made sure to pull a lot of extra twine out and I started to weave. I carefully suck my needle through the first block and then the next and the next. Because I was using one piece of twine, I pulled a lot of extra through. I kept weaving the pieces together back and forth until I got through the whole thing. When all the twine is through, you can go back and pull everything right.

Step 7: Secure the Twine

I wanted a way to Secure the twine but I wanted to make it really tight. So this is how I went about that. I left plenty of rope at each end. Then I drilled a small hole on the underside and put some two part epoxy in and wedged the twine in with a dowl. Then I cut the dowl flush and sanded it down. It worked really well and got everything really tight.

Step 8: Pads and Finish

I wanted a non slip surface so I bought some rugs stuff. Sorry I can't figure out what to call this. I cut small squares and glued them on the bottom. It helps the rug stay put and it keeps it quite as well.
I finished the top with some 120 grit sandpaper and then some boiled linseed oil. The linseed oil really brought out the color and the grain of the wood. I just wiped it on with a cloth, let it sit and then wiped dry.

Step 9: Enjoy

This was definitely a tough but rewarding project. It was a lot of work but it looks really cool. I hope you enjoyed reading this please leave any questions or comments you may have. Thanks


Epilog Contest 8

Runner Up in the
Epilog Contest 8

Rugs Challenge

Grand Prize in the
Rugs Challenge



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    62 Discussions

    Nailed it as usual,no way in hell i have the patience to do this.beautifull work my freind.got my vote.

    2 replies

    Beautiful! You are really talented!

    Great project. I once saw a rocking chair with the seat and back made the same way, very comfortable. Some ideas: I think after ripping the strips I would stack them all on edge and layout lines across all of them where the holes would be drilled. I would then router the edges. Next drill the holes and then cut to length. For me handling all those small pieces would drive me crazy. Thanks.

    it looks awesome! thanks for sharing

    An awesome project!

    Congratulations on your win, you deserved it!

    Great project! Beautiful result, and very well written up.

    Paracord would be a very good cord - great strength, and after the linseed oil step, you could wet it down and the paracord will shrink / tighten up just a bit.

    1 reply

    A smaller version could be used as a hot pad on the table.

    1 reply

    Wonderful idea! I have a bunch of pieces left over, maybe I'll try that next

    That is awesome. Nice work. great idea for gifts as well.

    1 reply

    Great look!
    This would look great for a wall treatment too. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1 reply

    1 year ago

    very nice and different. A good way to promote woodwork.

    1 reply