Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with your family and friends. Here's to a great 2017!
I'm kicking 2017 off with a guest post from my hubby. Enjoy!
How to make Christmas tree trunk coasters.
When Courtney and I took down our first Christmas tree I wanted to come up with a creative use for the trunk. Since it's best to let wood dry before doing anything with it, I decided to cut off all the limbs and bottom of the trunk and hide it in the garage.
The following November I cut some 1/2" pieces off of it for some simple coasters. It made a nice surprise gift for Courtney! Kind of a sentimental gift to keep around.
Tools you'll need: Hand saw for cutting off the base of the stump (optional) Loppers or pruning shears to cut off the branches (you definitely have a neighbor that has this and the saw) Miter Box (makes cutting flat pieces off much, much easier) Wood finish to protect your wood: Tung Oil, Bees Wax
Clear your tree of decorations.
Take the tree to a clear space outside or in the garage.
Cut the branches off of the trunk so that you have 4 feet of the trunk cleared.
If you don’t have loppers a pruning tool would probably work too.
After that, cut off the bottom 6+ inches of the trunk that was sitting in the water stand.
I assumed this part would start to rot.
It’s easiest if you hold this against a porch step or something else elevated.
After that, you can hide it away to dry for a while (letting it dry for a while makes everything easier).
If you don't have much patience, you could go right at it! I started to try this to demonstrate, but I got sap everywhere pretty quickly. If you take this route have some good gloves on hand and check out some of the tips at the end of the post. Otherwise, wait as long as you can for the next step.
Next, cut slivers off of the trunk for the coasters.
If you don’t have power tools, I think the best way to get good flat coasters is to use a miter box. Put the trunk on the miter box, hold it about a half-inch past the square cut and clamp it down. Start slowly sawing.
More tips on using one are in the Additional Tips section.
Once you have the slivers cut the coasters are ready for finish. There are a lot of options here. My favorite is wax. You can get this at your hardware store. Shellac and tung oil will also work well.
Getting started using a miter box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_d5g6yDWUBA
How to finish wood before it has properly dried: http://www.finewoodworking.com/2011/10/14/how-to-set-wood-sap
Reapply finish annually to keep the coasters looking great!
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