You may be right! I may be crazy. But it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for. To quote my longtime BFF (not really) Billy Joel.
Often times, I’m not actively searching for specific items. However, if I see something that I can’t stop thinking about, I feel compelled to get it. Such is the case of this giant slice of starting to rot cottonwood.
At 43 inches in diameter and 12 inches tall, this thing is massive, not to mention heavy. Ben thought I was crazy, but loaded the beast up for me.
The affair started innocently, as I drove past the chopped up remains of a 25 foot tall dead trunk. After a few days, I decided to ask by leaving a note with my name and number. Instead of being the crazy woman knocking on the door, demanding a piece of wood. A few hours later, a sweet gal called me back saying I could definitely take what I wanted. Sa-weet. I dropped by to pick out the piece and chatted for another one and a half hours. I guess she didn’t think I was crazy.
Back to the wood. This old cottonwood had died years ago. The stump finally fell over. Which means this thing has real character. After a thorough sanding to get the surface splinter free and as flat as possible, I dug sawdust out of the bug trails.
To get all dust and debris off and out of cracks, I lugged out the air compressor and a spray gun. Worked like a charm to get the gunk out. Then I gave the sides one coat of polycrylic. For added smoothness, I applied three coats to the top, sanding between layers. Sanding between coats is always important, but even more so on an unfinished piece of wood.
At 12 inches tall and somewhat uneven (notice a raised chunk toward the front in the photo below), I attached three steel casters. Not only do the casters add a few inches in height, it makes this two hundred pound slab mobile.
I bought four, but after talking it over with Ben and looking at the base, three worked better. Despite an uneven base, after flipping it over, the top was almost perfectly level. As the old saying goes, “Almost only counts in horseshoes and casters.” Under $6.00 each at Home Depot, these 300 pound rated wheels are heavy-duty.
Four 2 1/2 inch long screws and washers keep the wheels in place.
With the piece sanded, clean, sealed, and wheeled, all we had left was to bring it inside. Basically I made a heaftier version of this stump and put it inside my house. Feast your eyes on our new, rustic meets industrial coffee table.
Adding the heavy (both in weight and appearance) table has helped ground the room.
I’m keeping the old table. Because I love it and it could work well in our bedroom seating area.
This hulking piece was fun to work on and now has a fun story.
And character in spades.
One side has a giant crack along with a woodpecker hole.
Some of the chainsaw marks are still noticeable on the top.
Despite several rounds of sanding with 50 grit paper, the top isn’t completely smooth. I mean, you won’t get slivers if you run our hand across the top. Though it is far from your typical glossy mahogany furniture.
You can feel bumps, divots, and a few rough patches.
For a hot second, we considered screwing the crack back together. Clearly, we decided against that. It could have worked. Or it could have made the split even bigger.
Overall, this was a quick, easy, and inexpensive project. Free stump + a few hours of sanding + 1 quart of polycrylic + three steel casters = my love in coffee table form.
Based on the 17 photos, some very similar, in this post, I think it’s safe to say I’m smitten. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of cool furniture?