Making this live edge stump table was a challenging endeavor for me, but not how you might expect. I decided to do minimal processing of the stump. That meant no taking off the bark, no leveling with a router, and for the love of all things good–no sanding! Yes, I almost blew it with the sanding. I broke down and got the sander out. But I needed a longer extension cord, and looking for it slowed me down just long enough to come to my senses. So you understand, I would normally sand a stump like this for hours to get it flat and smooth. But this time, I wanted to go in a different direction.
If you make one of these side tables you will be the only person with one like it. Yours will be your color, your piece of wood, your chosen legs, your height, and so on….customized to how you want it. The top three things I have in mind about the DIY furniture I create are that the furniture is: 1) customizeable, 2) easy to make, and 3) inexpensive. So here are 5 side tables I made this year that cost less than $25 to make and can be made by people without much experience or expensive tools. They are all customizable in ways that I describe in the posts and in other ways you think of. Please feel free to share your version of any of these side tables in the comments section, or e-mail me photo(s), and I will put together a “brag” post. (This goes for any of my tutorials.)
In this post, I’ll show you how to make a wood table lamp. The wood I used is a piece of cedar tree, and I left part of it “live edge” or natural edge. A lamp like this can work in many decor styles from rustic, to cabin chic, farmhouse, and even to mid-century modern. In addition to the wood, your choice of lamp shade can really influence the overall “look” of a natural wood lamp.
The wood for stump tables is affordable (usually free!). In this post I’ll show you some low-cost, easy-to-make DIY furniture leg options for your stump table. Of course, the legs can be used in other furniture projects, too!
I don’t have that much carpentry experience, and I’ll tell you a secret–I’m not sure I want too much. What I mean is, if a furniture piece involves a compound miter saw and a table saw, lots of angled cuts, a long cut list (or any cut list), a pneumatic nailer, or generally something complex, it probably isn’t the project for me. I admire fellow bloggers who can whip out a big farmhouse table or something similar. But for many types of furniture builds, I like looking but not doing. Are any of you in this situation?
This live-edge tree slice table is made from a horizontal cut of the trunk of a mulberry tree. I made the legs, my new version of DIY industrial pipe legs, from steel lamp pipe and brass fittings.
As I mentioned in the “About” section, I originally became interested in making furniture in order to furnish our three-season sunroom. I intended to rehabilitate the sunroom from being a storage area, and before that when the kids were little, a playroom. (I say “intended” because the sunroom is now my
workshop studio.) I was looking for furniture that I could make, having limited skills, tools, and budget. The first type of furniture that caught my eye was the live-edge style. “Live edge” refers to furniture where the natural edge of the wood is incorporated into the design of the piece. It was popularized by George Nakashima in the middle of the last century. Live-edge furniture can be deceptively complex, with emphasis on craftsmanship, sanding, and finishing. Because of the limitations I mentioned, I am making simple live-edge tables made of a “slice” of the tree, with legs. It is an uncomplicated style, rustic and elegant all rolled together!
The Live Edge Side Table project has six main parts:
- Finding, Choosing, and Drying Wood
- Removing Bark
- Optional: Leveling Tree Slice with Router
- Sanding and Finishing
- Making the Lamp Pipe Legs
- Attaching the Legs to the Tree Slice