Some months ago my friend Millie asked me to restore an odd looking log table/chopping block that was lying about on her family farm. Who doesn’t like a challenge? It was dirty and the legs were rotted (two were rotted off). It was kept outside for years. The 22″ round top had a lot of holes, cracks and splits and a number of rotten spots. Originally it would have stood about 28-30″ tall and maybe intended as a chopping block (lopping off chicken heads? 🙂 ), although no usage marks were on it. It was old. The lathe that it was made on must have been a monster.
I had no idea what wood it was. Cherry, maybe… just a hunch.
First, I treated it with a deck wash and gave it a good scrub to knock off the bulk of the crud. Then set it aside under roof for a few months to dry. The splits became very obvious as it dried. Then into the conditioned shop it went and dried some more. The splits got larger over time.
Before sanding, 1/2″ x 12″ deep holes were bored into the round from the bottom at a 45-degree angle and hardwood dowels inserted and glued to hold it all together. I was more than a bit concerned the darn thing would split into firewood pieces.
Next, it got a complete sanding. It was Cherry. Very cool! Ditto with the legs.
Next, it was shrink-wrapped and black dyed resin was poured into it. It absorbed 3 pints. Wow!
Next, the top was flattened and the entire round was sanded, legs shortened down to structurally stable wood and tenons on were recut then reattached into the cleaned mortises.
The entire stool was then finished with Odie’s oil and buffed to a satin luster. A final coat of Odie’s Wax was applied.
The following pics are in Millie’s kitchen:
It now stands at 20″ tall. The blasted thing weighs about 150 pounds.
Yes, she was thrilled. 🙂