Log Slice Table

23 Nov

Log table

Note: Greg’s back!

There’s nothing unusual about an end table that’s made from a chunk of tree; in fact, you probably own a few yourself. Things start to get exciting, however, when you can still see the bark and count the rings to find its age! Tree decor is everywhere these days — from branch chandeliers and coat hooks to log pedestals and candle holders. When Jennifer and I saw these log side tables in Domino magazine (Ippolita’s Cigarette), we had to have one (or two or three).

The only trouble was the exorbitant $1,100 starting price. Each. (In comparison, the most expensive piece of furniture we own is the IKEA Malm bed we bought secondhand via Craigslist in Atlanta.) So we decided to do things the old-fashioned way and turn a little elbow grease and a cannibalized IKEA stool into our own log table.

Table top

The first order of business was acquiring the log. My parents burn a fair amount of wood both for grilling humongous burgers and to ward off those frigid Southern California winters. Consequently, my dad is always willing to stop for free firewood someone has put out by the curb, including this large section of downed pine they let us scavenge from their wood pile.

The next step was to cut a five inch slice of the wood for the table top. This is best accomplished with a chain saw, which is great for cutting logs but leaves the wood rough and uneven. To level out the surface, I broke out the belt sander. Belt sanders wear down wood very quickly, which makes them great for leveling uneven spots but (at least in my hands) leaves behind imperfections of their own. So after approximately leveling the surface with the belt sander, I took an orbital sander to it, beginning with 80 grit to remove the belt sander marks. I gradually increased the grit, ending with 200 to give it a nice, smooth finish.


Finally, after disposing of the resulting dust (with a rag and air compressor), I applied three coats of polyacrylic to the top for protection from nicks and liquids. I also applied clear lacquer spray to the bark on the sides for protection.

Tree rings

We then attached the log to the legs of an IKEA Marius stool ($5.99). For a more rustic look, we spray painted the glossy legs with flat black paint.

Log table

Photo of Ippolito Cigarette from Domino Magazine (RIP!)

60 Responses to “Log Slice Table”

  1. Bipasha 18. Oct, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

    Looks super! These guys are still in ;) Hardest part is to find where to get the wood :O

  2. lea 23. Nov, 2016 at 10:05 am #

    How did you attached the wood log to the stool? thanks

  3. Bill Verhoff 02. Jan, 2017 at 5:20 pm #

    Was the wood you used already dry? If so how long did it sit before you turned it into the table?

  4. ROBIN D FISHER 19. Feb, 2018 at 10:45 am #

    was it dry or green. if dry how long did you let wood dry

  5. Laura Paschall 07. Jun, 2018 at 7:46 pm #

    This is wonderful! Did you keep the stool seat on thh stool, or disassemble the legs and the add the legs to the wood?

  6. Connie 09. Jun, 2018 at 7:06 am #

    I have a huge cottonwood that was messy so we cut it down. We’ll be repurposing the logs to make tables and stools around the firepit. Cool!

  7. Kgrothe 31. Jul, 2018 at 6:06 pm #

    Pretty vague on the details, reading the comments tells me I am not the only one that believes this. To many questions unanswered, since most people know how to sand and that is all you told us in this article.

  8. Jennifer 21. Sep, 2018 at 4:06 pm #

    Laura, we did not keep the seat. The stool comes from IKEA unassembled, so we just used the legs.

  9. Greg 13. Nov, 2018 at 11:18 pm #

    Bill & Robin, we let the wood dry for a couple of months, so it wasn’t completely dry, although that might be preferable.

    Lea, we used 2.5″ wood screws to attach the IKEA stool legs to the log.

  10. marilyn ackerman 27. Dec, 2018 at 3:07 pm #

    Here in the fla panhandle,hurricane Michael has supplied all we need. Good project to make something gfreat out of a big disaster. Thank you

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