The cake plate will be an on going project that I am trying to get done before the spring / summer.
On etsy if you do a search for many very nice cake plates that look rustic and woodsy. I first stumbled across this cake plate on etsy
If interested you can find the seller’s shop here:
Now there’s a lot of good and bad with this design, good being it’s natural and pretty, it’s rustic and it’s just overall a neat idea of a cake plate for those who are doing an outdoor wedding. But i find issues with it structurally. Mainly the issue is with the plate itself – cross sectional parts of trees will split or usually will split over time. So if this is a piece you want to become a family heirloom – its not going to last. This piece is also made of what i believe is called base wood, which isn’t the strongest white wood available.
There are some other issues with the base – when you’re working with a chunk of wood that still has bark on it and the piece has not been kiln dried the piece has the potential to harbor bugs in the bark… and if you kiln dry the piece you’re likely to crack the wood because it’s a cross section. And if you air dry the base piece it’ll take forever. well maybe not forever but I do think the rule is 1” of thickness takes about 3-6 months to dry (if the wood is green to begin with). That piece looks at least 4-6” tall, so that’s time I don’t have to wait for the wood to dry. Not to mention just because it air dries doesn’t mean it won’t crack.
So we have issues with this design – it could crack, it could harbor bugs, or it could take forever to dry which is time i don’t have now. So I am going to do my best to create a piece that imitates a real tree stump, but one that will last a long time and feel wedding-y.
So i came up with the idea of gluing up some sort of log out of maple, and then glue a maple cake plate and then attach birch bark that I have. Doesn’t elegant but it looks beautiful in my head. I swear it does.
An example of birch bark – see very wedding-y
So i searched for ideas on how to glue up the hollow stump when i came across a fellow lumber jock’s idea for a jewelry chest:
What a brilliant idea! So i read his blog and started out on my own:
So far I cut four pieces of wood about 3” long, 1” thick. a 45 degree cut was cut in each piece.
These pieces we then flipped so the 45 degree joint was made into a 90 degree joint. The idea is for the back end to fit into that 90 joint. these two pieces will eventually be cut into smaller pieces to make a cylinder
Here’s an example from Shipwright’s blog of what we should get (please read his blog, it's really great):
the next step will be to cut these 90 degree pieces to the correct height for the stand. then we will fit together the cylinder and then glue up.
I want to note that the two 90 degree pieces are not glued together despite they are next to each other. it was just easier to glue them up next to each other.
if my design goes off without a hitch I will make two cake plates and sell one to my wedding cake baker who has express interest in my design.