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Fun With Cedar Logs #1: A Rustic Impression of a Sitting Stool

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Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 06-18-2007 09:06 PM 3813 views 2 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had a good time last week crafting a small stool to be used in our church’s Vacation Bible School program. We used a Western Theme, which fit well with the ranch community here in the Kansas Flinthill’s area, largely a ranching community with lots of pasture, open prairie and grazing cattle on every hill.

All of us VBS volunteers had a good time, entertained about 50 kids, and taught them about God and as much as we could about what the Bible teaches about Him in just a week’s worth of evenings. I made some other prop items, and will post them as separate projects.

After the final program on Sunday, we had an auction and sold all of the props and left over supplies to support next year’s VBS program. I was pleased that my little stool was sold to the Pastor’s mother-in-law who lives in Wichita for a $90 donation, more than I thought it would bring.

I took some inspiration from George & Mira Nakashima’s work, a little John Gallis from Cody, WY, a little bit of Molesworth, some Daniel Mack, and some other rustic work I have seen here on Lumberjocks.

I started with long logs of Western Red Cedar. Then, cleaned out the ant nests, the wood bees, the pack rat nests, stripped the bark, and then split the log with my new chainsaw, a Stihl 250C. After splitting the logs in half with the chainsaw, I jointed one face, and planed the other parallel to make the wood for the seat.

I used my Legacy Ornamental Mill to turn the 1-1/4” diameter round tenons on the top end of the legs, and drilled the holes in the seat bottom with a Ship Auger worm bit and my Makita cordless 18V Lithium Ion drill. Next time, I will get a heavier duty slow speed drill, but my Makita worked for this stool. I wouldn’t want to put this high dollar cordless drill to this much effort every day.

Thanks for looking,
Mark DeCou
www.decoustudio.com

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Want to See More of my Furniture Work?:
If you go to my Mark DeCou Website you will find that I have not updated my website in quite some time. I realize that I need to invest in improving my website, but until that is accomplished, here are some more Lumberjocks related lilnks with updated postings of my furniture work, sorted into categories. Thanks for your interest in my work, and your patience with my website.

Arts and Crafts, Mission Style Related Projects:
  1. Arts & Crafts Entry Table; with Carved Oak Leaves
  2. Arts & Crafts Orchid Stand w/ Wine Bottle Storage
  3. Arts & Crafts Style Morris Inspired Chairs
  4. Arts & Crafts Display Top Coffee Table
  5. Arts & Crafts Style Inspired End Table Set
  6. Arts & Crafts Style Inspired Prairie Couch
  7. Table Lamps
  8. Arts & Crafts Carved Entertainment Center
  9. Mission Entertainment Center
Church & Worship-Art Related Projects:
  1. Carved Communion Table
  2. Carved Roll Top Sound Equipment Cabinet
  3. Fancy Church Side Altars
  4. Processional Cross
  5. Fancy Speaker's Lectern
  6. Church Hymn Number Board
  7. Communion Chalice (Cup) and Paten
Art-Furniture Related Projects:
  1. Sam Maloof Inspired Walnut Rocker
  2. Original Art Carved Tilt Front Desk, inspired by Birger Sandzen
  3. Natural Edge; Nakashima Inspired Coffee Table
  4. Decoratively Painted Box End Tables
  5. Birch China Cabinet for Cut Glass Collection
Rustic, Western, Cedar Log, and Cowboy Related Projects:
  1. Naughty (Knotty) Refined Rustic White Oak & Black Walnut China Hutch
  2. A Kansa Indian and Buffalo Accent Art-Chair
  3. Refined Rustic Dining Chairs
  4. Refined Rustic Dining Table
  5. Cowboy-Western Style Suitcase/Luggage Support Racks
  6. Fun With Cedar Logs #1; Sitting Stool
  7. Fun With Cedar Logs #2; Coat/Hat/Spur Rack
  8. Fun With Cedar Logs #3; Western Style Hat/Coat Rack
  9. Fun With Cedar Logs #4; Entryway Stool
Outdoor Furniture Related:
  1. Kennebunkport Style Adirondack Chair
  2. Outdoor Garden Wedding Arbor
  3. Outdoor Project: Cedar Wood Double Settee

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com





33 comments so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12290 posts in 2764 days


#1 posted 06-18-2007 09:11 PM

Lovely wood. Did you make more than one?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2966 days


#2 posted 06-18-2007 09:13 PM

That’s a real beauty Mark, A great way to raise funds
I wish Red Cedar grew aound here.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2828 days


#3 posted 06-18-2007 09:15 PM

Mark, it’s LOVELY.
I just picked up some aromatic cedar – “just because”. It’s not thick enough to make a bench like this but…
... I’ll have to think about this—because I’d love to have a little stool such as the one that you made!!

(and congrats re: a successful VBS)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1996 posts in 3072 days


#4 posted 06-18-2007 09:19 PM

Just one WayneC. I had hopes of doing more, maybe another day, if a customer wants one.

Dick: Western Red Cedar is considered a trash weed here in pasture country. People pay others to either spray it dead, or cut it down, trying to conserve the prairie grass. To ranchers, it takes up space that prairie grass could be growing. A prolific growing tree, Western Red Cedar is in great abundance around here, and not a desired wood by anyone…...other than a lonely furniture maker or two living around here.

Osage Orange is another wood that is in the same list as “nusiance trees” here. After spending two weeks working up rustic items with cedar logs, I have purposed to gather some of these two varieties of trees, and use them in my future work. At least their internal beauty can be used if their growing causes the ranchers problems.

thanks for the comments,
Mark

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1996 posts in 3072 days


#5 posted 06-18-2007 09:22 PM

Thanks for the congrats Debbie. Now that VBS is over, it is back to work, and to some lawn mowing, it has really gotten out of hand!

can’t wait to see your interpretation of a stool.
Mark

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12290 posts in 2764 days


#6 posted 06-18-2007 09:23 PM

I was visualizing a nice set of stools Mark. Perhaps another day as you say.

Hmmmm. You would not belive what I just paid for a 4”x4”x16” Osage Organge turning blank. I’m planning to turn it into a hand plane. You will have to stockpile some of those nusiances…

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1996 posts in 3072 days


#7 posted 06-18-2007 09:31 PM

WayneC: I’d be all excited about making more stools if I had some people paying for them. It was funny, the local area has seen a lot of my work, but no one suspected that I could do Rustic work also. I surprised them.

Osage Orange is a wood that is starting to be prized by folks in the woodart world, but that is about it. It was originally planted here as pasture borders, to keep cattle in their area. Before barbed wire was invented, and the steel fence post, it was used as an alternative to piled up rock as a pasture fence. If it is kept trimmed up every year, it makes a very good hedge of thorns that keeps animals where they belong. Once steel posts and barbed wire were brought it, and people learned how to pound them into the limestone bed rock, the use of Osage Orange was stopped, and it quickly became a nuisance. It grows like a weed, popping up fast and growing throny branches quickly, making it a chore to get in close and cut down. Since many animals love to eat the seeds (esp. whitetail deer), a large grapefruit sized green fruit, the seeds are spread easily across the prairie where they take root.

I have made some walking canes from Osage Orange, and it splinters out bad, and dulls tools fast. When turned, it will look like a bright neon green-yellow wood, but after some age, a wonderful dark amber color will develop. To speed up the darkening, you can set your finished project in direct sunlight, and turn it several times over a few days. Sunlight speeds up the changing of the colors to the dark amber.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2703 days


#8 posted 06-18-2007 09:43 PM

Another great project and story, Mark. Thanks! Your work and the context around it is always impressive to see and to read. Thank you.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Karson's profile

Karson

34878 posts in 3067 days


#9 posted 06-18-2007 09:57 PM

Great stool Mark. I appreciate the story.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2753 days


#10 posted 06-18-2007 09:59 PM

Nice benches Mark. Great for the western theme and a nice fund raiser. Do you have a ripping blade in the saw? I have a number of logs of Eastern Red Cedar that I’m thinking of opening up. The eastern is actually a juniper. Speaking of which are you sure that is western? The eastern are what is native to Kansas. http://www.gpnc.org/eastern.htm

I use my grandfathers brace and a couple of old adjustable brace bits to make my mortices for rustic furniture. It’s amazing how quickly they can take out material.

You should start stockpiling some of that Osage Mark…..and what did you pay Wayne?...Inquiring minds want to know.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1996 posts in 3072 days


#11 posted 06-18-2007 10:01 PM

Thanks Mot and Karson!

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1996 posts in 3072 days


#12 posted 06-18-2007 10:09 PM

Bob: I’m not sure about the species now that you mention it. We call it Western Red, but we also call anything with a sticky surface Scotch Tape, and an adjustable wrench is a Cresent. So. I don’t know what I am using, since you bring it up. I don’t know if this is a native tree or not. I’ll have to do some more research.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2753 days


#13 posted 06-18-2007 10:40 PM

That’s the tree farmer in me. They are often confused in conversation but the trees are very different. If it is considered a weed around you then it has to be the eastern. It’s surprising how many really nice woods can be found locally. You’re lucky to have that Osage. It’s going for big $’s.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View RJones's profile

RJones

310 posts in 2822 days


#14 posted 06-18-2007 10:55 PM

Very Nice Mark! That rustic stuff blows me away not to mention that wood!! If i don’t have straight or at least consistant lines well I would probably be lost!

-- http://rjoneswoodworks.com/

View jockmike2's profile

jockmike2

10635 posts in 2913 days


#15 posted 06-18-2007 11:05 PM

Beautiful wood Mark, great stools, I made a stool out of catalpa back in 72 and shellaced it, just out of a log cut about 4 ft around. Still have it. Maybe I’ll post. You out to load uo a Semi with Osage and bring it east and sell it to a Sawyer, bet you’d clean up. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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