DIY Maven

DIY Maven

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Although I'm a writer by education and profession, I have a not-so-secret DIY and craft (of almost any kind) addiction. I'm the… read more

Comments - How to Make a Log Side Table

DIY Maven on Jan 19, 2015:

@Nannette: I didn't use any wax; just water-based polyurethane. 


Nannette on Jan 16, 2015:

Is the wax a furniture wax, a floor wax or a parafin?


Amy on Dec 31, 2014:

Nice!!! What is the ideal moisture level?


Anonymous on Oct 13, 2014:

Just a note on sealing the ends of a log with wax... we have a family woodworking business, and when we get a "green" log we apply wax to the cut ends of the log. This allows the wood to cure slowly without splitting or checking, and prevents over drying. This technique has been used by woodworkers for centuries.


Kaitlyn on Jun 18, 2012:

Great tutorial! A friend made one very similar to this for me but he had a brilliant idea and hollowed out the inside with a chain saw to make it lighter. The results are amazing! I can lift it on my own and move it around at will. we also attached little felt pads to the bottom so that air could get inside the stump and continue drying it out.


DIY Maven on Feb 16, 2012:

@Linda--I've never heard of sealing logs with wax, but here is my take on it. Wax or sealant of any kind penetrates very little, and these are big logs. If the log is going to split as it dries, it's going to split. (I have read that if you plow a vertical cut down the center of a log, it minimizes splitting, but that's not practical in this situation.) You're better off just letting it dry completely before using it. A moisture meter helps to let you know when the log is dry enough. My log had been drying for a year outside. After I removed the bark and washed it, I let it dry in direct sunlight for an additional 2 weeks, rotating it as necessary. I then checked it with my moisture meter every day or so until I had a satisfactorily low number. Only then did I begin to sand and finish it.  It's now been in my house six months now with no additional cracking. 


Linda on Feb 15, 2012:

Hi. Beautiful ! I have a few logs from a tree in my neighborhood that was cut down. Ihave been told to seal the ends of the logs with wax and to let them dry before I do anything else, or they will crack and split. What is your recommendation? Should I seal the ends with parafin wax, and let them dry on my porch? They are from what I think was a hemlock tree about 1 month ago.Thanks for posting your project ! I am really excited to do this !


diygirl35 on Sep 14, 2011:

Thanks so much for the advice and recommendation for the Poly, DIY Maven.  I went out and purchased my supplies, so I am ready to go!  I will definitely post a picture when I am finished.  Thanks again!


DIY Maven on Sep 11, 2011:



Hey diygirl, I used my go-to, absolute favorite poly, which I put on just about all our furniture projects. That is Minwax's water-based Polycrylic in clear satin. It truly is clear, so it doesn't lend a hue of any kind ot the finish. It's super easy to work with and clean up is about as minimal as it gets. I like to put on multiple coats--at least three if not four. And, of course, I always sand with 220 grit between each coat. I'd love to see your finished project!




diygirl35 on Sep 10, 2011:

It looks great!  Can you tell me what type/brand of poly you used?  I have a log just like that, which is now sanded and ready to be sealed, but I don't want it to look glossy.  I want that nice matte, natural look that you achieved.  Thanks!


textkind on Aug 02, 2011:

OMG! This is what I was looking for...I have to cut a tree and I thought it would be nice to use some logs for my living room. I will try it! Thanks. :)


betsy on Aug 01, 2011:

Love that you kept it "matte" -- beautiful!


DIY Maven on Aug 01, 2011:

Chris, it was a long needle white pine (rather rare here in the 'burbs but not so Up North, MN). It was a beautiful tree when it was alive. I'm glad to honor it this way. 


Chris Gardner on Aug 01, 2011:

Love it. What species was your tree?


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