I hate cutting down trees but occasionally we have to for some reason or another. As a renewable resource, they are the ultimate local material and we had to make something great out of them.
Thanks to the DIY Network Blog Cabin 2015 People's Choice vote, these Douglas Fir trees were to become kitchen stools! But instead of leaving them as raw wood, we added a little pizzaz with inlaid epoxy and copper. After all we were in the gem state also known for its metal mining.
A typical seat is around 16” deep so you'll need a tree trunk of at least 28” to be able to cut a square out of it. Start by cutting (3) 18” segments.
Because the exterior of the tree won't be perfect, getting this cut square can be difficult. Use a good chainsaw with a sharp blade and try to let it fall straight through the wood.
Use a 24” square and mark out the top of the stool keeping each edge back from the bark. If the tree is really out of round you may end up closer to the bark on some edges than others. Again, let the saw fall straight through the wood.
Larger saws usually have bumper spikes, which can be useful to help rotate the saw down in a straight line. Once each piece is cut, you have the choice to leave the exterior with a rough-sawn look or have it milled for a finer finish. We hauled ours down to a mini mill, which cleaned up the exteriors in no time.
Keep stirring for the copper to stay in suspension while you pour the solution into each inlay form. Make sure the forms are level with shims so the epoxy doesn't spill out of one edge of the form. Do not over fill the form but bring the liquid just up to the edge.