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.

Step 1

From: Kitchen Crashers

Source the Wood

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.

Step 2



Cut the Pieces

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.

Step 3

From: Kitchen Crashers

Make Your Marks

Using a square, mark out the locations for the epoxy inlay. We did an 1 1/2” wide by 1/2” deep band across the top and down one side.

Step 4

From: Kitchen Crashers

Cut the Inlays

Set a circular saw to 1/2” depth and make a series of cuts across the inlay location.

Step 5

From: Kitchen Crashers

Remove Remnants

Using a set of sharp chisels, remove the remnant pieces of wood from the recess.

Step 6

From: Kitchen Crashers

Build Epoxy Forms

Build a set of epoxy forms using 3/4” melamine or prefinished plywood. Cut a backer big enough for all the inlays. Then cut 1/2” separator strips and fasten them to the backer using 18ga finish nails.

Step 7



Source the Metal Shavings

With Idaho's long history of metals and mining, we wanted some pizzaz in the epoxy. On a construction site, the easiest bling to find is scrap copper pipe. We used a dull paddle bit create a cup of shavings.

Step 8



Start on the Epoxy

For the epoxy, pour equal parts of A (resin) and B (hardener) into separate cups.

Step 9

From: Kitchen Crashers

Mix and Stir

Pour part (A) into a mixing bucket, then part (B). Stir for at least 3 minutes making sure to occasionally scape the sides to fold in any unmixed liquid. Then pour in the copper.

Step 10

From: Kitchen Crashers

Pour Into the Inlays

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.

Step 11

From: Kitchen Crashers

Torch It

Using a blow torch, lightly heat the top of the epoxy working out the air bubbles. Keep working around each inlay until all bubbles are gone. Then allow to harden for 24 hours.

Step 12

From: Kitchen Crashers

Start Sanding

While the epoxy is hardening, sand the stools to a fine finish using 240 grit sand paper on an orbital sander.

Step 13

From: Kitchen Crashers

Stain the Stools

Stain the stools using an all in one stain and sealer. Using a rag work the stain evenly to keep a consistent finish.

Step 14



Remove the Hardened Epoxy

Once the epoxy is hard, separate the inlays from the forms by removing the 1/2” strips starting at the outer edge. A painters tool or spackle knife can help get the epoxy started off the backer without scratching it.

Step 15

From: Kitchen Crashers

Attach the Strips

Adhere and epoxy strips into the wood inlay using a thin bead of clear silicon.

Step 16

From: Kitchen Crashers

Add Tape and Felt Pads

While the silicon sets, use tape to hold the epoxy firmly into place. Install (4) felt pads to the bottom corners of the stools.

Step 17

Wood Stump Stools in Kitchen

Wood Stump Stools in Kitchen

DIY Network Blog Cabin 2015 in Couer d'Alene, ID.

Photo by: Eric Perry

Eric Perry

You Can Do It

With a minimal cost and a lot of elbow grease, you could turn a downed tree into these remarkable and refined kitchen stools.