tree branch coasters and cheese tray
Especially when the environment allows you to do something completely unique!
In this project we will not go to the store, we will take a fallen branch, grind the wood ourselves with standard shop tools and turn it into a cup pad and cheese tray!
So, go ahead, let\'s get started!
Take a minute to watch the video of the project before you proceed.
Sometimes it\'s easier to show concepts and ideas by moving pictures.
After finishing, continue the second step!
Story Background: my father called me about a year ago and said the pecans in his front yard were hit by lightning.
He asked me if I could come over and help clean up some of the fallen branches.
When I got there, it looked like I could grind some branches into size wood.
I can use the rest to make firewood or smoke.
So I collected it and brought it home.
It has been sitting in my garage since that day.
For those curious, the tree survived the lightning strike and did a good job.
The day when the wood came out of the tree, it could not be used.
It must be dried first.
The traditional way to do this is to slice it immediately and let it dry in the stack for a while.
However, I am moving so I put it in my self storage facility.
There are indeed some cracks in some places, but overall I was lucky.
If you find some dry wood in the woods, of course you can try to use it like this.
Since the branches are not straight, I continue to cut it into three 16 \"sections to make straight boards that I can make with it.
This will also make it easier for them to go through the band saw.
The branches are not straight, not square, nor flat.
This makes it very difficult to go through a band saw or a table saw.
Luckily, there is a solution!
Take two pieces of waste wood, roughly equal to the length and width of the part of your branch, and screw them together.
Then twist the branches onto the log.
The screws should be long enough to pierce the bark, but not too long.
This will provide a surface that runs along the Saw fence and something stays flat on top of cast iron.
Extend the branches to a flat side by means of a band saw.
Then unscrew the branch, put it flat and screw it back to the fixture.
Flat the second face.
The second should be the first 90 degrees.
You don\'t want to remove a lot of material here.
Just enough to get a flat surface about 2 \"and run relative to the saw without connecting the fixture.
Adjust the amount according to the branch/log size.
Now you have two flat sides, completely remove the fixture and flatten the remaining two sides.
You may still have some live edges or bad points, but we\'ll fix this in the next steps.
Cut the stock off the table.
You can use your band saw if you like, but I find that when I use the band saw I get better results and do less work.
The stock will most likely not be completely flat or square.
But you might be better than me.
If you have a joint, now is the best time to run one side and one side on the joint, and then track them through the opposite planing bed.
Since I don\'t have a connector, I used the alternate method.
I plan to flip around about 1/64 a few times each side.
This usually results in acceptable results for my purposes.
If you do not have a planing bed or joint, you can only hope that your cut-out on the table is good enough.
At this point, you will be sure to leave some material that still has large knot holes or living edges.
Our goal now is to measure every part of the wood to make the most useful material.
Cut out any knot holes using a cross-cut sled or a Mitter saw.
Then use the table saw to trim any remaining living edges from these parts.
I would like to make at least four coasters and a cheese tray.
To do this, I stuck all the smaller materials together and divided them into five 4.
Section 5 \"x 5 \".
I stick all the longer planks to a separate 12 \"x 10\" section.
This will leave me five blank coasters and a cheese tray blank.
I stuck all my coasters in a row and just omitted the glue between them.
This saves the number of fixtures I need.
Once the glue is dry (24 hours later)
, I cut the cup pad into the final size of about 4 \"x 4.
On the band\'s saw I cut the final shape of the cheese tray.
I found a good pattern online from Steve Ramsey.
I just posted it temporarily with spray glue.
Everyone likes polishing. No seriously.
That\'s what I heard!
Polish the board to about 100 to 120 sand.
Before adding the finish, you will want to polish it into about 220 of sand.
About a 3/16 round.
Bit screamed at me for the finished product.
But you can use any point of your choice and have a nice decorative edge on the outside of the cheese tray and coasters.
Be sure to follow this up with another light sanding to remove any scratches left during the wiring process and be ready for final completion.
Because this project is of emotional value, I want to keep it natural.
It will also be used for food and drinks, so I want to make sure that 100% of the finished products are food safe.
I use the ordinary salad bowl.
Not only food safety 100%, but also completely unsafe
The salad bowl leaves a slight amber color on the wood but is mostly transparent.
Cut the cheese and put some fruit.
Of course, it\'s time to have a glass of wine and enjoy the company of good friends!
If you like this project, you will most likely like my other projects!
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