Welcome to Woodworking for Mere Mortals.

Free woodworking plans. Easy woodworking projects. Fun woodworking videos. Woodworking for Mere Mortals.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Things to make with a log

Here's the video of the three (well, four) things I made out of half of one of my apple wood logs. This was a completely invigorating exercise. I ended up making a bandsaw box and a swing-lid box in addition to the candle holder I described in my previous post. (If you haven't made a bandsaw box before, here is my bandsaw box tutorial video to get you started.)

If you have never made anything using just a log, I encourage you to give it a shot. It kind of gets you thinking about woodworking a little differently. Not once was I concerned about creating perfect joints, nor did I feel the need to take any measurements or design anything on paper. I drew not a single line on any piece. It is truly free form woodworking and feels something like a sculptor must experience. If you have never felt particularly artistic, working in this manner will draw it out of you.

By the way, it was my son who gave me the idea for the fourth project at the very end. It took me five minutes to make last night, so I tacked it onto the end of the video this morning. I like the way he thinks. We could probably sell these as gifts for retirees. Or at least to people who share my philosophy about being in the shop.

If you have more ideas, or have made log stuff yourself, let us know! You can also send me pictures of your project at zrammedia (at) gmail (dot) com or simply post them to the Mere Mortals Facebook photo page.


  1. Hi Steve,
    Nice ideas. I recently got a couple of apple wood logs from my brother. One is about the same size as the one you used, but mine are freshly cut and quite green. They're also lighter wood all the way through, unlike yours. I guess they're a different species but I don't know which. I'll have to ask my brother. Anyway, so far I've only cut a section off one end and have rough turned a bowl from it. Unfortunately, there is a knot in it and it has separated during the drying process. I've got to make some apple wood dust and fill that and a couple checking cracks and saturate it with thin CA glue to take care of that. I'm also thinking about doing a candle holder/wax-fall like you did and maybe a box or two. I'll have to dry more of it for that, though. He also gave me a walnut log that was about 10-12" in diameter and 16" long. I've cut it up and have rough turned a bowl from it and I have several pieces left to play with.
    Thanx for the inspiration and keep up the good work.

  2. Do you remember the Ren and Stempy "Log" song? I think there was a video of it, too. My son was really into Ren and Stempy when he was growing up. This subject just made me think of it. I'll have to see if I can find that video.
    See ya',

  3. Cool ideas. I'm about to finish my first bandsaw box that I made from a maple log. I use logs all the time for my bowl blanks. I made an apple wood bowl last year from a log somebody gave me. Also try to make a collapsible castle from a log on the bandsaw. They are fun and really neat. Keep up the good work.

  4. Hi Steve.

    Here's an idea for you and your logs.
    Do a similar "pile" to your wax waterfall, but strip the bark and make the slices uniform in thickness, then stack them in a spiral. Predrill the slices with a 1 inch forstner bit so you can overlap the holes so they act as a wire chase. Add a larger slice to act as a base, install a socket and harp, pop on a shade and you've got a very attractive rustic lamp.

    Paul aka Big Tiny

    1. new to this site and just looking around when came across your post Big Tiny. I wondered that an added advantage of drilling the slices with the forstner bit might help to reduce the splitting/cracking of the slices too by removing the pith part (assuming that the pith is in the middle of the log that is).??? dont know - just an idea ...

  5. Steve, Awesome video. I really like the candle holder idea. I love to work with logs and make various boxes out of them. Fortunatly work suplies me with logs of all different flavors. I have posted a few of the projects to LJs but there are others that are just floating around. Right now waiting for numerous pieces to dry out a bit more but still experiment with a few wet pieces.
    Certainly one of the things I like to do in the shop.

  6. [singing] what rolls down stairs, alone or in pairs, rolls over your neighbors dog? it's great for a snack, it fits on your back, it's Log, Log, Log! [/singing]

    Nice work on the candle holder, it's better than bad it's good. Do You want to melt more candles with that blowtorch? I would, it looked fun... lol

    The drawerless box is really nice, i like the look of it and it's unique for a bandsaw box. Great job on all of them, even the handless clock. :P

  7. Hey Steve,

    I'll cut down six trees in our backyard next spring, that makes it for at least 26 bandsawboxes, 32 candleholders, a dozen clocks and a bunch of artpieces ... please don't let my wife know what can be done with logs or I'll never be able to finish the other 57 projects that she's put already in my pipeline ;-)

  8. One really simple thing to make from a log is coasters. Just tree limb with nice grain about 3" in diameter cut about 1/4" thick and then finished is nice.

    A bandsaw box from a log can be used to store an emergency key in the wood pile. I made one of those for a friend.

    Keep up the good work!

    Berry in St. Paul

  9. Great video Steve and nice work on those three projects. Did you know that most vintage hand saws have Apple wood handles? It is a great wood work work with because it is dense and close grained.

  10. The rustic box look like a great place to keep spare keys in outside.

  11. How about a nail through the top wedge to impale the candle on?