I had cleaned up the dead spruce tree I’d cut down, a few days go, but only now got to continue working in the area.
Because of how the tree had landed, I used the baby chainsaw to clear away all the non-weight bearing branches first, and was left with this giant insectoid shape! 😀 After clearing away the last of the branches, I was going to break the trunk down further with the electric chain saw, but when that turned out to not be working properly, I just left the trunk to the side. We’ll have to take care of it later.
Today, I broke out the reciprocating saw and used it to finish trimming the top of the stump.
Happily, the wood in this stump is nice and solid.
The other trunk, from the tree we took down 3 summers ago? Not only did it have ant damage, but as I was trimming it with the reciprocating saw, it was vibrating at root level!
Well. That changed my plans.
At first, I figured I would just make a seat instead of a bench, but I really wanted a bench.
I used one of the boards that would be a horizontal support to mark off and cut the stump, using the reciprocating saw. At this point, I was still thinking of making a seat, but figured this stump was solid enough to support a bench. I cut the support pieces to a couple of inches shorter than the board that would be the seat, found the middles, then drilled pilot holes.
Despite using a level when positioning the support pieces, they still ended up uneven!
Though at least part of that is because one of the boards was warped.
Ah, well. I wasn’t going to start over! The only thing I did have to do was trim the top of the stump with a hand saw a bit, to make it even with the support pieces.
Then it was time to screw on the board for the seat.
You can see on the far right, that there was a substantial gap! I ended up making a wedge from a scrap piece of wood and jamming it in, then screwing the board in place, though the wedge and into the horizontal support.
As I was doing that, I could feel the bench wobbling a bit and decided the ends needed extra support. I didn’t want to put too much stress on the screws holding it to the stump, even though there are quite a few of them, and they are longer than needed. I had the pieces of wood I’d cut off the horizontal supports, so I trimmed those to size and added them at the ends to make legs. The main support is still the stump. The legs are just enough to give a little extra support, if there is too much weight at an end. The ground under them is soft, so if they were to be weight bearing, I would have wanted to add something solid under them, like a brick or some flat rocks
And there we have it! Our very first tree stump bench. 😀 And I must say, it felt SO good to have someplace to sit down when I was done! It was the perfect height for me and my messed up knees, too. In fact, I used my knees to judge what height to trim the stump down to, and with the height added by the thickness of the seat board, it worked out just right.
Now it just needs a good scrubbing and a paint job to protect it from the elements. The board I found for the seat still has some paint on it, so it’s not too urgent.
I am quite pleased with how this turned out. We have so many dead trees in the spruce grove that need to be cut down, with some of them fairly close to each other. My thought was to cut them to leave stumps that could be used to make seats and tables, making sure that some of the seats are a bit higher, for my husband to be able to use comfortably. This bench is the first experiment to see if the idea is viable, and I’m happy to say that it is. Most of the greenery you can see behind the bench are a flower patch that we uncovered when cleaning up in this area, and have been leaving alone, as we mow or trim around it. Which means that, over time, we’ll be able to sit here in the shade, surrounded by lovely yellow flowers. 🙂
Over time, we will have many seats like this, scattered all around the the inner yard, as we continue to clean up among the trees, and turn the inner yard into a lovely haven.
I feel a sense of peace, just thinking about it!