This instructable is about how I made a twisted stool / end table from a solid piece of Ash. Rather than just using the block of ash wood as is I decided to try adding a twist to it to make it look more interesting. These are the results. Be sure to comment below to let me know what you think or what you would change if you were doing it. Thanks.
Step 1: Have a Look at the Video Below.
Look at the video above.
Step 2: Materials and Tools Needed.
This the size I choose to build it but you can adapt to whatever size you want.
One 13inch x 13inch x18inch block of solid wood
Epoxy resin and pigment (optional)
4 felt floor protectors
GRAFF speedcutter disc: GRAFF speed cutter
Planer (may not be needed if wood is square)
Chain saw (not needed if wood is already square)
Electric sander & sandpaper
Step 3: Solid Ash Block.
The Ash block I used had been cut 18 months previously and had been naturally drying in an open air shed since then. The 13 x 13 inch dimension was the biggest size I could cut from the diameter of the block. I cut a piece of mdf to the 13 x 13 size, placed it on the ash block and marked the outline with a marker.
Step 4: Squaring the Ash Block.
I used a chainsaw to rough cut it to size. You could do this with a hand saw but it would take quite some time and a lot of sweat! To smooth out the marks left by the chain saw I used an electric planer.
Step 5: Marking Out.
Marking out the twist is quite simple. I used a piece of 2x2inch wood to mark a line all around the now square block on both the top and bottom. To mark the curve where the twist starts I just used a paint can approximately 3.5 inches in diameter. I marked the curve on the top and bottom and then joined them with a straight line. I did this on all 4 sides. The lines just drawn are going to be the widest parts of the twist so I marked arrows away from these lines so I would not cut in the wrong direction when removing the material.
Step 6: Rough Cutting the Twist.
Using the chain saw again and following the direction of the lines just drawn I removed a chunk of material on each side making sure not to over cut and remove too much material.
Step 7: Graff Speed Cutter.
This GRAFF speed cutter is the tool I used to remove the rest of the material to form the twist. Its a tool that fits directly into an angle grinder! Its great at cutting and shaping wood quickly and safely. For more info on the Graff speed cutter see here: GRAFF speed cutter.
Step 8: Refining the Shape.
With the speed cutter in my 4.5 inch angle grinder I started to refine the shape of the twist. There are no hard or fast rules here, Its just a matter of removing a little material at a time on all sides and checking by eye that they all match. It is fairly forgiving so if you remove a little too much material on one side you can just remove the same amount on the other sides until they match up again. I reckon I spent 1-2 hours getting all the sides equal.
Step 9: Rough Sanding.
When I was happy with the shape of the twist I swapped the speed cutter for a 40 grit flap disc. This is great to smooth out any humps or dips in the wood.
Step 10: Epoxy.
This part is optional. The wood I was using had some crack and one quite large hole from a defect. You could just leave them as is but I decided to fill them with epoxy. Obviously you could choose any colour you want but I went with a blue pigment. Another option could be to add an luminous power to the epoxy so the cracks would glow in the dark!
This was my first time doing this and I ran into a few problems. I didn't realise at the time but the epoxy I used first (seen in the video) takes 3 days to cure! This created two problems . 1, It kept soaking into the wood and I had to keep refilling it. 2, because of the shape of the piece I could only do one side at a time and having to wait 3 days for each it would have taken a long time to do it all so I decided to try some 5 minute epoxy. It worked OK but you will not get all the air bubbles out of the epoxy. If doing it again I would maybe try and get 90 min epoxy which give you more time to play with it and a better chance of removing the bubbles by passing some heat over it.
Step 11: More Sanding..
After all the epoxy had cured I sanded it all smooth and then went over the whole piece again with a 120 grit sand paper. The smoother you get the wood here the better the finish will be.
Step 12: Finishing.
I don't know about you guys and girls but I have zero patience to wait for oil based paints and varnishes to dry so I decide to go with a water based varnish for the finish here. I applied 3 coats with a light sanding before the last coat.
Step 13: Floor Protection.
To protect my floor from scratches I added some felt pads to the bottom of the twisted stool.
Step 14: The Finished Twisted Stool / End Table..
And that is it! I am delighted at how this turned out. The twist in the wood makes what could have been just a square block of wood a lot more interesting. It also make the grain in the wood stand out a lot more. It is quite an easy project to try, it just takes some time and a little patience. I really hope you give this a try! Thank you very much for looking.
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Second Prize in the
Furniture Contest 2018