The Best Christmas Gift

I think this is one of my favorite gifts I have ever given. My parents are starting the process of building their retirement home in the Poconos, and the house has a distinctly rustic theme. My brother and I were talking about what we were giving the parents for Christmas and we realized there were a lot of “wood” items this year. I found the idea on Pinterest here, I bought my cross section on Amazon though because I had some gift card balance left, this is the one I went with: If you’re going to make this, keep in mind it needs to sit and dry for at least 24-48 hours without being moved.

What you need
– 1 cross section
– 1 log base
– Wood glue and/or silicon
– Polyurethane (with face masks!)
– Sand paper, level, and potentially a circular saw

1. I went over to my friend’s house since I knew he’d invariably have a log in his wood pile that would work. We made a night of it and I had dinner there with him and his girlfriend, but he also cut the log I chose down to size for me. I chose one that flared out at the bottom because I thought it would be aesthetically nicer. Be careful when cutting the log and try to make the cut as straight as possible to cut down on work later on in the process.
2. My log was not level on the top end and I thought sanding it would be the way to go – turns out it wasn’t. I would have been there for months sanding this down. I called my dad and asked him if he would have time to help me with it when I was back up at their house since I doubted my little Ryobi jigsaw would do the job.

3. Since the difference in height was only about 1/8th of an inch my dad tried using the belt sander first. We worked on it for a while, then took it inside, found a pretty level spot on the downstairs bar, and measured – it was still way off.
4. We used the circular saw next after dad made some marks on the log for where to cut. Two rounds later, we were set.

photo 2-1
5. Now that everything was pretty perfectly level we moved it into the workshop where it would sit for the next couple days. We put beads of silicon around the outer rim of the log and wood glue near the center and positioned the cross section in the right spot.
6. The last step is the polyurethane, this is to protect the wood and food from each other. I got the spray because it said fast drying and I’m impatient, but my dad told me for something this dense you’d want the stuff that comes in a can and basically paint it on.

photo 2

If you use the spray can make sure you wear a face mask so you don’t breathe it in. We followed the directions and did a coat every 1.5-2 hours until the can was empty. We probably did more than the can suggested but it needed a lot of poly.
7. Let dry and enjoy!

photo 3-1

Sorry there’s no “finished” picture – Dad is going to add another coat of poly on the top to ensure it’s coated well.


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