Happy Friday! Today I’ve got a twofer (seriously, that’s a word!?!) for you guys and the main reason is because I’ve got so many pictures that if I didn’t split this up, it would be Way. Too. Long! So, Part 1 of the rustic-tree-stump-turned-nightstand saga—A story of a woman who fell in love with a lowly, forgotten tree stump—she saw it’s potential when no one else could. **screeching brake sounds** Ok, enough with the drama. I found this tree stump at our friends’ mountain house and they graciously said I could have it…if I could pick it up myself. Just kidding. They let me have it AND they helped load it into our car. Now that is a friend! We knocked loose bark and dirt from it before loading into the car so it looked pretty decent when we got it home. I can’t seem to find the pics of it at this stage, but here’s a picture of it after I had scraped off any remaining bark (by hand or by screwdriver) and sanded a bit.
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It still needed a good bit of sanding because it wasn’t level and it wasn’t as smooth as I wanted it. (If I were using it as a side table on our patio, I would not have minded the roughness, but since this was going in a bedroom as a nightstand, I wanted a smooth surface / edges so hands didn’t get scraped or scratched when setting things down or turning off a light.) I had to buy a pack of these sanding discs for my Ridgid 5″ Orbit Sander (which is great, by the way—I’d highly recommend one). I sanded down the sides and top with my sander, first starting with the higher-grit paper then working down to the finer paper. But let me save you time, money and energy by saying you don’t need the multi-pack (LEARN FROM ME). I ended up having to buy more of the higher-grit paper, and I needed a lot of it, so I got a 15-pack of 60 grit sanding discs and they worked great at sanding down more of the surface while still leaving it smooth to the touch. (I did notice that if I tried using the discs to sand by hand, it left scratches on the wood, so maybe it was thanks to my Ridgid sander that it left such a smooth surface and I didn’t need the extra help from finer-grit sandpaper.)
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The stump was looking a little something like this now. I rounded the edges (remember, no scrapes / scratches) and tried and tried to level it but there was a definite slope to the top that no amount of sanding was going to remedy.
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So I busted out the big guns (at least from what I already had) and started taking away some wood from the bottom of the stump. I worked on the bottom since I had worked so hard at sanding the top already and didn’t want to redo all of that. Man I wish the “aggressive cuts” part was true. In actuality, it took For.Ev.Er. to cut out small chunks from the bottom. Not the saw’s fault really. It wasn’t made for this. I’m just cheap thrifty so I usually try and use what I have instead of going to buy something new.
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I would saw a bit, then insert my screwdriver and hammer away a chunk of the wood.
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Progress. But I still had a long way to go.
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I would flip the stump over to see if my attempts were working and how much more I needed to take off the bottom…
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…and then flip back over to keep working, and cutting, and sweating, and working.
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I had large piles of wood chunks and sawdust from my work that I kept sweeping up throughout the process. And yes, that is indeed a snow shovel that I swept into and it worked great!
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Eventually I flipped it over and was pretty happy with what I saw.
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See? Pretty level, right?
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I called it a day as the sun went down, happy that I had worked so hard on this and made such good progress.
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And I may have Instagrammed it too. What can I say? I was proud.
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Next week I’ll have Part 2 of the saga to include “The underbelly of the beast”, “Girl’s got legs”, and “It’s time for a nightcap. Er…nightstand”. What do you guys think? Would you ever use a tree stump for a nightstand? Or how about a side table if a nightstand is too out there? Ooh, and what are your plans for the weekend? Hooty hoot, it’s the weekend! Almost.

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