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The Woodworking Life

Backyard Rock Makes a Fine Furniture Accent

comments (5) August 11th, 2011 in blogs

jtetreault John Tetreault, Deputy Art Director
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The completed stand sports a flared base that cradels a rock picked up from my yard.
Wedge and tenon detail.
Removing the wedge.
The disassembled parts and rock detail. Notice how the copper nails help to keep the post attached to the rock.
In this image, you can see the vanity and wall cabinet that the stand matches. I think the scrap was a cut-off from one of the vanity legs. 
The completed stand sports a flared base that cradels a rock picked up from my yard. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

The completed stand sports a flared base that cradels a rock picked up from my yard.

Photo: John Tetreault

Here's a little weekend project you can make in about an hour. I admit, it isn't glamorous, and it isn't a show piece, but this simple little toilet paper holder was a blast to make. It was really fun to incorporate a rock into the construction. I could see the same technique being used for a plant stand, a music stand, or a lamp. Actually a lamp would be cool... I think that will be next on the project list. 


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Begin with a piece of wood about 1 1/4-in. wide by 1-in. thick by 34-in. long.

 1. Cut a section off the top about the length of a toilet paper roll and add about three inches.

2. Cut a 2-in. tenon on one end of the short piece and add a mortise for a small wedge.

3. Carve the rest of the piece roughly round, but leave about an inch on the end square.

4. Cut a mortise near the top of the long section.

5. Fit the tenon to the mortise and make the small wedge.

6. Make a few bandsaw cuts up from the bottom on both sides, about 12" long.

7. I soaked the long piece in very hot water for about a 1/2 hour. (Not sure if it helped, but I figured it couldn't hurt.)

8. Have a cup of coffee while you walk around the yard looking for a flat rock that's just the right size.

9. Take the long piece out of the tub and splay the legs around the rock. I added a few copper rivets above each bandsaw cut to prevent splitting.

10. Use a masonry bit to drill pilot holes in the rock and tap in copper nails.

posted in: blogs, accessory, copper, stand, scrap, rock, weekend project

Comments (5)

timrowledge timrowledge writes: Sort of related but honestly more of an FHB than FWW idea - I just made towel rails and paper holders for my house out of ½" black iron plumbing pipe and fittings. Polished up the pipe with a belt sender to get rid of the scale, de-greased and abraded the cast fittings, assemble with some loctite and spray paint. An end cap serves to stop the paper roll sliding off. Perhaps $40 for three of each.
Posted: 11:54 am on August 13th

uueagle uueagle writes: For the past 25 years, my primary focus has been on cabinetry. In the last 2 years, my focus has shifted to small projects I can lift with one hand (at 70 big projects are literally a pain!) I've been making boxes, sculptural pieces and bench seats of my own design. I'm always looking for new ideas, and this definitely appeals to me. I agree with Waterflogger - the possibilities are endless. Thanks for sharing!!!
Posted: 10:04 am on August 13th

RandyEngle RandyEngle writes: Nevermind, as Gilda used to say. I see number 10.
Posted: 8:40 am on August 13th

RandyEngle RandyEngle writes: The author left out one critical step. It is essential that the rock stay connected to the wood when the piece is lifted. It is clear from the photo that he did something to afix the rock to the legs but does not tell us what that was.
Posted: 8:39 am on August 13th

Waterflogger Waterflogger writes: Nice - I can see using the basic design to make any number of custom pieces for our northern Adirondack summer home. We have a great variety of stones in the glacial till the house sits on, but I think that the uprights will be fashioned from peeled hemlock or maple (or maybe unpeeled birch - if I can figure out how to keep the bark in good shape). Thanks for sharing the idea . . .
Posted: 7:44 am on August 13th

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