Tutorial: Making Waldorf furniture out of scrap wood

Making Waldorf wooden Furniture from a Stump


Ever since I read the post from A small tribe about making your own Waldorf inspired furniture out of a stump, I have been dying to try this.  I have spent about two weeks pondering where to get a stump of wood or a log from a tree so that I could do the project.  Then, yesterday I happened to look up as I was walking to the car and remember I have a huge woodpile containing logs and the stumpy contents of a neighbors severed tree.




I admit, as I was digging around in there for stumps I was a little bit jumpy as I half expected a black widow to crawl out from under these logs.  Lucky for me, I saw nothing but a colony of pincher bugs.

I selected a few stumps of different sizes and proceeded to take the bark off of the outside using a hammer and a chisel.



Once all of the bark was off, I got out my tiny $25 orbital sander and started sanding.


sander and bald stump


The sanding took about 30 minutes per stump, and you had better have time for a shower afterwards, because it is a messy half hour!  I sanded the top, then turned it on it’s side and just started sanding as best as I could.  There were a couple places I had to do by hand with a piece of sandpaper, and honestly, there was a crevice or two that I could not get into.

After I was done sanding I did another one!  I liked the way it was kind of a “double seater”.

double log

I started to sand it…. as I was sanding, I noticed that at the crook of the stump, it was really not holding together well.  After a little work with the chisel, it came apart into two pieces.


Now, it is kind of a half seat, but actually, looks very pretty.


Here is the first one all sanded up!   You can’t really tell, but at the top there is a crack in the wood, and I am pretty sure there are still critters living in this log.  I decided to give the log a thin coat of polyurethane, and let it drip deep into the cracks so that it might send the critters packing.

I coated both logs with poly using a foam brush and a small can I had left over from another project.  I didn’t love the idea of using polyurethane in this project.  I would have preferred beeswax, but I don’t have any.  I figure, if I decide I can’t stand the poly coat, or my kids start licking the stump (a likely scenario) a quick re-sand will remove it, and I can get some beeswax and coat the stump with that.

I took the two stumps inside and my kids ran over in delight!  My son (who is unusually strong) lifted the stump off the ground and let it drop back down.  The result of this was that two pincher bugs leapt out of that crevice and took off across my living room.

The stumps are currently sitting in black plastic bags on my back porch.  I am hoping that a few days wrapped in the bags will kill any remaining critters that weren’t bright enough to see the writing on the wall during the sanding and poly treatment.  As soon as I am convinced they are critter free, they will be back in my living room, looking awesome!

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