Evolution of a stump: From natures sculpture to mine. #2: Sanding, burning, more sanding.....and more sanding!!

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Blog entry by junipercanyon posted 01-02-2013 04:06 PM 2799 reads 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: From Tree to stump Part 2 of Evolution of a stump: From natures sculpture to mine. series Part 3: Turquoise and Copper inlays »

Working through the grits of sandpaper is important. I feel like I could utilize some advantage if I included a couple more “in between grits” from my typical strategy, but sandpaper costs a lot!!! I started this piece with my chainsaw, roughing out the size and shape, cutting a “flat” top and bottom….then moving to my angle grinder with my favorite shaping tool attached, the Holey Galahad carbide disk. After the shaping is mostly complete, I move on to the orbital sander with some 60grit and 80grit to take down all the high spots. Now the piece is ready to start paying attention to the grain. I compare it too painting in reverse…taking away a little bit at a time, watching the way the grain moves as I take layer by layer of “dust” away. It makes a huge difference in the way the final piece looks if you watch the grain rather than just trying to sand away aimlessly. I typically start with 120grit, and concentrate on blending in the scratches, nics, dings, and working the movement of the wood grain so it flows. Then bump to 220grit, watching as the scratches start to disappear and trying to avoid leaving the “swirly” marks that start to become very apparent when the wood starts to shine all by itself. For my final use of the obital sander, I finish with 320grit. I can see my blurry reflection in the wood at this point, and the “swirly” marks start to jump out everywhere so this step takes a while. I finish up with hand sanding 400grit before the first coat of oil. I am going to come back and do some turquoise inlays, and between coats of oil I’ll be hand sanding with 600grit and buffing with steel wool.

-- Juniper Canyon Design

11 comments so far

View TreeBones's profile


1828 posts in 4585 days

#1 posted 01-02-2013 04:14 PM

Nice. A lot of effort goes into this kind of project and it shows. Very cool.

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

View DocSavage45's profile


8874 posts in 3404 days

#2 posted 01-02-2013 04:19 PM

Thanks, Nice to see a masters steps. Wondering about the splits in the piece. Have wood sair drying for a couple years. Noticing significant splits and checks. Do these continue with your project in juniper?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View junipercanyon's profile


198 posts in 3255 days

#3 posted 01-02-2013 04:56 PM

Doc: Most of the splits and cracks were there before I even cut the tree down, and I suppose there will be a few more as time goes on. Juniper is a pretty gnarly tree, it grows really weird, twisted, cracked, split, sometimes a tree will stop growing, and a new tree will start up from the base and grow around it. My region is overgrown with juniper, which is a native species but has become very invasive due to lack of its natural check and balance which was wild fire. This was a really old tree, several hundred years at least. There is very little moisture in the old growth trees, from cutting it down to sanding in these pictures was just a few days, and for what I like to create with juniper the splits don’t affect the finish piece. I will be filling in some of the cracks with turquoise, but for the most part the cracks are just a part of the natural form that is unavoidable.

-- Juniper Canyon Design

View Don W's profile

Don W

19381 posts in 3130 days

#4 posted 01-02-2013 05:01 PM

Man the oil really made it pop. Thanks for sharing this. Its very interesting.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View DocSavage45's profile


8874 posts in 3404 days

#5 posted 01-02-2013 05:07 PM

Nice that your junk trees are so beautiful! LOL! And tough! You won’t run out of material. Thanks

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30475 posts in 2900 days

#6 posted 01-02-2013 05:26 PM

It’s obvious you have a great eye and imagination. Looking forward to the finished product!

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2970 days

#7 posted 01-02-2013 06:01 PM

A piece of art in the making. Nice job on this.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Manitario's profile


2788 posts in 3445 days

#8 posted 01-02-2013 06:26 PM

wow, I can only imagine how much work it is to sand all the nooks and crannies on it…looks amazing though!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3252 days

#9 posted 01-03-2013 02:27 AM

A lot of effort but the beauty of the piece makes it all worthwhile. Probably be cool to tape a pic of what you started with on the underside of each finished piece.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2569 days

#10 posted 01-03-2013 04:00 AM

Who’da thunk that an old stump could be so beautiful ! ? ? !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2616 days

#11 posted 01-03-2013 02:33 PM


-- Joel

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