Coffee Table

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Project by TZH posted 10-21-2009 08:32 PM 2134 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Made from twisted Red Cedar from the Badlands of North Dakota (yes, North Dakota does have trees, contrary to what you may have heard). This table is actually two separate, free-standing pieces fit together to form the table. The last two photos show me harvesting the wood in the Badlands of ND (when I was a lot younger, more foolish, and not as safety minded with a chainsaw as I am now).

-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

13 comments so far

View Lisa Chan's profile

Lisa Chan

147 posts in 3599 days

#1 posted 10-21-2009 08:38 PM

WOW! That’s something I would LOVE to have in my home…. time to start scheming.

-- Lisa Chan, custom cafts and yarn accessories,

View RickB's profile


48 posts in 3589 days

#2 posted 10-22-2009 12:07 AM

Very nice…

I recently have seen pieces like this for sale in Door County, WI; twisted pieces of driftwood used for floor lamps, coffee tables and other such things.

May I ask, how is such a piece made smooth and finished?


View TZH's profile


558 posts in 3589 days

#3 posted 10-22-2009 12:15 AM

It takes a lot of hand work to clean out the cracks and crevices to get it ready for finishing. Once that’s done, I use a combination of small, detail hand tools like die grinders, cup rasps, riffler files, carbide carving bits for a Dremel, and, of course, hand sanding to get the pieces as smooth as I can. The finish coats are a combination of Watco Danish Oil and Minwax Hand-rubbed polyurethane. Nothing is sprayed or brushed on – it’s all applied by hand. I feel I get better penetration and durability that way. Hope that answers your question.

-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

View a1Jim's profile


117688 posts in 4026 days

#4 posted 10-22-2009 01:30 AM

Unique table good job

View dustyal's profile


1310 posts in 3924 days

#5 posted 10-22-2009 02:17 AM

Beautiful… I can see where a lot of work went into making it. Great eye for design to bring the two pieces together as you did.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View Pdub's profile


926 posts in 3628 days

#6 posted 10-22-2009 06:47 PM

Wow, the table looks great! The wood is beautiful. I can back up your statement, ND does have trees, but I have never seen any that look like this. What brought you all the way to North dakota?

-- Paul, North Dakota, USAF Ret.

View TZH's profile


558 posts in 3589 days

#7 posted 10-22-2009 07:18 PM

Actually, Paul, I was born and raised in southwestern ND. Moved to CO in 1988. If you go to the Badlands, this kind of wood is all over the place. I just didn’t know how to access it on public lands (the wood for my coffee table was taken off a private owner’s land with their permission). After spending hours and hours surfing the Internet, I found out the NFS administers most of the public lands in the Badlands and they issue the permits for cutting firewood (I think it’s a shame this wood is used for that purpose, but many people believe the twisted cedar is a weed of sorts). That’s why I contacted the NFS to see what would be involved in getting a permit.

-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

View DrTebi's profile


305 posts in 3715 days

#8 posted 10-23-2009 05:07 AM

Wonderful idea and execution, very inspiring.

View Kristoffer's profile


675 posts in 3664 days

#9 posted 11-13-2009 05:03 PM

That is just toooooo cool!

-- Cheers and God Bless

View Pdub's profile


926 posts in 3628 days

#10 posted 11-19-2009 10:03 PM

Hey TZH, Thanks for posting the new pics of you harvesting the wood. Are you standing in the top of that tree? We were all a little more foolish when we were younger. At least I know I was. And what was safety? I’d still be riding bulls if I hadn’t gotten a little wiser. Thanks again for the update, and keep posting those wonderful projects.

-- Paul, North Dakota, USAF Ret.

View TZH's profile


558 posts in 3589 days

#11 posted 11-20-2009 02:16 AM

Naw, I wasn’t at the top of the tree as it was pretty small, but I had to go into the branches in order to get to the bottom of the tree for some of it. That’s why it looks like I’m at the top.

-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

View Sasha's profile


1052 posts in 1661 days

#12 posted 04-05-2015 09:28 AM


-- Ganchik Sasha. Life is not a draft, tomorrow you will not redo......

View bushmaster's profile


3671 posts in 2731 days

#13 posted 09-02-2016 04:47 AM

out standing.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

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