French Polished Cypress Stump Table

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Project by swirt posted 07-01-2020 02:42 AM 1349 views 1 time favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In May 2019 I had a pair of Cypress trees cut down. One of them had an impressive flair at the base that I asked the tree service to preserve for me. It had to become a table. It took me a while to decide on what kind of table. It took some work with a chainsaw, router sled, scrub plane and a slick to get it into shape.

For coloring I fumed it with ammonia and then used dark tung oil to give it more color and protection. I was having trouble getting the finish to build completely on the end grain (yes pure tung oil can build a sheen) Some specific sections of the end grain just remained thirsty so I eventually switched over to a French polish with shellac to complete the finish on the shelves. Topped off that with a couple of treatments with Odie’s Oil as the source of wax and a bit of water protection.

Lots more build photos and step by steps on source: Cypress Console Table

-- Galootish log blog,

18 comments so far

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4612 posts in 4226 days

#1 posted 07-01-2020 02:58 AM

That’s pretty neat. I like the end grain. I had a bunch of Italian Cypress trees in my yard cut down, but ended up just getting rid of them. I guess I should have saved some pieces and done something, but truthfully, around here there isn’t a place to put a new project.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View swirt's profile


6274 posts in 4089 days

#2 posted 07-01-2020 03:23 AM

Thanks Dark Lightning. The color variations on the end grain were really surprising to me. They are pretty amazing. The photos don’ do them justice. I hear you about the space. This one I enjoyed working on, but it took up a good portion of my shop for a good 6 months.

-- Galootish log blog,

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


2774 posts in 664 days

#3 posted 07-01-2020 09:47 AM

Wow, Swirt. Fabulous lump of firewood. I know there was a ton of work getting those shelves cut out and looking decent. Hat´s off to you!!!

-- WWBBJ: It is better to be interesting and wrong, than boring and right.

View ohwoodeye's profile


2643 posts in 4270 days

#4 posted 07-01-2020 12:13 PM

Wow, very attractive piece and incredible build.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View swirt's profile


6274 posts in 4089 days

#5 posted 07-01-2020 01:33 PM

@wildwoodbybrianjohns Thank you. Yes this kind of thing is a fair amount of work.

@ohwoodeye Thank you.

-- Galootish log blog,

View RCCinNC's profile


502 posts in 1444 days

#6 posted 07-01-2020 02:55 PM

Now that is very cool. Obviously the cat approves as well! Kudos for having the vision, the patience and skillset to create what is quite a unique and wonderful piece. Smart to re assess the open grain finishing too…Stuff like that can drive you nuts! ; )
Way to go Swirt!

-- Live to putter...putter to live!

View BurlyBob's profile


9000 posts in 3383 days

#7 posted 07-01-2020 03:06 PM

That is down right fantastic!

View swirt's profile


6274 posts in 4089 days

#8 posted 07-01-2020 04:40 PM

@RCCinNC Thank you. Yes the cat approves, she uses it as a hiding spot to jump out and ambush the dog. And yes the finishing issues did take longer than the rest of the build, and did drive me a bit nuts.. but it was totally worth it.

@BurlyBog Thank you.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Ocelot's profile


3119 posts in 3755 days

#9 posted 07-01-2020 08:02 PM

That’s really cool!

Nice chisel too!


-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View swirt's profile


6274 posts in 4089 days

#10 posted 07-01-2020 11:23 PM

Thanks @ocelot. I don’t get to use the slick much (won’t fit most projects) but when I do, it makes me happy. ;)

-- Galootish log blog,

View MrWolfe's profile


1599 posts in 1241 days

#11 posted 07-02-2020 12:51 AM

That’s Absolutely Beautiful!
I love the way you worked with the flair of the trunk, the shape is incredible and the shelves are great.
That finish is very fine and the French polish with the shellac turned out well. Is that a crack that ran throughout the trunk that you’ve filled with expoxy?
Great work Swirt!

View swirt's profile


6274 posts in 4089 days

#12 posted 07-02-2020 01:03 AM

Thank you @MrWolfe . Funny enough the the crack was actually three separate cracks. They each opened up individually after the shelves were cut out and the trunk started drying more rapidly. I filled each of them with epoxy Mainly black with a bit of rose mixed in

There’s more photos of the epoxy process on the source link.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Ron Stewart's profile

Ron Stewart

303 posts in 3621 days

#13 posted 07-02-2020 03:12 AM

That was a heroic effort, and the result is absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing the in-progress photos on your web site.

-- Ron Stewart

View swirt's profile


6274 posts in 4089 days

#14 posted 07-02-2020 04:47 AM

Thank you Ron.

-- Galootish log blog,

View TZH's profile


610 posts in 4257 days

#15 posted 07-08-2020 12:54 PM

Way too cool….and beautiful to boot!!!!!


-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

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