creative ideas for 3'' diameter wood

still_lynnskiJune 29, 2010

We have many long lengths from the trunk and branches of a Carolina Silverbell tree. The tree was a wedding gift with sentimental value, and someone else cut it down. Long sad story. Cue the violins and attorneys.

Can any of you creative people help with ideas about how I might use the wood itself? I'm talking about hard wood with attractive striated grey bark. The bark is relatively smooth and is quite pretty. Probably about 40-50 feet in total, with a diameter ranging from 3-4" or so. We haven't yet cut the long lengths.

I was wondering about maybe making an arbor, or something nice for the birds, or perhaps sculpture or another item for the garden. I would want it to last a long time because of the sentimental value of the original tree, so I'm wondering if I should let it age before cutting or before making something--whatever that something will be.

Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated!

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kelly_oh(OH z6)

GRRRRRR for people that cut down other people's trees!!!!
My first thought was of these, umm sculptures? I'm really not sure what to call them, that a vendor on Etsy does with wood rounds. It seems that she paints the rings different colors, like multi-colored bullseyes. Then the whole seems to be clear sealed very well. I like the pictures of the walls with many of them on there. I know that's inside and not for the garden, but the general idea could be incorporated. Maybe cut varying lengths and use as path markers or hose guides?
Sorry, I'm fixated on those rings right now and can't think past them!

Here is a link that might be useful: tree rings

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 12:54PM
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soonergirl1968(7a OKC)

If you want to keep them "forever" you may want to protect them. I think it would be really neat to cut them into 1" sections so you have a whole bunch of discs. Glue them to the top of an old table and pour resin (isn't that what it's called? They put on bar tops - clear, real thick hard stuff?) over them to seal them in and it would make a beautiful table!!

Or you could use the "discs" to cover a large picture frame, planters or a wall in a small room!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 1:51PM
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soonergirl1968(7a OKC)

I looked it up... it's EPOXY not resin. Pretty cool stuff though!!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 2:02PM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

So sorry about your tree.

Scroll down a bit to the first branch arbor- its gorgeous and mentions there are instructions but I couldn't find them on the web. Be sure to scroll down a bit further to Rustic Arbors. I think keeping the actual wood off the ground may be key in preventing rot. Mabe attaching to metal posts that are driven into the ground?

I love those painted rounds too.


Here is a link that might be useful: Arbors

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 2:08PM
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without taking the time to look up what I was thinking, I'll just mention it right now..

my son at one time had some really pretty trees he was keeping an eye on for a friend who was looking for special trees for making musical instruments.
when you said..."violins and attorneys" ..that sparked my memory..

first off..can you sue?
second, with research, it's possible to make nice violins or other woodwind instruments with certain wood, from certain trees...
hence my urgency to post this, in case that should be the case here.
please check wherever it is, that one would find someone interested in buying wood for this special use..

Indian flutes, violins, bass violins, violas, you know the kind I'm saying......
I know a flute would take a miniscule amount of wood bit still, it's so worth the time to check, to preserve such fine wood.

for another post, for regular wood I had suggested harvesting mushrooms but this I doubt would fall under that catagory...

good luck and now I'll go check around to see what kinds of woods are preferred for musical instruments.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 2:58PM
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so far, I see it has to do with density and moisture content of the woods and mechanical properties..

and being about 3"..well, I know a flute would fit in don't know about how wood is milled, to get the large amounts of fine thin woods..
we have mills around here that will do work on a lot of different thicknesses but have no clue on just how small a diameter.

omg...there's company right near me, in Portland Oregon, that sells wood as small as blanks for chopsticks...
$4 for a set of chop sticks one can turn on their own lathe..can you imagine how far some nice wood can go for such things?

In the Seattle area, there's a lady who designed her own mini lathe..I've talked to her and will one day take a workshop from her. she teaches at a studio for anyone who needs a walk through of her lathe..

I did a bit of wood turning in a class I took years ago, at the Art Institute in Seattle.
wow, that brings back memories~

Gilmer Wood Company

2211 N.W. St. Helens Road

Portland, Oregon 97210

(503) 274-1271

Fax (503) 274-9839

800# 1-888-667-3979

click here to e-mail inquiry or order

Owner: Myles Gilmer

anyway, that's what I found in the past 5 minutes, so there must be a multitude of others, closer or more suitable for what ever you may need.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 3:13PM
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pen blanks

cocuswood for woodwind instruments

African blackwood, also for woodwind instruments

European pearwood

woodwind blanks

chop stick blanks

pink ivory-madagascar ebony vase 4" width x 10" tall

all pieces cut and ready for hand turning on a wood lathe..

the very best to you in this decision and search and with sincere empathy for having had that tree cut down, without your consent.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 3:41PM
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I love soonergirl's idea with the Epoxy ...

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 5:25PM
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Saw this at a craft show recently. Thought it may be something you would consider for your beautiful tree trunks and branches. On the sides (where you can't see) they just criss-crossed thinner branches all the way up and down both sides. It was put together with just nails, but it was really pretty. Unfortunately this was their last one and it was sold when I got there. :0(

Here is a link that might be useful: Arbor

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 5:35PM
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You all are the BEST!

These are such fantastic ideas. One of them in particular really touched me, and now I see a way to give this tree a long and soulful life...

Best wishes and many thanks,

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 10:27PM
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I have always loved the rustic looking arbors and your wood would look gorgeous in an arbor.

Although it's not garden junk, I have a pair of lamps made from a tree branch. If you have a more rustic decor that might be an option too. This is a picture of one of my lamps.

The book in the picture - Rustic Garden Projects - has some wonderful ideas for using wood like yours too.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 1:11AM
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