Like a glowing piece of wood, this tree log lamp with resin panels spreads its cozy glow, ideal for balmy summer nights. We show you how to make this impressive lamp from a tree trunk and synthetic resin.
Despite the rugged appearance of the trunk, it is stable – because the gaps in the wood are filled with synthetic resin. With a height of 42 cm, the wooden block is not only a great lamp, but also a practical stool . Here we show how to make this tree trunk lamp as a carpentry project and what you should consider when working with epoxy resin.
Tree log lamp with resin: Allow enough time
Plan for the project at least three days : The sawing work done on the first day. Then let the wood rest. This way, stresses caused by sawing can be compensated in the wood.
The next day fill the columns with synthetic resin. For each gap you have to expect 1.5 hours of waiting time in which the epoxy resin hardens. You can not sand down and paint the lamp until the next day, because that’s how long the resin takes to reach final strength.
Select epoxy resin
For the tree trunk lamp one can use a simple and relatively cheap epoxy resin. Since no large surfaces are poured, the resin does not have to harden crystal clear. But you should use an epoxy resin that hardens quickly and is suitable for thicknesses up to 1.5 centimeters.
For the material to cure well, resin and hardener must be mixed exactly in the ratio specified by the manufacturer. At the ideal room temperature of 20 ° C, it remains liquid for 30 to 45 minutes, then the material slowly becomes gel-like.
How much epoxy resin you need depends on the size of the trunk and the width of the slots. For the tree trunk of 42 cm length we used about 1.5 liters of resin and hardener.
Caution when handling epoxy resin: direct contact may cause allergic reactions. Always wear a privacy shield and suitable plastic gloves . Since the vapors irritate the mucous membranes and the respiratory tract, you must always ventilate your work area well or put on a gas mask with A2 filter. A dust mask is mandatory when grinding with epoxy resin.
Tree log lamp with resin: You need
- Tree trunk, about 42 cm high
- Epoxy resin and hardener E45 (about 1.5 liters)
- RGB Garden spotlight
- some foil and paper
- joints acrylic
- melamine-coated wood panel
- Teflon spray as release agent
- Grit size 40, 80, 120, 180, 240
- Acetone for cleaning
- Oak bar
Tools: Work surface (eg clamping table), breathing mask, flex with grinding wheel, hot air blower, measuring cup, chainsaw, rasp, grinder, protective clothing (gloves, glasses, ear protection), black felt-tip pen, chisel & clapper, small funnel, clamps
Cost : about $150
Duration : 3 days
In the following, we show you in three steps how to proceed with the manufacture of the log trunk lamp with epoxy resin filling.
Hollow out the tree trunk
Getting a trunk section of 42 cm height and 30 cm diameter is not easy. Ask around you, maybe someone just felled a tree. Otherwise, inquire with a forester or farmer with forestry operations. There may also be a sawmill in your area. Ideally, the tree was not just cut fresh, but could already dry for about two years for the best tree log lamp with resin. Now remove the inside of the trunk with a chainsaw. Pay attention to your safety: visual, hearing and cut protection are standard features.
Attach wooden block: Fix the wooden block stably with tension straps on the working surface (such as a clamping table). Make sure that it is at a comfortable working height for you.
Mark cutting area: Use a visible pen, such as a black edding, to mark the cutting area. Regardless of the circumference, an 8 to 10 cm thick edge layer must be left standing.
Start with a vertical cut. Keep the saw point straight, it must not leave the radius.
To prevent the cuts from becoming too deep, mark the maximum cutting depth on the chain saw blade.
Cut into the trunk with individual cuts in a star shape. If necessary, turn the tree trunk.
Carefully separate the wooden segments between the cuts.
The curves on the side and on the ground work out best with chisels and hammer.
Optionally, you can also smooth the inner surface with a Forstner drill or wood trimmer.
2. Saw the light slots
Fix the tree trunk well on the work surface. Before you mark the light slots, you should sand off the top and bottom of the block of wood thoroughly.
Use a clamp to secure the tree trunk to the work surface. So the trunk can not roll anymore.
Mark the center on a tape. From here you can record rays of different lengths.
Cut the notches in the indicated depth along the entire trunk. Keep turning it over and over.
Work the incisions with a wooden rasp. Smooth the saw marks of the chainsaw.
3. Pour out slits & varnish top
In the next step, the columns are filled with epoxy resin. To do this, first seal the slits and then – one after the other – pour out. The illuminant is an RGB garden spotlight with remote control.
Sealing slots on the inside: stuff paper wrapped in foil into the slots and secure with joint acrylic. Carefully – the resin mixture is very thin.
Seal top and bottom with one coated wooden plate each and possibly Teflon spray as release agent and acrylic. Align first gap horizontally.
Mix resin and hardener well according to manufacturer’s instructions. Let the mixture rest for a few minutes.
Slowly fill the top gap with resin. Processing time of the resin: cîrca 30-45 minutes.
Remove superficial bubbles with a hot air blower. Cure after 1.5 hours, add resin if necessary.
Then remove the boards and treat the next gap as well. Once all slots have hardened, sand the bottom and inside of the log.
Grind first with a coarse grain, then finer and finer (40, 80, 120, 180, 240). Dust off in between. Always wear respiratory protection when grinding.
Coat the top with freshly mixed synthetic resin. Include the slightly rounded bark.
Remove any bubbles from the surface of the resin layer with a hot air blower.
Once the synthetic resin has fully hardened on the surface, the surface is sanded off and dedusted. This is followed by a second layer of synthetic resin.
Three small sections of the oak wood strip are screwed as feet to the bottom of the lamp. Finally, treat the inside and the bottom of the lamp with a wood preservative primer.
Insert the light fitting. With the remote control, you can dim the lights and turn them on and off
Gerhardt Richter is a writer and a trainer at trade technical colleges, specializing in carpentry, plumbing and construction.