Live Edge Home Bar For The Wedding Tent

August 10, 2015 1 comment

I just built this live edge bar for a outdoor wedding.  Its made with a 2 inch thick Black Cherry natural slabs that were milled on our sawmill here in Rockwood, Ontario.  The front and the framing of the bar is all constructed with Red Pine.

Live edge natural wood Cherry Home bar.

Homemade wood bar

The finish of the bar top is wipe on poly and antique oil. the L shaped sections of the bar can be taken apart by removing 4 bolts. the total length is 20 feet long.

Live Edge Home Bar

Live Edge Bar

The home bar now got moved to the wedding tent

Woode live edge bar

We moved the bar and set it up inside the wedding tent.

We had lots of helpers decorating and tying bows on the chairs.

There were a lot of flowers at this outdoor wedding.

Outdoor live bark edge bar for the wedding tent.

Wedding tables getting set up for this outdoor wedding.


How Far Apart To Space Cedar Trees For A Privacy Hedge.

March 21, 2015 2 comments

cedar-hedge You are planting a privacy cedar hedge, and you need to know how far apart to  plant the cedar trees. First thing to consider, are your cedar trees going to be planted for a privacy fence?  Or are the trees going to be planted because you love evergreen trees, and would like to green up the back yard. Eastern White Cedar trees can be planted in your yard, or anywhere around your home as a stand alone tree, or as a hedge tree. If you’re planting the cedar tree as a stand alone tree, it will grow tall and big. White cedars in Ontario can grow up to 60 feet tall. We saw old cedar trees that become too over grown, or are headed for the landfill site at our sawmill in Rockwood. But lets get back to the privacy hedge, and before we get into the spacing distance I would like to tell you that the light pruning on your cedar hedge will make your hedge grow thick. How thick would you like the hedge to be? Well most would like a dense hedge that you can not see through. Newly planted hedges will take some time to be this way, but there is a way to speed the process up just a tad. Fertilize the trees and shrubs in the spring, and do this in the early spring, even if there is snow still on the ground, the cedars are coming out of dormancy and would love a boost to get growing and to make more thick branches. For the best thick cedar hedge, plant the cedars close together.  Cedar trees in the forest naturally grow close from seed and they do just fine. All white cedars up to the height of 6 feet tall can be planted one foot apart, and for a extra thick hedge you may stagger the rows. Staggering tree rows is just a matter of moving every cedar out 45 degrees to the left, then to the right. Planting cedar hedges in a straight row is a very common way to plant. To know how many cedar trees you will need for your hedge, just measure every foot, and dig the hole for that cedar, then over another foot, and dig that hole.. Plant the cedars as you dig the holes.. Large tall cedar trees, up to 12′ may be spaced 3 feet apart. 7 foot to 8 foot cedars can be spaced 2 feet apart, and they will grow into a thick green hedge. 3 foot to 4 foot cedars, plant them at 1 foot apart, and they will grow into a nice thick hedge. Remember to fertilize the trees, but do this only starting on the second year after planting. Have lots of fun while your planting.

Trees damaged by Ontario’s worst ice storm 2012-1013

March 10, 2015 Leave a comment

This winter has been a going concern for many folks in Ontario.  Our trees this year have taking a real beating with the high winds, freezing rain, heavy wet snow and more freezing rain.

When we first got hit with the ice storm many people in and around the region lost their hydro.

There were power lines on the road, across roofs and hanging in the trees, I’ts been a real mess.

Another thing is some of the big trees that landed on septic beds may very well have damaged the pipes in the bed with the sharp snapped off branches that plunged to the ground.

Most areas have a lot of snow so with my experience it makes no sense to try to clean up the broken branches until some of the snow melts away, this way no branches will get left behind.

So whats going to happen to all the trees with broken branches? Well in my opinion if they’re not too badly broken they will survive, some are best to be turned to firewood.

Some trees with broken tops still have parts of the branches hanging on the tree. This could be dangerous because at some time or another that branch will likely fall to the ground. So be careful in any event when you’re around these trees, a fallen branch could cause injury or be fatal.

Some of the trees can be replace with smaller trees if there is no way of saving them, or a nice rock garden may look good where the tree is.

I will post some photos of some of the damage in my next post.


Curly Maple Bullet style pen

March 2, 2015 Leave a comment

Curly Maple Bullet style pen

These bolt action bullet pens are great gifts for the outdoors person.
They write great as well. Have a look on the Knots to Bowls website to see more like this handcrafted pen made with wood from Ontario, Canada.

The Mini bolt action style pen is new. There only 4inch’s long.

Live Natural Edge Shelves With Steel Brackets

February 22, 2015 Leave a comment

This is a step by step way to make steel brackets for live edge shelves. There are many ways to make the brackets, some times I make them out of wood, but this time I used some steel I had in stock in my shop. Materials that I used are 2″x 3/8″ flat bar, 1/2″ steel pipe, 2″x#8 wood screws, and some black Tremco hammered look paint.

Materials used to make live edge steel shelf brackets.

Flat steel bar and pipe

First thing I need to do is layout where the holes are going to be drilled, then where the pipe stubs are to welded. I cut the flat bar and the pipe on the band saw, then used the hand grinder to get the sharp edges off.

preparing steel for welding.

Cleaning up the steel

Now it’s time to drill 4 – 3/16″ holes in each flat bar. I also contersunk the holes with a 5/16″ drill bit.

drilling holes in steel for brackets.

Drilling holes in steel flat bar.

Now the welding begins. But not before we layout our marks on the steel so we get everything inline and straight. I keep the 3 flat bars tight together and use soapstone to draw the mark straight across all 3 bars. For the live edge slabs to sit flat, the pipes need to be welded all in a straight line, and be plunb and square. First the pipes are tacked with the mig welder to the flat bar. Then they need to be checked with a square. After the pipes are nice and straight it’s time to weld them on solid to the flat bar.

Welding live edged shelf brackets.


After the welding and the steel is cooled down I spray painted them with Tremco Hamered black paint. This paint works great for small projects like this, and it dries in around 10 minutes. Almost done, we need to make some marks on the wall now so the brackets will be level and straight. Now it’s time to screw the new steel brackets on the wall. This wall happens to be 1 inch thick pine, so I don’t need to find the wood studs. The #8 wood screws screwed into the 1 inch pine should be strong enough to hold my shop books and some wood turnings.

Installing live edge shelf brackets

Mounting steel brackets on the wood wall.

The live edge shelves are now installed on the Pine wall. I used 1″-1/4″ live natural edge Cherry wood that I cut on my sawmill last spring. The boards are not screwed to the brackets, I may do this later on. Black Cherry is one of my favorite woods to work with, it also gets darker with age. There are many ways to make brackets to hold and mount wooden shelving, the track brackets can be used with no welding involved, or you could make the brackets from wood. There are many times I use metal and wood together to build a project, it just depend on what I feel like useing at the time.

Live edge black cherry live edge shelves with steel brackets.

Cherry wood live edge shelves.

Making A Live Edge Bench With Steel Legs

February 21, 2015 2 comments
top for live edge wood bench

Sanding the wood slab

2 years ago I had a dead Elm tree that needed to be cut down, so that winter when the ground was still frozen I got the 361 Stihl chain saw out and chopped it up.
There’s not much wood that goes to waist here, all the small bits of wood were good for firewood to heat the wood shop and to make maple syrup.
The longer Elm logs were milled on the sawmill just this year into 1 inch and 2 inch live edge slabs.
Early this week I picked out a 2 inch Elm slab and welded up the steel legs for the new bench.
I used 2 inch steel square tubing for the legs.
After all the welding and grinding was finished, I sanded and wiped all the steel with varsol.
Paint was next after the primer, I used a semi gloss Black paint (3 coats).
I had already put the slab through the thickness planer so it was very flat on both sides.
Now it’s time for sanding the Elm.
I started with 150 grit then 180 to 220 and the last sand paper grit was 320.
Elm is a hardwood like Sugar Maple, but I like the grain much better in the Elm.

Sanding live edge lumber.

Sanding the edges of the slab

I know there is some nice Maple that has great looking grain and figure, but the Elm wood is just one of my favourite woods to work with.
Today I did all the finishing sanding, then put my finish on the bottom.
I screwed the steel legs onto the slab, and put 2 heavy soaking coats of tung oil on it.

Live edge bench with steel legs

Live edge bench now finished with Tung oil.

The live edge bench with the metal legs is now finished.

The Making of a Wood Bowl

January 17, 2015 2 comments

How Wooden Bowls Are Made – Step By Step

A local customer brought me two large Black Cherry logs. The tree had been growing on their property for many years. They would like some salad bowls and what ever else made from their old homestead tree. I have one of the logs cut up into 4 sections. These sections will be cut in half, but I will only do one at a time in order to keep the moisture inside the log. No two logs are ever the same; that is why all my handcrafted wood bowls are one-of-a-kind creations. I have already hit 2 good size nails with my chainsaw. I bet there was a tree house up in this tree at one time.

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Once I get the shape I want, the rough turned bowl gets stored away for up to 1 year to allow it to thoroughly dry. The rough bowl is then remounted on the lathe and is turned to the final shape. Many coats of a food grade finish are then applied. Once the finish is dry the wood product then gets a final buff.
None of these cherry bowls are for sale from this tree, but I do normally have a few Black Cherry bowls on sale or on the go in the shop from my own stock of wood. Cherry wood makes some of the nicest looking and the best salad bowls in the world, the grain always looks fantastic and the wood is a durable hardwood.

Visit Us at Knots to Bowls for more handcrafted wood products.