Are you also inspired from the DIY trend that is so popular these days? Have you ever thought of transforming a simple log of wood into an incredible work of art or a really attractive log planter? Do you want to learn how to hollow out a log?
How I got the idea of hollowing out logs on my own?
As I visited one of my tree loving friends who is also a plant enthusiast, I saw the creative way in which she had planted lovely petunia flowers in a hollow log. I could not get it out of mind even days after the visit and thus I ultimately started searching for similar log planters. As I was browsing the internet for them, I came across various DIY sites from where I got the inspiration of doing it on my own.
Why I wrote this article?
However, easy as it seemed in tutorials that you saw, when you really start, you discover the real hurdles. But I was determined to do it so somehow, I managed to master the skill of creating perfect hollowed out logs. Now I have decided to share some of the tips I felt are helpful to make the whole process of carving hollow spaces from the log of wood a lot easier. These are the tips which I have found after a lot of hit and trial process. I also found unique and awesome ways of using the logs, some of which I will share below.
Unique and awesome ways hollow log can be used:
- A hollow tree trunk or log might seem like an eyesore but if you have the creative flair within you, you can convert it into an inherent artwork. But the most basic step is to learn “How to hollow out a log”. Once you learn this, you will be surprised to discover how a simple wooden log has tremendous potential of turning into an attractive decorative piece.
- With flowers or some other additions, you can transform a wooden log into a stunning yard décor. Here are few creatively gorgeous ways of using a hollow log to embellish your yard or homes.
- Instead of using the cheap plastic pots, you can use the hollow log as a planter. Fill the hollow part with soil and plant your favorite flowers like petunia, sweet alyssum or impatiens. They will surely add beauty and color to your property throughout summers.
- You can even create lovely wooden furniture or décor items which you can use in your garden or home décor.
- You can also create a bird house with it.
- You can also create a candle stand using small trunks or branches.
Step by step guide to how to hollow out a log:
Step 1: The very first step is to choose your log. You need to decide according to the type of look you want in the end product. If you want your planter to look rustic then you need to choose a nicely thick trunk with twigs or even moss growing from it.
Step 2: The size of the log will also depend on your requirement. On an average, the length of the log can be between one to two feet with the diameter size between 10 to 14 inch.
Step 3: Your next step is to cut off the bottom and top surface of the log until you get the ideal size. You can get a band saw for this which will help you get the cleanest cuts possible.
Step 4: Next important step is to create a mark at the center of the log and another one at a distance of ¾” from the edge. Use a compass to create a circular outline for hollowing.
Step 5: Now we will start the hollowing process by hammering the chisel right along the lines drawn by the compass. Because of this step, you will get a firm hold on the areas to be removed. Once you successfully chisel the outlined area, the next step is to remove the center area.
Step 6: Now to hollow out the log, start deep chiseling process in the center. Start chiseling small areas of wood by pounding the chisel down at least once every time. Work your way from the outer lining towards the center gradually. And then continue the process deeper into the log.
Step 7: Once you have chiseled all the wood away, now is the time to smoothen down the surface. Take a sandpaper and smoothen the surface wherever you think is necessary.
5 things you need to avoid
Here are the 5 things that you certainly need to avoid if you want to get perfect hollow logs without a lot of hard work:
- What you need to avoid is to use any other type of saw other than the band saw while cutting off the top and bottom of the log. The reason behind this is that it won’t get you a clean cut and will need a lot of sanding efforts.
- While chiseling process, make sure you don’t go too deep if you don’t whole of the log to break so you need to remove little by little.
- Start by chiseling the wood on the surface level and once you have covered all the area, gradually continue doing it on a deeper level.
- Remember that you don’t start chiseling straight away without marking the areas which you want to hollow out. Don’t try to do it roughly.
- Make sure that you cut off the top and lower surface of the log before starting the chiseling process so that you will get a smooth surface to start the chiseling process. You will also get a smooth base so that the log will be stable while you chisel.
Hope you loved these tips. No matter how simple they may seem, trust me when I say that avoiding these small mistakes will help you transform the whole process of hollowing the logs. The step by step guide will literally transform the whole process real easy and hassle free!
For me, the process of cutting the hollow areas out of the wooden log was more of a relaxation ritual than a job. I used to take 30 minutes break from whatever I was doing and sit in the sun and start chipping away the log.