We finally put our Christmas tree up this weekend. Better late than never, don’t they always say. Anyway,
I we decided to forgo our traditional fake Christmas tree for one that required a bit more assembly, but in the long run, or should I say log run, adds a whole new look to our Christmas decor. My husband still prefers a traditional tree, but seeing as how we are trying to keep the Christmas decorating to a minimum this year, he is dealing with it.
Designed after the stacking twig Christmas tree ornaments of last year, we made a stacked log Christmas tree that is low profile, low maintenance (once assembled), and it will probably last for a good several years.
There is the matter of where to store it after Christmas…but that’s a problem for another day ;D
Logs or branches with a 2″ – 4″ diameter
1 – 2×4 cut to 60″
1 – 2×4 cut to 20″ (base)
1 – 2×4 cut to 8″ (base)
27 – 2-1/2″ all purpose screws
1 drill bit that is slightly thinner than the 2-1/2″ screws
1 drill bit that is slightly thicker than the 2-1/2″ screws
1 countersink bit
1 screwdriver bit (square or Phillips depening on screw type)
Blue painters or masking tape
1 piece white chalk
Note: Most of this project was done by eyeballing it rather than measuring. Sizes given can vary and due to the rustic nature of the project, the straight line concept was put aside for the knotty, bending log and branches way of thinking.
The three most important steps for this project are:
Making the Christmas tree stand (must be sturdy)
Centering the logs onto the stand (so it looks good)
And attaching the logs to the stand using the screw snug technique (so the logs don’t fall off or wobble)
The screw snug technique
What in the heck is the screw sung technique???
All pieces were assembled using what I’ll call, the screw snug technique.
Sorry that this is such a cheesy (but hopefully not offensive) term. There may be another, more professional term for this that I am not familiar with, but for the sake of clear directions, this is what I’ll call it.
The purpose of this technique is to screw the pieces of wood or logs together snugly when you are not able to use clamps. The basic steps are as follows:
– Drill a pilot hole through both pieces of wood with thinner drill bit
– Drill a secondary hole through first piece only with taped, larger drill bit
– Countersink drill holes
– Drive screw into each hole through both pieces of wood with the result that the 2nd piece of wood snugs up to the first piece of wood.
(Explained in more detail below)
Using the screw snug technique to make the Christmas tree stand
(Note: tree stand pieces of 2×4 do not have to be angled off like the photo above.)
Place a piece of tape 1-1/4″ from end of the thicker drill bit.
Center the 8″ piece of 2×4 perpendicular to the 20″ piece.
Using the thinner of the two drill bits, drill two pilot holes all the way through the backside of the 20″ piece and into the 8″piece.
Using the thicker drill bit, the one marker with tape, drill back through the two pilot holes, but only drill down as far as the tape marker (1-1/4″), which should end up allowing you to only have drilled through the first 2×4.
Countersink both holes.
Drive a screw through each hole going through both pieces of wood. The screw should be loose through the 20″ piece of 2×4, but then tight through the 8″ piece of 2×4. When the screw catches on the 8″ piece, it will draw that piece into the 20″ piece.
You should notice that the 8″ piece will snug up to the 20″ piece.
(I hope that makes sense, but feel free to leave me a comment if I need to explain this better.)
Adding the tree stand post
Line the 60″ 2×4 up on the backside of the 20″ 2×4 and attach 2 screws on each side of the 8″ piece by using the screw snug technique.
Cut branches or logs to form a the shape of stacked log Christmas tree
I cut my pieces using a table saw.
– Lay them out first to find the straightest lengths.
– Cut about 10 pieces ranging from 6″ to 38″.
– Arrange to form a Christmas tree, keeping knots to the front.
– Sheer of any large knots that are facing the backside.
Find the center and mark with tape
– Measure to find the center width-wise of the shortest and longest piece. Mark with a piece of tape.
– Lay a long piece of tape vertically, down the center of the logs.
– Cut tape between each log and press tape pieces onto each log.
– Flip each log and run a chalk mark down the center.
– Measure 1-3/4″ out from center to the left and right, and make a mark with chalk.
NOTE: These three chalk lines will line up with the 2×4 that is the Christmas tree stand.
– Lay all logs down on a flat surface, such as a table, with the backside of log facing upwards and all chalk lines lined up with each other.
– Make sure the spacing looks right, about 1″ or 2″ between each log works well.
– Measure the height of the logs (mine was about 43″, and then mark that dimension onto the post of the Christmas tree stand, allowing for desired spacing from the bottom (about 12″ – 16″) to where the first log starts.
– Place 2×4 post of tree stand onto of logs and line it up with all of the chalk marks.
– Starting from first log from the bottom, follow the screw sung technique about to attach each log to the 2×4.
Once again, the steps are:
– Drill a pilot hole through both the 2×4 and the log with thinner drill bit
– Drill a secondary hole through the 2×4 only with taped, larger drill bit
– Countersink drill holes
– Drive screw into each hole through both the 2×4 and the log with the result that the log snugs up to the 2×4.
NOTE: the logs will appear as though they are not going to snug up to the 2×4, but as you use the screw snug technique to attach them, you will see how each log draws up against the 2×4.
As we kept screwing in the logs further up the 2×4, we did have to pull the stand off the table and suspend it with the table saw. It worked very well.
Voila!! It was nigh fall by the time we finished, but when we were finished we had a stacked log Christmas tree.
The weight of the logs pulls down onto the front piece of the Christmas tree stand, making the log tree very sturdy and stable.
There has been so much going on this Fall for us that we just couldn’t bring ourselves to do the full Monty of Christmas decorating, but since we are going to be giving the table saw a good workout as we start to put a wall back up in the basement, we figured why not warm it up with this log (or some may call it a branch) Christmas tree project.
I snagged these branches/ logs from my sisters wood pile before they went into the fire for her annual bonfire and the 2×4 was salvaged from the take down of the old wall in our basement, so aside from a box of screws and a box of Christmas lights, this Christmas tree was virtually free…and since we love our log new tree…I’d call that priceless!
Here is hoping you all stay as SNUG as a bug in a rug this Christmas week ~ Amy
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