Joint stool in Elm

Siberian Elm to be exact. A weed tree but it has kinda grown on me. This one was a bit older than 50 years and had a bole of about four feet.
mostly doneI’m not done finishing yet but it isn’t going to look much different when I am. And the top isn’t attached, I’m not going to peg it as it is flat sawn (vs quarter) and will expand/contract more than QS oak. Instead, I’m going to screw it on with ell brackets (which I think will allow the seat enough movement). Those flats on the inside of the legs are handy after all.

Very thankfully, I got the grain aligned on all four legs (ie all QS faces face the same direction). Very minor aside, this is rift sawn, not quarter sawn.

The finish is interesting. The base and legs are riven/quarter sawn and burnished with chips (I only sanded the turnings), then flooded with BLO (twice). Burnishing leaves a nice sheen that, with the BLO, makes it look like it was varnished so I may just leave it as is. The top was sanded, then wet sanded with BLO, then varnish/BLO mix (long oil varnish, aka cheap spar varnish) was applied with steel wool, which got it smooth (it was acting almost like the BLO was raising the grain). Two or three more coats, working towards straight varnish and I’ll call it good.
stool pinnedThe BLO makes the QS wood really dark, like walnut. Compare to the raw wood.

The top was cut pretty close to the pith and developed a split so I added a couple of oak butterflies to stabilize it. The one on the end is a pretty stupid placement (as it is hard to keep the end grain from blowing out) and is for looks. My trick for a tight fit (figured out on the second one) is a blind hole and a slight taper on the butterfly to it closes up as it is driven in. Of course, that makes it a real pain to fit …
One butterfly has the QS side up and the other is 90° to the QS face. Lack of attention or art?
Butterflies

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