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Log Corner Accents

Support beams or faux log accents?

Log accents can do more than just add character to a setting. In this project, the logs actually provided a place to mount lights and concealed the wiring. An interior room with plaster walls was given a facelift by adding quartered log accents in the corners.

The quartered log section fits nicely in a corner of the room. Because a plaster wall is seldom flush or 100% squared, I removed approximately one inch of wood from the back of the log (the “V” that meets the corner). This permitted me to seat the log firmly between the two adjoining walls.

 

Using a router, I plowed a 1/2″ trough the length of the log on the back portion that rests against the wall. This provided a place to run the electrical wires for the lights. The lighting fixtures operate from a pull chain instead of a wall switch. By doing this I was able to make my electrical connection to a receptacle on the wall. The wires from the corner log to the receptacle were tucked behind the baseboard, thus no wires are visible.

Light fixture close up

 

The light fixtures I chose for our faux support log accents were very inexpensive units purchased at the local Home Depot store. Although these operate using a pull chain, you may want to investigate some other creative wireless home automation options.

Companies now sell wireless controls for lights, appliances, entertainment devices and virtually anything electrical. If you are installing such accents in an existing structure, managing the wiring is

Note also that I turned the fixtures to face ‘UP’ as opposed to their typical installation as down lights. Because of the height at which they are mounted, I didn’t want the glare of an incandescent bulb to be a distraction, so shining the light upwards provides a warm glow and accentuates the wood ceiling.

The picture at left shows how the opaque globe dispenses a warm glow of light without offending your eyes with a direct glare. This is a great way to light up a dark corner without using up any floor space for a table and lamp.

Seating the light fixture

Corner log lightAlthough I do not believe her, my wife says I’m extremely anal about such things – I prefer to see it as an “appreciation for detail”. The mounting plate I made for the lighting fixtures illustrates one of those minor details – you can decide if its anal or extreme craftiness!!!

Using the light fixture’s base as a guide, I cut a seat to accommodate the mounting plate of the fixture. By recessing it into the log using a router to carve out an opening, I glued the fixture’s seat to the log. When finished it appears to look like a branch protruding from the log. Anal? I think not!

The wires for the fixture are recessed in a dado cut on the back of the log that adjoins one of the walls. The fixture is operated from a pull chain. However, you may want to consider using an inexpensive wireless on/off solution from Home-Automation.us.

Plugging the holes

The logs are held in place by 10″ lag bolts. I used three bolts per log. The holes for the bolts were pre-drilled and a larger hole accommodated the socket wrench needed to tighten the bolt. I drilled the access hole approximately the same size as the dowel I would use to plug the hole. After tightening the lag bolts, I smeared yellow carpenter’s glue on the inside of the hole and on the plug and hammered the plug into the hole.

After the glue dried, I used a Japanese “flush cut” hand saw to remove the waste from the plug. If you do this properly, only a small amount of sanding will be necessary.

Finishing the log support beam

  1. The plug after it had been cut flush and sanded to match the contour of the log.
  2. Caulking added to fill the gaps between the uneven wall and the straight log. The caulk looks like Permachink and blends perfectly
  3. The finished log has been sanded smooth, stained with a mixture of natural and walnut to blend with the existing wood’s patina. Lastly, a coat of satin polyurethane was applied with a brush.