Since we don't have a yard, it sat in our garage for two or three months to dry out. And having the trunk inside an enclosed area like this actually worked to my benefit because it dried out faster than if it had been outside.
Next, I debarked it. This is easier to do than it looks. I took a long screw driver and a hammer. I would stick the screw driver in between the bark and the tree and pull down, if it got stuck I would use the hammer. Seriously, this is super easy and only took me about half an hour.
After debarking I realized there were some mold spots on the trunk. After a little internet research we realized that was because it wasn't in a good air flow spot in our garage. The trunk was in a corner on it's side and the sides that were blocked got moldy. I know...rookie mistake.
So I took a spray bottle of half vinegar/half water (in my world vinegar cleans everything) and at least I was right for the trunk. It immediately killed all the mold. Unfortunately, the mold left some mold stains. I tried several mold and mildew stain removers but could not get rid of all of the green spots.
I know from the pics it looks like I'm actually making the boys do all the work; but in reality they only really posed for the photo op and then went about their business!
So I decided to just go ahead with the sanding and to my surprise the mold spots sanded right off. I guess the mold had gotten deep enough to stain but not deep enough for the sander! So after about an hour of sanding I decided the trunk was smooth enough. Seriously, you could sand this thing forever and ever.
Next, we rubbed in some linseed oil. It was highly recommended online and was only $8 at home depot. The oil was easy to rub on, I used a foam brush and it dried in about half an hour.
Then we screwed a few wheels on and rolled this bad boy in to the house to become our new coffee table.
Actually, as a coffee table the trunk feels a bit small; seems funny to say right, how can a tree trunk be too small? So, I think I may move it to be an end table somewhere. But for now it works.
I guess all the tree trunk activity really wore him out. I've also been toying with the idea of staining it darker or even painting it. But I don't want to ruin the trunk either. I'll probably change my mind a thousand times before finally making a decision and when I do, you'll be the first to hear about it!