With all of the pieces cut and dry-fit, I started today by sanding everything down.
Instead of just applying glue and clamping everything together, I wanted to add a little extra strength. There will be a log and a stuffed raccoon cantilevered off of the cross beams. Half of the faces, that will be glued, will be glued to an end grain face. End grain joints are not very high strength. I decided to set a 3/4″ dowel through the center of the cross members as well as the base.
I used a 3/4″ forstner bit to drill the hole through the cross beams, then applied glue to all of my surfaces. I seated the dowel firmly with my rubber mallet and used my pull saw to cut it flush.
I applied glue to the mortise and set the cross. I used a 3/4″ speed bit for this hole. It seems to work better in the drill. I made sure to drill about 3/4″ past the cross beam.
The dowel was set, cut, and sanded like the previous one. When everything is dry, all of the joints should be able to hold a good deal of weight without risk of any glue joints failing.
The last thing I am doing today is applying a coat of Tung oil to the stand. It is one of the easiest finishes to apply. All you need is a scrap of an old tee shirt to apply it. The more coats you apply, the glossier it will get.
Here is a shot of the raccoon mounted.