Guide to Making Log Furniture

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Many kinds of furniture can be made with logs—chairs, tables, sofas and bed frames, to name a few. One of the benefits of log furniture is durability. Also, it's easy to make your own log furniture and can save you money. Some things you need to know before you start making log furniture is how to prepare wood, the type of wood you want to use and different kinds of tools you'll need.

Good Wood

  • There are many kinds of wood you can use to build log furniture: hickory, cedar and pine are good choices. Steam-bent hickory is a good choice for making log furniture because it is flexible and durable. Red cedar is a heavy type of wood, and makes good log furniture because it will hold up for a long time. Northern white cedar is strong and doesn’t rot as easily as many other kinds of wood. Pine is a cheap and strong wood, but it scratches easily. Other types of wood you may want to use are redwood and poplar.

Preparing the Logs

  • You can make log furniture with or without the bark, but either way the wood needs to be prepared. Logs have imperfections such as knots, dents and burrs, which need to be sanded smooth. Dust created from preparing the logs should be removed with a lint-free or damp cloth. The wood also needs to be treated with a wood conditioner. After about two hours the wood conditioner will show any remaining burrs, which you will need to sand. You can stain wood without bark or put a finish on wood with bark.

Proper Tools

  • Using the correct tools will help make your log furniture project easier to complete. A drawknife is a tool often used to peel the logs. A tenon cutter is used to cut a tenon or protrusion cut into the end of the log so it fits into a mortise hole on another log. A Forstner bit cuts the mortise for the tenon. This tool is made specifically to drill accurate and clean holes and makes aligning the holes very easy. A bench vice is an important tool for holding logs securely in place. Make sure the vice you buy is of good quality for safety reasons.

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