Author Topic: Rustic Log Furniture Project(s)  (Read 4169 times)

Offline TLGriff

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Rustic Log Furniture Project(s)
« on: October 03, 2013, 11:23:31 PM »
 My wife and I have a cottage in Michigan's Upper Peninsula that is furnished with rustic log furniture made by a local craftsman, now long gone. She mentioned that it would be nice to have a few additional pieces added, so I volunteered to make them. The first thing I needed to do was make a shaving horse to hold the logs for debarking and for cutting the tenons. I did a bit of searching and came with a suitable design. Once the shaving bench was built, I decided to start with a simple end table to see how much trouble I had gotten myself into.

The original furniture was made of cedar, but I opted for pine since it is more plentiful in my area. All of the wood I used was cut from the forest surrounding the cottage. Once cut, the logs were debarked using a drawknife. Next, they we're cut to length and the tenons formed on the ends, again using my trusty drawknife. The mortises were cut with a brace and bit. The tops on this furniture was made of plywood and I was lucky enough to find a few pieces of vintage, plug free plywood in the attic of the garage. I used modern 3/4" for strength and screwed that to the legs, then screwed the vintage stuff to it from below. Edging was screwed to the top "sandwich" and the holes plugged with dowels to mimic the original style. When the wood was dry, I finished it in yellow shellac like the originals.

The first table turned out well and wasn't overly painful so I made a second one and a coffee table. I'm currently hard at work on a log bed that I'm trying to finish building by Thanksgiving, when we shut the place down for the winter. Then it will have time to dry so I can shellac it in the spring.

It's a huge change making this rustic furniture from the precision work I do with metal at home, but it is relaxing. We will probably move up here eventually but until then, the U.P. Is my woodworking retreat.

Tom










   

Offline RossJarvis

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Re: Rustic Log Furniture Project(s)
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2013, 03:35:48 AM »
Lovely work :clap:

Really like the shaving bench too :headbang:

I'm not criticising but to my eye, I prefer the raw wood look to the shellac finish, at least on the bed, which looks great so far.
Procrastination; now is that an art or a craft skill?

Offline TLGriff

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Re: Rustic Log Furniture Project(s)
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2013, 11:03:21 AM »
Thanks Ross, it's been a fun project. As far as the color of the shellac, you would have take that up with the original builder of this furniture. Unfortunately he died about 20 years ago.

Tom

Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: Rustic Log Furniture Project(s)
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2013, 11:10:52 AM »
...
It's a huge change making this rustic furniture from the precision work I do with metal at home, but it is relaxing. We will probably move up here eventually but until then, the U.P. Is my woodworking retreat.
...

I am currently trying to build a couple of simple work benches. I just told my wife that I can make things in metal down to .001" but for the life of me I am having difficulty with 1/2" on a piece of wood that I can even get square!

I think furniture makers fudge a lot of their measurements and make things to fit.

Anyway, it is looking good Tom. From here, it looks like you could start a side business.

 :mmr:

Eric
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Offline dsquire

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Re: Rustic Log Furniture Project(s)
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2013, 12:19:02 PM »
Tom

Judging by the look of that table and bed that you are working on I see excellent quality. A lot of people would pay good money for hand crafted furniture like that.  :thumbup: :clap:

I think that it is maybe time to give up your day job and have some fun.  :lol: :lol:

Thanks for sharing this with us and I look forward to seeing more of this.  :D :D

Cheers  :beer:

Don
 
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Offline TLGriff

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Re: Rustic Log Furniture Project(s)
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2013, 08:29:51 PM »
...
It's a huge change making this rustic furniture from the precision work I do with metal at home, but it is relaxing. We will probably move up here eventually but until then, the U.P. Is my woodworking retreat.
...

I am currently trying to build a couple of simple work benches. I just told my wife that I can make things in metal down to .001" but for the life of me I am having difficulty with 1/2" on a piece of wood that I can even get square!

I think furniture makers fudge a lot of their measurements and make things to fit.

Anyway, it is looking good Tom. From here, it looks like you could start a side business.

 :mmr:

Eric

That's funny Eric, I had the same issue when I first stated this project. I had to overcome the urge to cut everything as close as humanly possible. Eventually I was able to throw the measuring tools aside and just cut to fit. I don't know about doing this stuff for a living though, there is a surprising amount of time invested in all the hand work. I suspect I would get pretty hungry if I tried to make a living at it. My natural urge would be to make fixtures and tools to make the construction more efficient, but then it wouldn't have that hand made appearance.

Tom

Offline TLGriff

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Re: Rustic Log Furniture Project(s)
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2013, 08:34:18 PM »
Tom

Judging by the look of that table and bed that you are working on I see excellent quality. A lot of people would pay good money for hand crafted furniture like that.  :thumbup: :clap:

I think that it is maybe time to give up your day job and have some fun.  :lol: :lol:

Thanks for sharing this with us and I look forward to seeing more of this.  :D :D

Cheers  :beer:

Don
 

Thanks Don, but like I told Eric, I think I would get pretty hungry trying to do this stuff for a living.

Tom