Log furniture manufacturing, whether handcrafted or machine milled, involves some basic decisions, processes and specialized tools. The following is a summarized overview of building log furniture.
Log Furniture Style
Log furniture has been made for hundreds of years – both for its practicality as well as its unique and distinctive style. Today when shopping for log furniture one must decide on one of two general styles – “Machine Milled” or “Rustic Handcrafted”:
- The more refined and consistent machined look is where each piece has identical dimensions and looks pretty much exactly as other pieces. The logs used to make this type of furniture typically have all the bark removed and are sanded to a smooth and uniform diameter.
- The “rustic handcrafted” look is where each piece is has rich, one-of-a-kind character and is designed to show off the natural bends, curves, knots and burls of the logs used to construct it. Portions of the log bark are often left on, the exact dimensions can vary from piece to piece, and the log character is retained – including scars, elk chew marks, and other imperfections that add to the natural feel of the piece.
In addition to the style of how log furniture is made, each type of wood log (e.g. cedar, hickory, pine, aspen, red cedar, etc.) will have its own distinctive look and characteristics. Click on our link here to get an overview of the various log furniture wood types.
Building Log Furniture
Most log furniture is constructed using mortise and tenon joinery. The mortise and tenon joint was invented thousands of years ago by workworkers and it is a simple yet strong way to join pieces of wood. There are a number of variations of the mortise and tenon joint, but each is comprised of two components – then mortise hole and the tenon, which fits into the mortise hole. The mortise hole and fitting tenon can be square, rectangular, or as with most log furniture, round. Cut to fit the mortise hole exactly, then tenon is inserted and pinned, glued or screwed to hold it in place.
Log Furniture Tools
There are a number of tools required for making log furniture, but some of the basic and common ones are the following:
- Tenon Cutter – A tenon cutter looks like a giant pencil sharpener, which shaves down one end of a log to a uniform size into the tenon so it can be inserted into the mortise hole.
- Mortise Drill -