Rustic log furniture can be made from many different wood types, and each has it’s own style and characteristics. Below is a descriptive summary of the most popular log furniture wood types.
Aspen is a light-colored, even-grained and softer hardwood with amazing strength and durability. Because of the natural knots, burls, and twists in the logs, Aspen is a favorite among artists, designers and furniture makers who enjoy making one-of-a-kind pieces with unique character.
Popular since colonial times, Hickory is a very strong and flexible hardwood where bark is typically left on when made into log furniture. Hickory log furniture is beautiful when finished with a clear lacquer that goes on right over the bark.
Pine is a fine-grained and relatively soft wood that stains well and is often used in classic country-style log furniture. There are several common varieties of pine, which include Northern White Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Sugar Pine, and Yellow Pine. Being very similar in coloration, pine log furniture is often paired with rustic cedar furnishings. The main differences between cedar and pine is that pine generally has fewer knots and less variation in color. When finished, cedar and pine log furniture continue to match very well.
The naturally aromatic and beautiful red cedar comes from two different species of tree. The Western Red Cedar tree grows mainly the the northwestern US, and is known for its strong and appealing scent and natural luster and reddish hues. The closely related Eastern Red Cedar is a hardy and tall evergreen that can withstand the harshest winters.
Red cedar contains natural preservatives that resist decay and termites and it is also able to withstand substantial moisture. Despite being light weight, red cedar is very strong and is a popular choice and log furniture makers and carpenters.
Very similar to pine in color and texture, white cedar is a light-colored wood with a subtle grain. Ideal for outdoor log furniture because of its natural resistance to insects and decay, cedar will not warp or shrink and needs little if any maintenance. If left unfinished outdoors, over time cedar will weather to a silvery gray. Indoors it will darken slightly with age.
American Black Walnut is an exceptionally strong fine-grained hardwood that does not easily scratch, and because of its dark coloring and grains any minor surface damage is barely visable. The fine texture of the wood makes it a favorite for premium quality furniture makers.
Willow twig furniture has long been a favorite among rustic furniture fans. It is suited for indoors and out, and because of the regenerative properties of the willow tree, the twigs used to create the furniture can be sustainably harvested.