need ideas for log furniture

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by mtnmom208, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. mtnmom208

    mtnmom208 Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    North Idaho
    We would like to start building some simple log furniture using resources from our own land. We have a plentiful amount of alder, from willow-size to 6-8 in. diameter. It wouldn't hurt to clear some of it out anyway. Does anyone have any experience with it? We also have alot of narrow pine logs available of various species and condition.
    We do live off the grid so it helps to have suggestions that don't involve power- sucking power tools. Our generator can handle light stuff though. Any ideas, suggestions, or links would be great. Thanks!

  2. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    central idaho republic
    invest in a good drawknife.... I have different sizes for fitting the project material... Good ones are from years past, I paid $50.00 for a Jennings 8" 1906 at an auction... it sells on the net when available for up to 3 times that and worth any amount a person could pay for it.... I have a 27 inch with an old planer balde welded to it a fella makes in hamilton Montana made for peeling house logs or bigger logs in general, it works on small stock too just is wider than most folks wouled find comfortable in peeling 4 inch logs.... i have a couple more as well but you get the idea.....

    Any piece of modern furniture can be made from logs, and log products, coat racks, are easy, table lamps are moderate [requires boring a hole completely thru the piece] also require a lampshade of some sort, tables that are sawn from a 2 foot to 3 foot log are hard, and heavy, but when legs are added and chairs made to match nothing can compare and use of belt sander speeds project, bed frames seems to be the norm for most people, labor intensive but not overly hard once you get the measurements down pat, log swings are moderate to hard depending on the use of boards for seat or splitting logs into seatsand backs. Lots of folks in Idaho and montana put together lodgepole pine furniture and there are many other states that have woodworkers putting together furniture as well, prices can vary dramatically and so does type of log material used..... I prefer using lodgepole pine that is standing dead, cause it already has a dry check in most of it, and it peels like i want it to and stays looking nice when completed.... other people have their own reasons for using what they do.

    I probably have given as many pieces away as ive sold over time, and some pieces only made good firewood....I probably should put my website back up, and/or sell some things on auction.....cuase very few people locally pay for the labor involved in creating a work of art, let alone creating a usable work of art.


  3. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    Northern Wisconsin
    If you plan on making even a moderate amount of log furniture, by all means purchase one of those tenon makers. Its a tool that slips over any regular drill.....and makes the task of making tenons a snap. They cost approx $100 per size.
  4. antiquestuff

    antiquestuff Well-Known Member

    Nov 5, 2004
    One tip: make sure there aren't any bugs living in the wood. Someone I know had a nice log table but the wood had some nasty wood eating bugs in it...infested the whole house after a while. Just check.
  5. brosil

    brosil Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 15, 2003
    I have a couple of examples of "Gypsy Furniture" in my barn. Folks used to build these of willow and truck them around selling them for cheap lawn furniture. They don't take more than a pruning saw, hammer and maybe a draw knife. I saved these for patterns. You have to use pillows to make them comfortable but they're not bad. They'd be hard to dig out and I don't have a good way to download digital pictures but I'll try if you want.
  6. 3girls

    3girls Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    SE PA, zone 6b
    Alder logs can be used to grow shiitakes. Might be worth looking into. I wouldn't know where to start.
  7. patarini

    patarini Well-Known Member

    Nov 19, 2004
    Gat the tenon makers = woodcraft or maybe rocklers will have them. Some real good books with ideas -- hit the library or amazon to get them used! Always watch which piece is green -- dont want the joints to open up!