Log Furniture Blog

Book Review: The Handbuilt Home: 34 Simple Stylish and Budget-Friendly Woodworking Projects

Painted Adirondack chairs (Photo by AForestFrolic)

Every room of your home has a different feel to it. The reason for this is that every room looks a little different and is stocked with different furniture and décor. If you’ve thought about changing things up by furnishing your entire home with unique items made from wood, there is a book that is perfect for you.

Published in October 2012, The Handbuilt Home: 34 Simple Stylish and Budget-Friendly Woodworking Projects for Every Room by Ana White is a comprehensive handbook of 34 unique projects that you can make by hand using wood and other basic items to construct them.

With step-by-step tips on how to make these items by yourself, you’ll be amazed at how unique you can really make your home look. The book describes how to make a variety of furniture pieces. They include wood beds, dressers, Adirondack chairs, small play tables for the kids, end tables, storage units, simple home accessories and so much more. The book specifies how each of the 34 items can be made by utilizing basic types of wood available in your local hardware store. It then describes which tools are needed to work with the wood. In each example, only a saw, a drill, and other simple tools are necessary to make these items. The text is also written in a very basic format for beginners who have no experience whatsoever in woodworking or furniture building. Additionally, the book lists costs and estimates of how much time each step of the individual projects will take, making the experience understandable and more enjoyable for all. Once you finish making one ore more of these items, you’ll enjoy the rustic feel that it brings to your home.

Author Ana White is a popular online blogger who has helped to inspire millions of readers with her writing style that encourages individuals to try something new by making things themselves. White has openly documented how she has saved thousands of dollars by getting stylistic ideas from stores and then making her own creations on a small budget. She is a young mother and demonstrates how people with limited finances can still make the most of them. White hails from Alaska and got into making furnishings for her home when she designed and later built her own residence. You can learn more about her and get inspired yourself at www.ana-white.com.

For additional resources on how to make furniture using logs and wood, be sure to check out LogFurniture.com.

Company Profile: T-M-Cowboy Classics

A handwoven Chimayos-style Indian leather love-seat (Photo courtesy of t-m-cowboyclassics.com)

T-M-Cowboy Classics is a log and rustic furniture manufacturer and seller that has been in business since the late 1990s. Over the last 20 years, the company has specialized in selling vintage western collectible items as well as various pieces of furniture and décor. Tom Bice and his wife, Maril, are both involved in the business. Tom handcrafts new western furniture items to order. The company is based in Longmont, Colorado. Learn more about it by visiting www.t-m-cowboyclassics.com.

What kinds of log furniture does your company manufacture and/or sell?

We have different styles that we’re doing our interpretation of and then reproducing them. There are a couple of furniture companies who make furniture – Niblack furniture in Denver. These companies made weird stuff back in the 1930s and ‘40s, and I like to do interpretations of it. We make dining tables, chairs, nightstands, cigarette stands, dressers, and lots of stuff. We use a lot of burls, leather, and Chimayos Indian weavings. If somebody has ideas and I have the guts to make it, we make it.

How much do your pieces of furniture cost?

Swivel barstools run about $295. Cabinets, love-seats, and couches can run up to about $6,500. Our prices are somewhat cheaper because I am the only employee who makes this stuff. I think my work is as good as what you’d find from a larger company, but they have more employees to pay, so they have to charge more.

What are the most popular kinds of log furniture?

I make a lot of swivel saddle barstools. You can put a saddle on it and swivel around on it. I make a lot of cigarette tables that we use as nightstands. Gun fighter chairs with a cutout of a gun fighter on the back of the chair are popular. They run about $900.

Briefly describe how you make a piece of log furniture.

I get the poles out of the woods in Wyoming, peel them, cut them to shape, put holes in them, sturdy the legs, turn tenons on the ends of those and glue them in there. We help facilitate a sale by driving to make a pickup or a delivery. We use different trucking companies and UPS.

What specific kinds of wood does your company use to make log furniture?

We use a lot of Northern white pine, sugar pine, balding birch plywood, and pine poles that are 3’’ in diameter or less. Some of them are bigger if necessary. We use burls for couches, chairs, and table bases. I drive 400 miles to get certain wood because nobody here can sell it to me. I’m 77 years old. My workshop is in my backyard. I have some storage area in the garage area with all of my woodworking machinery. That kind of makes it nicer to have everything here instead of renting a place. The office is in one of our back bedrooms.

How did you get into making log furniture?

I did a little woodworking in school in shop class. I’m a journeyman pipefitter by trade. My wife started working for an antique business in Denver. She thought it might be something we could both do, so I taught myself how to refinish furniture and got deeper into the restoration of it. Then we got into this western stuff. I saw a magazine with pictures of old unique furniture, and it blew my mind. I had to figure out how to make this stuff myself. I have a lot of fun at it and meet great people. Our customers have 2 or 3 homes that we can put things into.

What’s the craziest custom request you’ve had for furniture?

Almost all my stuff is made from seeing pictures of something. I have to figure out what the dimensions should be. A lady called the other day and wanted me to make her daughter a leaf-press. I have an artist who will paint the wood with Texas bluebells and paint her name on it. Another lady brought a picture and said, ‘Can you make this cabinet?’ She wanted pictures of her ranch painted on the doors of it. It makes your hat size a little larger when you feel good about making something a little different that people really like.

What kinds of log furniture do you enjoy making most?

I like to make couches, love-seats, chairs, anything that has burls in it. I enjoy making Niblack-style furniture. I’m the only one who is doing my interpretation of those pieces as far as I know.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

We’ve done shows from L.A. to New York and Texas. We’ve been in the antiques business for 40 years. We started in 1972. We thought our restoration work and refinishing work was as good as anyone else’s. For two old people, we’re not doing too badly. My wife sells vintage western furniture all over the U.S. We sell some of it on eBay.

How to make a rustic flower stand

A flower stand (Photo by nerissa’s ring)

Flowers add a lot of flair to a room. Flower stands come in all shapes, styles, and sizes. In fact, there are several ways you can make a rustic flower stand that will go well in a log cabin or a home in which rustic furniture is prominent. Here is a basic method of making a rustic flower stand courtesy of the rustic furniture book Great American Rustics:

The flower stand in this how-to example should be hexagonal in shape, meaning it is six-sided. The sides should be fixed to a base supported upon tripod legs. It will stand about 3’3’’ in height. Elm boards are suitable for making the sides of the stand and the bottom of it. They should be 1’3’’ in height by 9’’ in width at the top end. At the bottom end, they should be 6.5’’ high by 1’’ thick.

Put the edges of the boards at a level of roughly 60 degrees and fix them with nails to make them sturdy. When all six sides are completed, prepare the hexagonal stand baseboard to be used as part of the next step. Put holes in it for drainage purposes, and make sure that these holes are equidistant so that they are 1.25’’ in diameter at an angle of roughly 60 degrees for the tenons of the legs to go in. Next, you should screw the base to the sides of the stand and ensure it is all fixed together properly.

The twigs for this fixing process should be seasoned so that they are at least a year old prior to using them. In addition, the twigs should be sawn in halves. Straight twigs should be used as well. If it is necessary, shoot the edges slightly so as to create a closer fit when fixing them so that they are parallel. Attach the lower border to the hexagonal base of the stand. Then, the upright pieces should go over the angles, which are hollow. Finally, fix the top-sloping pieces and then the horizontal twigs. The legs should be nailed at the stand’s base and at the center where they cross each other. They should be further secured with twigs that will essentially act as rungs.

By following these steps, you should find yourself with a beautiful, handmade rustic flower stand!

Increase your knowledge about log and rustic furniture as well as various methods you can use to create your own amazing rustic creations by using LogFurniture.com. This website is a tremendous informational resource on log furniture whether you’re looking to buy it from a local company or simply want to learn a new hobby by making your own furniture pieces.

Company Profile: The Mad Moose

An antler pen from The Mad Moose (Photo courtsey of www.madmoose.com)

The Mad Moose – Fine Mountain Furnishings & Accessories is a log and rustic furniture outlet that offers fine mountain furnishings and accessories. The Mad Moose sells everything from lighting to waterfalls to animal mounts. Based in the Estes Park area of Colorado, the company has two locations and has been in existence for over 11 years. Check out www.madmoose.com for more information.


What kinds of log furniture does your company manufacture and/or sell?

We sell every type of furniture imaginable for bedroom, living room, kitchen, office, bathroom, bar, game room, etc. It’s made from Aspen, Hickory, Redwood and Buckeye Burl, Twisted Juniper, Pine, Beetle-Kill (“Blue-wood”) Pine, Antler, Cypress, Willow, and more.

How much do your pieces of furniture cost?

Prices are available on www.madmoose.com. There are hundreds of items to choose from at various price ranges.

What are the most popular kinds of log furniture?

Burley Aspen piece

How did you get into making log furniture?

It’s from a history of retail combined with a love of the outdoors, as well as the life of living in rustic homes with rustic decor.

What’s the craziest custom request you’ve had for furniture?

An 18″ wide by 6’ tall burley Aspen linen closet

Is there anything else you would like to share about your company?

The Mad Moose has amassed an incredibly diverse stable of artists to create the most unusual and attractive furniture designs around.   And yet they are ever on the lookout for still more of the most fantastical combinations of function and form to capture your imagination.

From antlers to aspen, and towels to games, this store offers the best “one-stop shopping” experience to outfit your whole home!

How to make a rustic armchair

An armchair or recliner can be one of the most comfortable pieces of furniture. Just sit back, put your feet up, watch TV, or take a nap in your armchair. In terms of log furniture, rustic armchairs are popular items that provoke a sense of the outdoors in your living room.

A rustic armchair could be made with a similar design to this basic armchair. (Photo by Paul Lowry)

If you’ve ever thought about making your own rustic armchair, here are some tips on how to do so. These tips come from the book Great American Rustics

To start the process, pick out four slightly curved logs that will serve as legs. They each should measure roughly 3’’ in diameter. The front pair of legs should be about 2’ high. The back pair should be about 2’9’’ inches in height. The front seat rail should measure roughly 1’2’’ long by about 2.5’’ in diameter. The back  seat rail should be about 1’ in length. The side rails should be about 1’3’’ long. The ends of these rails should be appropriately trimmed and measured in order to properly fit the legs. They should also be fixed with inserted ash or elm dowels that measure about 2/5’’ in diameter.

The height from the ground line to the seat top should measure about 1’4.5’’ in height. The battens that form the seat should rest on the side rails, and cleats should be fixed to the inner sides of each of the four legs. This will help to support the extreme and front battens.

The arms and back of the chair are made into three parts. The scarfed joints should be fitted so that they come immediately over the back legs. The treatise work is then added. Finally, the struts and dentils are fixed around the seat. The chair can be made from under-barked wood without any kind of dressing. The other option is that the bark can be removed and the wood, when it is dry, can be finished and stained with an outside varnish.

Use LogFurniture.com as your premier online resource for information about making log and rustic furniture along with recommendations on where to buy it and reviews of companies that manufacture and sell these items.

Company Profile: Rustic Log Furniture

A log porch glider (Photo courtesy of www.rusticlogfurniture.com)

Rustic Log Furniture is a company that produces and sells log and rustic furniture items to consumers around the United States. Based in Alamosa, Colorado, it has two locations for pickup – one in Alamosa and the other in the city of Denver. Randy Jackson is the owner of the company and established it in 1996. It currently has about 50 employees. To learn more about Rustic Log Furniture, visit www.rusticlogfurniture.com.


What kinds of log furniture does your company manufacture and/or sell?

We sell Aspen log furniture – everything you could think of. From bedrooms to living rooms to cabinets, we do it all.

How much do your pieces of furniture cost?

A queen size log bed costs about $700. A log dining table runs about $500, but the chairs are an extra $200 per each.

What are the most popular kinds of log furniture?

Bedroom furniture – beds, dressers, chests

Briefly describe how you make a piece of log furniture.

The wood is harvested dead-standing. Then the logs are hand peeled. We sand the logs down, cut and drill the holes in them, and assemble them together. We use a three-coat process – stain, sealer, and topper. We Build everything in batches. We can knock out a large retail order in about a week.

What specific kinds of wood does your company use to make log furniture?

Aspen logs

How did you get into making log furniture?

Randy Jackson, the owner of the company, started up the business in college. He built a swing for his mother and mother-in-law for Mother’s Day. Then people asked if he would make them one, too. He started making swings and logs. We now have over 2,000 standard products.

What’s the craziest custom request you’ve had for furniture?

We do lots of custom stuff and we’ve had all kinds of requests. We’re actually trying to move away from it because it takes longer to do custom work.

What kinds of log furniture do you enjoy making most?

Beds and log rocking recliners

Book Review: Green Woodworking: Handcrafting Wood from Log to Finished Product

Green woodworking is a form of woodworking that takes us back to our roots – literally. Green woodworking involves going directly to  trees and taking logs that are unseasoned – or “green” – to use when making pieces of log furniture or other rustic wood items. It’s different from more common methods that require power tools because the woodworker uses manual tools such as a drawknife and a broad axe to separate the logs and claim them for future woodworking projects.

A chair made from green woodworking (Photo by Jason Pettitt)

A great book that explains this topic is Green Woodworking: Handcrafting Wood from Log to Finished Product is a fantastic book that clearly explains what green woodworking is and what kinds of projects woodworkers can do to create uniquely “green” finished products to share or sell.

Published in August of 1987 by Rodale Press, this book contains 11 chapters that are packed with information, tips, and techniques on green woodworking. The book opens with an introduction on what this process actual entails and the cultural perspectives on it along with how it has changed over time. It then delves into the various materials and processes used to perform this type of woodworking.

The book includes images that speak to the reader by showing exactly how techniques work. Some of the specific techniques outlined in the book are hewing, riving, shaving, boring, bending, and joinery. If you don’t know much about these terms and are thinking to yourself “what in the world is ‘boring’ other than something that’s no fun,” this book will explain all of these methods in simplistic terms. It also features some famous green woodworkers who have paved the way for this woodworking process in recent years.

Author Drew Langsner has been teaching woodworking classes in the state of North Carolina for many years. An expert in the craft of green woodworking, he has also written other books on it, including Country Woodcraft and A Logbuilder’s Handbook.  Others include The Chairmaker’s Workshop: Handcrafting Windsor and Post-and-Rung Chairs (2001) and Green Woodworking: A Hands-On Approach (1995).

To find additional resources and information on woodworking or log furniture, use LogFurniture.com. There are lots of other articles on the site along with reviews of great books as well as company profiles that feature woodworkers and log furniture makers from around the country. It’s easy to make your own log furniture if you have the right resources. This site is an excellent starting point to help you get the logs rolling.

Company Profile: Blue Ridge Log Works

Blue Ridge Log Works is a log furniture company that specializes in building handcrafted lodge style furniture and accessories. Managed by Bill House, the company has been in existence for 21 years and currently has 8 employees. It is based in Fort Collins, Colorado, For more information on Blue Ridge Log Works, check out www.blueridgelogfurniture.com.

A rustic coffee table (Photo courtesy of www.blueridgelogworks.com)


What kinds of log furniture items does your company sell?

Aspen log furniture and reclaimed pine timber furniture

How much do your items typically cost?

They range from $110 for a table lamp to $2,790 for a large buffet and hutch and everywhere in between.

What are the most popular kinds of furniture that you sell?

Bedroom furniture is the most popular.

Briefly describe how you make a piece of log furniture.

It’s a labor-intensive process. All of our furniture is made to order. We make each piece one at a time.

What types of wood do you use to make your furniture?

We mainly use the aspen wood species and some pine.

How did you get into this business?

I had experience in the log home building industry prior to starting this company.

Have you had any unique or oddball requests for furniture?

Someone wanted custom log handrails with extreme character joining two homes with a bridge.

What kinds of log furniture do you enjoy making most?

The beds are the best to make.

Book Review: American Rustic Furniture

American Rustic Furniture is one of the most comprehensive books on rustic and log furniture in the United States. This hardback book was published in March 1984 by Random House Value Publishing. Despite its 1984 publication date, it continues to hold up today as a fantastic modern source of information. It is made up of 149 pages of fascinating images and blurbs about some of the most popular types of American rustic furniture along with some of the most unique pieces that will leave readers in awe when they see these creations. The images are the driving force behind the beauty showcased in this book. If you’ve ever considered adding some rustic furniture to your home or want to learn more about it, this book would be perfect for your bookshelf.

A rustic fence (Photo by Jacob Varghese)

Along with a neat introduction, there are two parts to the book. The intro delves into the history of rustic furniture in the U.S. and talks about the culture influences of western life on the entire nation throughout its multicultural existence. Part I of the book is called “Rustic Furniture: Old & New.” It discusses and includes pictures of rustic American furniture spanning many decades, from some of the oldest furniture in colonial times to more modern pieces from the late 20th century. Chairs, tables, sofas, beds, and other accessories are the main items found throughout this section. Part I is called “Rustic Carpentry.” This section. In this section, you can learn how to make all kinds of different rustic pieces of furniture and outdoor items. These include armchairs, garden seats, gates, and fences in a rustic western style. Not only does the book describe how to make them by hand, but also it offers clear instructional graphics that give the reader a precise step-by-step method to making them. The Source Guide at the conclusion of the text lists numerous woodworkers who contributed to the book and companies that manufacture rustic furniture.

Author Susan Osborn compiled the book, but there are also a number of contributors who submitted photos and woodworking technique instructions. They include the staff at Fine Woodworking Magazine. Readers will enjoy the content in this book as it comes from some of the sharpest minds in the industry, including Osborn.

Be sure to use LogFurniture.com to find reviews on other books about rustic furniture. There is also a wealth of information on the site along with plenty of links to other online and offline resources.

Company Profile: S.E. Tyler Log Furniture

S.E.Tyler Log Furniture is a log furniture manufacturer and seller based at the home of Steven Tyler, the company’s owner, in Somerset, California. He makes all kinds of log furniture like rocking chairs, staircases, and tables. To learn more about his work and to purchase furniture, visit www.setyler.com.

An example of Steven Tyler’s work (Photo by Steven Tyler)


What kinds of log furniture does your company manufacture and/or sell?

My style of furniture is contemporary rustic. I make art and furniture in one piece.

How much does your log furniture cost?

I have coat racks for $50 to one-of-a-kind California King Log Beds that go for $3,000. I just started building Octagon Log Gazebo kits that will start at $3,500 and will go up to $10,000.

What are the most popular kinds of log furniture that you offer?

The most looked at pieces are the Flower tables and the Spirit Series Rocking Chairs. With the first Flower table I made and had at a show, the women were running over and touching it. When I saw this, I knew I had created something different. With the rocking chairs, everyone likes to sit and rock in them. A lot of people can’t believe how comfortable they are.

Briefly describe how you make a piece of log furniture.

I pick logs out that have some character to them. Bent, scarred, and worm-working all add to the uniqueness of my furniture. For the rocking chairs, I find material that matches each other. It’s amazing how in nature you can find the same bend or shape in many logs. Once I do this, then I put the pieces together. There is art in nature and all I have to do is put them together in furniture to make one-of-a-kind pieces.

What types of wood do you use to make your furniture?

I use native woods from the forests in the Sierra foothills. Cedar is the most used. It’s stable, light, and strong and the most abundant type. Others are Ponderosa blue pine, Manzanita, Black Oak, Douglas Fir, Black Walnut, and even some English Walnut. All the wood I use is considered a waste product or non-merchantable by property owners.

How did you get into this business?

In 2000, my daughter and I moved to a small Redwood log cabin. I only had money to buy food and pay the bills. Having lost everything in a failed marriage, I turned to my carpentry skills to make furniture for our house. I worked as a lumberjack for 15 years, so I know the woods well. All the small trees and dead bug kill were free. Property owners were glad to get rid of it. So I bought some tenoning jigs and started learning how to make furniture. Almost all of the first chairs I made are gone now as they went into a burn pile. They were not comfortable at all. Now I am still learning and still have some errors, but I have created my own style of furniture. Some of the first pieces were from wood that came from my grandparents’ ranch in Grizzly Flat, California. The wood had special meaning to me and I was making furniture my daughter could have after I’m long gone. Hopefully they will have meaning to her too.

What kinds of crazy or oddball requests have you had for furniture?

Recently I had a customer have me make her a life-sized Grizzly Bear silhouette for the side of her house. It turned out so well I made one for my cabin also.

What are your favorite types of items to make?

The rocking chairs and the Flower tables are my favorite pieces. The Flower table is complicated to make and I like it when people see something they have never seen before. The rocking chairs are just something to sit and rest in for a little bit before you get up and carry on with life. The 2011 Spirit Series Rockers are everything I’ve taught myself about rocking chairs and woodworking over the past several years. I like all my furniture and I treat each piece as if they are my children. I love each one of them – even the ones that didn’t turn out so well.