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 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.

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