Logs have several uses. It is, however, mostly used for the making of furniture. Log furniture, in fact, is often considered to be superior to other furniture because of its strength and durability.
Historically speaking, log furniture is usually crafted for function, form and fastness. It's aided by the fact that logs are easy to obtain and natural and have been used for centuries to make benches, tables, bed frames, cabinets, wardrobes, sturdy chairs, sofa frames, bookcases and several other items. Logs have been traditionally used outdoors for constructing benches, tables, lawn swings, gazebos etc.
One doesn't have to be a master wooden craftsman to make wooden furniture from logs. Using a simple-to-follow-plan, an amateur woodworker can easily craft beautiful and useful pieces of interesting furniture that can be enjoyed through generations.
Here's how you can do that.
Harvest the log
Locate dead or standing dry trees that have knots, curves or mineral staining that complement your design. You have to remove the branches with the help of a hatchet, axe or a chainsaw. A correctly identified branch can also be included in your design. Use a draw-knife for removing the bark. Dry the logwood under a covered area or a shed. It takes a year to air-dry logwood. The wood must have less than 16 per cent humidity to work on it. While insect holes and cracks in the log are nothing unusual, discard pieces that are cracked or split. These can compromise with the integrity and strength of the log.
Design the project
Sketch and design your project and make note of the finished measurements. Most log furniture is manufactured from mortised joinery and wedged pegs. You can get log furniture plans online. Follow the plans carefully.
Cut logs as per plans
Use sharp hand tools or a new saw-blade for ensuring a clean-cut in the log according to plans. Pay attention to the detail and sand each piece carefully. Use 100-grit sandpaper in the beginning and finish off with a 200-grit one. Execute a final sanding once the piece has been crafted. If you want a more rustic finish, leave some pieces of the bark attached to the log. Sand only where the slivers and splinters are more evident.
Assemble the pieces
Assemble all pieces of your log furniture. Ensure that all the joints are tight and snug. There are many logwood craftsmen who prefer using screws and waterproof glue for joining the pieces. Other workmen often prefer using hand carving and wooden pegs for crafting a joint. You can insert some leather pieces into the joints for cushioning the movement. If you're using wooden clamps for joining glued pieces, pad up the clamp with pieces of foam for preventing scratching or denting on the wood.
When you have carried out all the above processes, you have to rub the wood again for sanding it. After this, apply a polyurethane coating or a waterproof sealant on the furniture.
Remember, always wear dust masks and gloves while scraping and sawing the wood.