Making Rustic Log Cabin Outdoor Furniture

There is an old world charm to rustic outdoor furniture that is pleasing to the eyes and warming to the soul. They take us back to the days of simple living, when men built homes on the sweat of their own brows. This same feeling can be relived today by making your own rustic furniture that matches the aesthetics of a log cabin.

What you need to know before starting:

First, it is important to understand that creating furniture takes plenty of time and effort. Construction does not end within hours, and the entire process takes days and a considerable amount of hard physical labor.

The basic building material—wood—must be accessible. You cannot simply buy timber in just any store. Obtaining the right amount of timber requires a visit to a wooded area that has been legally and environmentally cleared for cutting.

Prioritize safety. Always wear proper protective gear and use well-functioning tools when working. Having a separate workshop to concentrate on such a project is also advisable.

Tools needed:

  • A saw/chainsaw
  • A drawknife
  • A sander
  • Wood glue
  • Wood screws
  • A pair of gloves
  • A pair of googles


1. Gather timber by cutting down dry/dead trees. Old trees are fair game as long as they are dry. Trees that still sprout leaves mean that they still have a lot of moisture running through the trunks and branches. These cannot be used for creating usable furniture. Rotten logs and those that have compromising fissures must also be avoided.

2. Carefully strip the bark with the drawknife and remove the branches.

3. Saw the wood into their designated individual parts. Mark the parts to be sawn and use sharp tools for the best cuts. Double check the measurements of each piece to make sure they can be assembled properly.

4. Carve mortises and tenons for assembly.  For beginner carpenters, the mortise  is the space on a piece of wood where the tall end of another piece called the will be fitted in. A drawknife can handle this task, but mortise bits, a drill and tenon cutters will make things much easier and more precise. Make sure your measurements and markings are exact to avoid the frustration of having mismatched pieces. 

 5    5. Thoroughly smoothen out each piece of wood to be used. For safety, it is advisable to sand pointed edges so as to avoid causing accidents, especially if children are expected to be around. You can use an electric sander for better comfort and a more polished look. If you want to keep a more natural appearance, sanding can be skipped.

6. Assemble the parts with wood glue and screws. If the measurements are correct, there should be no problem in putting together the tenons to the mortises with wood glue. The wood screws will be there for additional stability. Use wood putty to cover up the screws for a complete organic design.

7. Dry out the wood glue. Leave the furniture to dry for about four hours to ensure that the adhesive sticks well.

8. Apply the appropriate finishes. You can choose among different types, including paint and varnish. You can also use wood stain, as it is a good choice for giving the piece some color without having to use paint on top of the varnish.

Since you're making something for the outdoors, it is advisable to use stains that have weather and/or water-proofing ingredients to make the furniture last longer even when. After wards, you just have to wait for the finishing to dry, have some final cleaning, and your furniture is ready to go.

Vincent Sevilla is a marketing consultant for Openbrook, An Excellent source of informantion and reviews about Patio and Outdoor Furniture