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Back to U.S. Map Map/DIY/Log End Table

 DO-IT-YOURSELF Log furniture & Rustic Projects

DIY Log Tables

Log end table with drawerA well crafted log table exudes a rustic panache impossible to achieve using other materials.  Granted, such a design is not appropriate for every decor, but if you are decorating with a rustic flair, there is nothing else that comes close.

This table compliments our log coffee table, and the wood's interesting grain, bold knots and disease blemishes contribute to the design.  Several of the finer points of this project are not as noticeable in this picture such as how the drawer slides on recessed wooden tracks, and the wooden pegs anchoring the flat surfaces.  Also note that a deer antler is used as the drawer pull.  See how to make drawer pulls from real antler sheds.

Tale top slab and four legs ready to be assembled.

To add symmetry to the table top, I made my crosscuts at the same angle as the sides.  This looks better and more natural than a squared off end cut.  The sides and the drawer were made from stock 3/4" Ponderosa pine.

How to DIY

To begin this project, I purchased a huge slab of Ponderosa pine from a local sawmill. This one board permitted me to make this end table and the coffee table from the same board. Common fence posts were used for the legs.  I took special pains to sort through the pile and find posts with exceptional disease remains and bold knots.

Homemade mortise cutting jig.

The table sides and drawer frame are mortised into the legs.  Cutting a straight mortise in a round log can be a challenge.  To facilitate this, I fashioned a jig.

Mortise jig on the table saw.

My jig matched the diameter of the log legs and I fastened rough grit sandpaper to the concave surface to steady the log when cutting the mortise in the table saw. This picture shows the jig being used on the table saw. After the mortise slots were cut remaining wood was removed with a chisel.

Table side mortised in the leg.

This type of mortise joint is particularly sturdy. Rustic furniture does not always employ such meticulous joinery, but I enjoy using my God given skills to create such pieces... and my wife now expects such craftsmanship.

 See how I make drawer pulls from real antler sheds.

Tools and materials

Log and most rustic furniture can be made using everyday hand and power tools, but some tasks require specialized tools such as draw knives and tenon cutters, etc.  Also, in my DIY articles I sometimes make reference to other tools or materials, so for reference I am listing these items below.

Stubai Drawknife
 

Miller dowel system includes a tapered drill bit to accompany the tapered dowels

Draw knife and/or a Spokeshave is used to "peel" bark from the log

Miller dowel system
Tapered dowels and drill bit

   
Tenon Cutters available in many sizes Gorilla Glue is the strongest glue available

Power Tenon Cutter
All sizes, competitive pricing

Gorilla Glue
Strongest I've found

Note: I also made a coffee table using these techniques and materials.  To see the complimentary coffee table, click here.

 

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