Rustic Log Legs?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by John posted 02-01-2011 07:07 AM 1867 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View John's profile


7 posts in 4054 days

02-01-2011 07:07 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question rustic

Without a Lathe, how do you make rustic log legs for a natural edge slab bench???

-- Copying from a single source is called plagiarism, copying from multiple source is called research

11 replies so far

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 4243 days

#1 posted 02-01-2011 06:59 PM

Use limb wood.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View AUBrian's profile


86 posts in 3956 days

#2 posted 02-01-2011 07:29 PM

Depending on if you want the bark bits or not will affect what size log/limb you start with, but otherwise, I find it almost easier to use a drawknife and my shaving horse. Not necessary to use the shaving horse, you can always just sit on the log and go from there, but the draw knife gives me more of a “rustic” look than using the lathe.

View swirt's profile


6816 posts in 4257 days

#3 posted 02-01-2011 10:16 PM

I agree with the drawknife recommendation. If you don’t have one, it can also be done with a coarsely set jackplane.

-- Galootish log blog,

View bandit571's profile


30053 posts in 3968 days

#4 posted 02-02-2011 10:37 PM

Plus, there are special bits you can get to make the tenons on the ends with. Mounted in either a brace, or a regular drill. Looks like a big cone. It will cut a nice, round tenon in about the time it takes to read this.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Bertha's profile


13624 posts in 3978 days

#5 posted 02-02-2011 10:58 PM

Bandit’s right, and they’re wonderful, although a bit pricey. A drawknife is relatively cheap; the tenon-cutters, not so. I’ve been wanting to get into this style of furniture but I’ve never been quite sure how to dry the green wood properly. Good luck with this project.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View bandit571's profile


30053 posts in 3968 days

#6 posted 02-03-2011 07:38 PM

One could also cut square tenons on those legs. Using a through mortise. Have a nice shoudler on the tenon, and add a sawkerf across the grain. Set the tenon, and then drive a wedge into the saw kerf. Matching wood, or contrasting wood, it’s up to you.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 5008 days

#7 posted 02-04-2011 04:09 AM

Here is an example of a log tennon. Chuck it up in a drill, and away you go…

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View John's profile


7 posts in 4054 days

#8 posted 02-04-2011 05:05 AM

I was looking at the log tennon cutters online. They are about $200 dollars each, is there a site (other than Craigs list) where I might be able to find one at a discount. Or is there a website that sells logs that have the tennon cut for you? If not I think the draw knife is gonna be the way I go…...

-- Copying from a single source is called plagiarism, copying from multiple source is called research

View CampD's profile


1833 posts in 4771 days

#9 posted 02-04-2011 05:17 AM

You could always scribe them, like this.

-- Doug...

View Anthony Finelli's profile

Anthony Finelli

52 posts in 4065 days

#10 posted 02-08-2011 08:41 PM

I use various sized draw knifes on my legs, you just need to make sure they are sharp because a dull draw knife can make the job much more difficult. A bit of advice also, do not go crazy with the draw knife, pulling away all of the sap wood in one shot. Take your time and play around with different looks….I like to leave some of the sap wood, it gives great contrasting colors. Take a look at my personal projects, i have a table that I made, the legs are black walnut. One final thing, don’t use limb wood for the legs, it has been my experience that limb wood is not as strong as the actual trunk and i have had legs break when people sit on the table, i only needed to do it once to learn.

-- Salem, New York "Find something you love to do and you will never have to work another day of your life"

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 4123 days

#11 posted 02-09-2011 05:05 AM

I use smaller trees, if you harvest in the spring you don’t need a draw knife- the bark will peel right off and leave you with a nice smooth “sapling strip” on the log. When you cut the trees, to prevent splitting/reduce checking you need to dip both ends of the log into some old paint to seal the ends while the log dries. I do use a tenon cutter, veritas model. It only has one blade but does the job. (replacement blades are cheap and you don’t replace them often.) If you only buy one cutter, get the one inch- I use that size 90 percent of the time. Smaller tenons can easily be cut by hand with a utlity knife. Also I have a draw knife but never use it. I use a lawn chair for my butt and a sharp utlity knife to remove bark. Easier for me than a draw knife. Also, I really don’t like the look of lathe turned wood legs under a slab top. Just my opinion. Also, when cutting trees you use alot more on 1 to 1.5 inch diameter logs then you think you will. I never have enough of those buggers cut. LOL If you have any questions or if I can help you just let me know. Good luck and HAVE FUN!

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics