A room outfitted with rustic furniture holds such a natural sense of warmth, comfort and beauty. Rustic furniture is made from logs, sticks, twigs, branches and other wood-related products that are cut, bent and shaped into decorative pieces of furniture. While you can purchase this furniture from woodworkers, artisans and dealers, why not try making your own? Making your own rustic furniture not only helps you save on the cost of furniture, but it's also a fun, rewarding hobby to do in your spare time. It can even potentially earn you some money if you decide to sell them to interested buyers.
If you are really interested in building your own furniture, the proper tools will be needed to get started. The most essential tool needed to get that appealing look of handmade furniture is called a drawknife. A drawknife is essentially a blade with a handle on each side. It is used to strip the bark off of selected logs, sticks and branches. Other basic tools include tenor cutters and mortising bits. A tenor cutter rounds off the ends of logs and sticks and a mortising bit is attached to a hand drill and is used to create a circular or square hole that corresponds with the previously cut tenor, after which the two pieces should fit together perfectly if done properly. Wood glue is also a necessity to strengthen the entire piece and make it durable for long-time use. There are other specific tools needed, but they all vary as you take on different projects.
Rustic furniture is all about the piece you make look hand-made. Sometimes it's even preferable to make the furniture look unfinished, so consider this when selecting wood for your project. Dry wood from dead trees that are still standing are widely found as the best wood to work with. These will have distinctive marks left behind when the bark is cut off, preferably using long strokes from a drawknife. A common problem often encountered with standing dead trees is that you really do not know how long the tree has been dead, therefore leaving an opportunity for some rotting, which you may not find until you have sanded the wood down and drilled holes, leaving you with a nice piece of firewood. Green wood can also be used if used properly and allowed time to dry, but dry wood will always be the best option.
Now that you have selected the proper wood for the job, there are two methods of stripping the bark. The first method is just called peeling, when you peel the log, you will remove all the bark from it with your drawknife, but there will be obvious flat tracks that are left behind which indicate where the drawknife had previously sliced. The next method is called skip-peeling which is where some of the bark is removed, leaving some areas of darker, interior bark which will give the piece a more rustic feel and look.
Now that you know how to properly prepare logs and sticks, you can now begin work on a project. There is an enormous amount of furniture projects out there, listed on websites and in books, such as furnituredesignideas.com. You can also search Google Images for "rustic furniture" to see pictures of images that you can copy. Once you find one, read up on the details and specifics of the project and find out what materials you will need, what type of wood and other related aspects and start working on your first piece.