log and slab picnic table

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Project by rivergirl posted 08-20-2010 04:52 PM 5369 views 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
log and slab picnic table
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I just finished this picnic table. Used rough cut pine slabs (live edge) for the top and pine logs for the base. I got the logs from trees in my backyard and my neighbor gave me the slabs out of his garage. I left the live edge on all the slabs, so in this photo it looks like there are wide spaces between the boards on the top, however, the spaces are actually minimal, the dark lines are from the tannin stains on the wood. I am currently working on 2 benches to match. I have limited tools, so I do rustic log furniture only. :)

-- 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."

11 comments so far

View Gnome's profile


93 posts in 3109 days

#1 posted 08-20-2010 05:09 PM

I love rustic furniture because I relate to the wood so much. Appreciate finished pieces, mind you, and artistic endeavors (they have their own place), but really want my lunch of thick soup and crusty homemade bread in a wooden bowl on a rustic table in a mountain cabin (or the porch), with a view of a lake and boat dock. Guess I’m not the princess type. Very nice-like the dark tannin stripe on the top.

-- Gnettie the Gnome

View aurora's profile


229 posts in 3451 days

#2 posted 08-20-2010 05:57 PM


i love your rustic furniture projects !!!! lots of people start out with limited simple hand tools and a few power tools, ... acquire lots of tools, and then get really interested in the art of woodworking with simple hand tools. so, you are either just starting out (and doing a fantastic job) or a veteran woodworker who has honed your skills with countless hours pursuing your craft. i cant tell which it is.

i would like to see more pics of the underside of the tables with specifics of joinery, sizes, and tools used in the construction of these very cool pieces.

i have a similar unheated shop as yours, .... but my addiction is such that i work thru the snowy northern ohio winters with lots of coats and even occasionally wear gloves. friends, neighbors and family dont quite to understand, .... but here i have lots of company and people get me, ... still think i’m a bit crazy mind you, but they understand my madness. its a great group of people from around the world that are almost always very supportive.

thanks for sharing this with us

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 3037 days

#3 posted 08-20-2010 06:06 PM

Gnome, I live on the Allegheny River (north of Pgh) so I am with you on the water, and boat dock. My house is a period style bungalow so my furniture inside is mission- the good stuff.. LOL. Aurora, I am a beginner of sorts but had been married to the construction industry- twice. LOL Trust me- you DON’T really want to see the underside of the tables. I use a forestner bit for the holes and I use a tenon cutter on a drill for the tenons. Since the tables were for me- I didn’t sand the bottom of the tables… lazy girl. I have 3 sizes of tenon cutters 1”, 2” and perhaps? 3”. I have a drill and a chop saw, circular saw and a palm sander and belt sander. That’s it. If I need a smaller mortise/tenon size I use a cheap whole saw on the drill and whittle the tenon. I had some scrap 5/4 so I put that on the underside of the table. Then I hole drill through the 5/4 until it is through the 5/4 but not cut into the slab top boards. I cut the leg tenons about 1.5 inches log and attach the leg by gluing into the hole in the 5/4. That’s it. Nothing fancy- but then again, if the piece is for outside the PA weather will beat it up anyway so why bother with the fancy I guess? But I do want a bigger space in the garage.. and a barrel stove would be nice. LOL

-- 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."

View RWJones's profile


127 posts in 3076 days

#4 posted 08-21-2010 02:36 AM

I am really enjoying all of your projects. They are right down my alley. I enjoy working with rough cut, live edge wood also. Keep you the beautiful work!

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4445 days

#5 posted 08-21-2010 12:22 PM

Very nice looking table, I really like the look, it belongs outside, very cool.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View learnin2do's profile


889 posts in 3050 days

#6 posted 08-22-2010 06:29 AM

I am right there with you! -whatever it takes to get the job done! -How do you get it so symmetrical and perfect looking? -i would go crazy trying

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 3037 days

#7 posted 08-22-2010 01:26 PM

Learnin2do- I think that when working with raw Pennsylvania logs- rather than say lodge pole pine symmetrical and perfect looking is not going to happen. :) At least not for me. So what I do is make sure the log piece is on horizontal level when I cut the tenon onto the log. And I don’t have a drill press so when I drill the mortise hole I do my best to TRY and get the mortise hole right. Also, I just eyeball the live edge slabs to get them close to being a symmetical and square table top. Naturally the table tops are rarely square- because I use raw wood and have no table saw.. LOL but they are level… (mostly.. haha) The people who come to see my projects tend to like them because they AREN’T all square and symmetrical… after all.. if you want planed and joined run of the mill -mass produced rustic stuff you can get that from the Amish store up the road. I don’t get all crazy about perfection… I am about the biggest NON detail person in the world… That’s why I really admire all those guys who build custom fine furniture… that is perfection… But I can’t put my Limbert table or chairs in the yard.. that’s where the imperfect rustic stuff comes in…. :) And when this round of tables and benches are finished I really want to try and do some twig stuff like you have done in your benches.

-- 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."

View NormG's profile


6283 posts in 3202 days

#8 posted 08-30-2010 03:46 AM

great work. who cares about detail anyway

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Manitario's profile


2680 posts in 3081 days

#9 posted 08-30-2010 04:03 AM

I love your work, I have a 28 acre wooded lot that I keep wanting to harvest to make furniture like you do but I feel intimidated by the process of milling the logs down to size…

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 3037 days

#10 posted 08-30-2010 02:17 PM

It’s not hard to build with logs… small saplings are the best… just cut ‘em and dry ‘em and then build. :) No need to wait for giant trees to grow…

-- 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."

View JerryBerry's profile


64 posts in 2891 days

#11 posted 02-08-2011 11:08 PM

So, how do you mill your slabs? Or do you buy them that way?

-- - Tell me what you want done, OR how to do it. Never both!!!! Jerry, New Bloomfield, PA

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