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How to finish a log bed? No, Really...How do I finish it?

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Blog entry by robbinscabin posted 05-02-2011 06:22 PM 6478 reads 1 time favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Since we’ve started a business, North Country Rustics (find me on Facebook) we’ve been very busy but we’ve also tried to take our projects to a new level. We’ve made several log beds (eventually, we even began making the bed frames from log~even though I wimped out on my son’s bed) but we are currently working on our first log bed for sale.

The queen sized bed is really our best work yet but we’re stumped when it comes to how we should finish it. We realized that the finish on our past beds are not as durable as we’d like. I want to be confident that the owners will not need to “worry” about the maintenance for their bed. The logs are white pine and tenoned together using the Veritas tenoning system. Please ignore the ratcheting straps on the bed…we’re in the gluing stage…

Any finishing advice would be greatly appreciated!

-- Robbinscabin, www.facebook.com/northcountryrustics



31 comments so far

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1383 days


#1 posted 05-02-2011 06:37 PM

I can’t see the pictures and maybe I’m missing something but I would guess clear polyurethane. I’ve been collecting sticks and logs for rustic furniture projects and I’ve played around with a few of them. I treated a few cracks with CA glue, gave a 1lb coat of amber shellac, scuffed, and wiped on poly. The shellac gives a bit of a golden hue which you may or may not like. I can’t stand the log furniture that’s finished in thick shiny top coat; ruins the organic of the piece. Good luck and I’ll be tuned in for the answers below!

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

View robbinscabin's profile

robbinscabin

313 posts in 2178 days


#2 posted 05-02-2011 06:49 PM

I can see the pictures…but now I’m wondering if I messed up attaching them to the post. I’m sooo not good at inserting pics! Thanks for the advice. I agree with you about keeping a low sheen finish. My concern is whether it should be something breathable. Would a water based acrylic do that? I love a poly finish but is it breathable? I love woodworking…I hate finishing! LOL

-- Robbinscabin, www.facebook.com/northcountryrustics

View superstretch's profile

superstretch

1504 posts in 1383 days


#3 posted 05-02-2011 07:51 PM

Poly in any significant quantity isn’t breathable.. Its like plastic-coating anything you put it on. You can get it in satin if you don’t like a gloss… Also, for such a large application, you might want to think about spraying it. That’s a lot of time if you wipe on a good 5-10 coats or so.

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View superstretch's profile

superstretch

1504 posts in 1383 days


#4 posted 05-02-2011 07:52 PM

Also, hiya, fellow-upstater!

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View robbinscabin's profile

robbinscabin

313 posts in 2178 days


#5 posted 05-02-2011 08:01 PM

Whatever we use for finishing we will be using a sprayer. It’s so much more uniform then anything I could do by hand. The wood is plenty dry so maybe I’m overthinking the whole “breathable” issue.

~Gotta love this upstate NY weather…any more rain and my next project will be an ark! LOL

-- Robbinscabin, www.facebook.com/northcountryrustics

View superstretch's profile

superstretch

1504 posts in 1383 days


#6 posted 05-02-2011 08:03 PM

Any gopherwood? I think Rochester squeaked out 6” in April. Can you imagine if that was all snow?

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3190 posts in 1366 days


#7 posted 05-02-2011 08:10 PM

We would take some of that rain out here in SW Oklahoma. We have had approx. 2 inches of moisture since November 20th. Project looks great. Yes, spray that finish if possible.

View robbinscabin's profile

robbinscabin

313 posts in 2178 days


#8 posted 05-02-2011 08:13 PM

Syracuse had over 8 1/2 inches in April…making it the wettest in history! Thank goodness, it wasn’t snow~we’d be measuring in feet! Something I do here near the tug hill on a regular basis! Too Regular, if you ask me.

-- Robbinscabin, www.facebook.com/northcountryrustics

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3190 posts in 1366 days


#9 posted 05-02-2011 08:15 PM

They are telling us that you have hundred year rains and hundred year droughts. We had a 500 year rain about 5 years ago. That followed the hundred year rain the year before. No we are having a hundred year drought.

View robbinscabin's profile

robbinscabin

313 posts in 2178 days


#10 posted 05-02-2011 08:21 PM

There is no “normal” anymore in weather. We bounce from one extreme to another! It makes it tough to know what to expect.

-- Robbinscabin, www.facebook.com/northcountryrustics

View superstretch's profile

superstretch

1504 posts in 1383 days


#11 posted 05-02-2011 08:23 PM

Expect: bad weather

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View CampD's profile

CampD

1207 posts in 2176 days


#12 posted 05-02-2011 08:36 PM

I use Tung oil on mine, I know you have to hand rub it but it is breathable.
Also I like to stain them to give them a more aged rustic look.

-- Doug...

View robbinscabin's profile

robbinscabin

313 posts in 2178 days


#13 posted 05-02-2011 08:59 PM

Sadly, the client wants a very light color…wasn’t interested in any color at all. Tung Oil isn’t something I had considered because I wasn’t sure the client who wants it ASAP could handle the odor that lingers with Tung Oil. But maybe I shoud consider it…I’m so confused!

-- Robbinscabin, www.facebook.com/northcountryrustics

View CampD's profile

CampD

1207 posts in 2176 days


#14 posted 05-02-2011 09:07 PM

Now that spring is finally here, get them in the sun to bake, tung oil dries quick this way.

-- Doug...

View superstretch's profile

superstretch

1504 posts in 1383 days


#15 posted 05-02-2011 09:10 PM

Something like Danish Oil dries pretty quickly too.. Its less oil, more other agents but gives the beauty of oil

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

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