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Rustic Look

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Forum topic by flamingoezz posted 10-13-2015 02:59 PM 886 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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flamingoezz

5 posts in 416 days


10-13-2015 02:59 PM

I’m looking to start my first furniture project (a coffee table for my home). I’ve drawn up a design and am ready to purchase some wood.

I’d like to get a rustic look. what is the best way to accomplish this?

Should I get rough sawn wood and just lightly plane it? Am I best off getting reclaimed wood? Thanks for suggestions!


18 replies so far

View ForestGrl's profile

ForestGrl

445 posts in 545 days


#1 posted 10-13-2015 03:42 PM

For the rustic part, Google “distressed wood techniques) or similar (distressed being the key word).

-- My mother said that anyone learning to cook needed a large dog to eat the mistakes. As a sculptor of wood I have always tried to keep a fireplace. (Norman Ridenour)

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BurlyBob

3646 posts in 1725 days


#2 posted 10-13-2015 03:45 PM

I’ve seen somewhere here someone using a wire wheel to scuff up the surface. You could also brush the surface with a propane torch.

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flamingoezz

5 posts in 416 days


#3 posted 10-13-2015 03:55 PM

thanks for the suggestions. i’d be nervous to take a finished product and start hitting it with sharp or heavy things to make it look older. I was thinking of starting with old or rough lumber and finishing it so that it shows some of the character, but is still nice.

I often times see furniture pieces in high end stores that some cupping or uneven-ness to boards. It seems like they didn’t distress that in, but rather didn’t finish the imperfections out of their woodwork. Does anyone have experience with that? I’m wondering if i could use rough cut lumber to accomplish this (as it seems much less expensive than buying reclaimed nowadays).

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ForestGrl

445 posts in 545 days


#4 posted 10-13-2015 07:22 PM

Distressing is an art, you’re smart not to dive into a finished piece. If you want to used cupped boards, pick out some that are plain sawn or poorly rift-saw, and kinda damp (if you’re planning to use construction lumber, such a thing will be easy to find. Otherwise, you might need to find someone who mills). They will cup as they dry most likely, the plain-sawn the most, nearly horizontal rift-sawn not as much. Exposure to weather or wear (hands, feet) and development of patina are the main two thing that make wood look old. Have you considered using hand-tools to saw and plane the wood? That gives you some latitude as to how “finished” the surface looks.

Think of the wear a 50-yr-old coffee table would endure—knocks with the vacuum, being bumped by shoes (translates to worn corners), perhaps a scrape or two. An occasional dent when something is dropped on it.

A coffee table out of rough boards is going to catch on clothing and skin unless you finish it heavily.

I’ll still encourage you to investigate the term “distressing”—not to do anything drastic (chain-beating and nail holes are so obvious), but just to get an idea of how it’s done. You can always practice on scrap.

-- My mother said that anyone learning to cook needed a large dog to eat the mistakes. As a sculptor of wood I have always tried to keep a fireplace. (Norman Ridenour)

View toddbeaulieu's profile

toddbeaulieu

780 posts in 2464 days


#5 posted 10-13-2015 07:26 PM

There are LOTs of different approaches. Rough sawn lumber is indeed a great and natural way to do this. I often incorporate knots and bark in my projects. In my projects you can see a dart board cabinet that I did just that. On that same project I used a gel stain base and then a darker gel stain that I rubbed into the cracks and joints and immediately wiped off. That adds depth. I even flicked it on with a tooth brush. You can use pallet wood. You can leave wood outside for a bit. There are various ways to dirty it up.

Every project you do should be a learning experience. Give yourself permission to try new things and accept less than perfect results. It’s how you get better. Don’t be afraid.

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TheTurtleCarpenter

823 posts in 525 days


#6 posted 10-13-2015 08:07 PM

Rustic comes to mind as raw materials with limited tooling. Distressed would be to leave it in your kids playroom for a couple years then sand and refinish.

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle",,,,,member MWTCA area K. Kentucky

View ForestGrl's profile

ForestGrl

445 posts in 545 days


#7 posted 10-14-2015 12:25 AM



Rustic comes to mind as raw materials with limited tooling. Distressed would be to leave it in your kids playroom for a couple years then sand and refinish.

- TheTurtleCarpenter

Oooooo, great idea! One of my antiquing buddies from back when I was in the furniture business told me that, in England, “fakers” would build a pine “antique” of popular style, put it up on their roof for a winter, maybe cover it in chicken manure for a couple of weeks, and then sell it as authentic. He’s quite the story-teller, so not sure how much was true, but there was probably a kernel of truth in it. :-)

-- My mother said that anyone learning to cook needed a large dog to eat the mistakes. As a sculptor of wood I have always tried to keep a fireplace. (Norman Ridenour)

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Ocelot

1470 posts in 2098 days


#8 posted 10-14-2015 04:10 PM

View RogerM's profile

RogerM

758 posts in 1858 days


#9 posted 10-14-2015 07:33 PM

This photo is a system I came up with that has worked well for me. It involves burning with a torch and wire brushing with a soft wire brush.:

Send me a message if you would like some of the details.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View rejo55's profile

rejo55

186 posts in 1702 days


#10 posted 10-14-2015 08:08 PM

You want rustic??? Hell, everything I make is rustic… even my house. Remember, though, there is a big difference between “rustic” and “crude”.

Have a good’un,
Joe

-- rejo55, East Texas

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

21981 posts in 1798 days


#11 posted 10-14-2015 10:24 PM

There are many different versions of rustic. Google a rustic piece of furniture that your interested in. Narrow it down to what you like and go from there.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View ForestGrl's profile

ForestGrl

445 posts in 545 days


#12 posted 10-15-2015 04:02 AM



[Snip]Every project you do should be a learning experience. Give yourself permission to try new things and accept less than perfect results. It s how you get better. Don t be afraid.

- toddbeaulieu

So well-said. May I make it into a poster and stick it above the lathe? Seriously! :-)

-- My mother said that anyone learning to cook needed a large dog to eat the mistakes. As a sculptor of wood I have always tried to keep a fireplace. (Norman Ridenour)

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

393 posts in 679 days


#13 posted 10-15-2015 12:15 PM

as monte said, many different versionsof rustic.
imo, the distressing thing people do where they hit the piece looks like
a piece that was hit with stuff. it doesnt look like natural wear and tear.

the rustic i do is with roughsawn lumber. build whatever it is- mainly tables for me with a sideboard or hutch occasionally- with lumber in the rough. after assembly start sanding at 100 grit only knocking down the rs some. go to 150 then 220 grit. then finish.
table tops usually get a little extra sanding.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

23113 posts in 2326 days


#14 posted 10-15-2015 02:41 PM

We used to do some distressing with a sandblaster. It takes a little practice and a light fast touch. However, it has a certain look that appeals to a good number of people.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View flamingoezz's profile

flamingoezz

5 posts in 416 days


#15 posted 10-15-2015 02:53 PM

@tomsteve—that is exactly what I’m looking at doing. I bought some rough sawn ash yesterday.

I think I’m going to start with the tabletop. Plan on planing one face of each board to get a square surface to work off, and hopefully theres not too much cupping/warping so the top will be within a light/medium sanding of being somewhat flat and i can keep some character of the original rough saw lines. Any tips for working in this manner?

Also, when i cut my tabletop for length, anything i can do to give it some of the roughness back? I don’t think I’m good enough to cut it with a handsaw. Maybe I can glue them all up and use a jig saw instead of a finer saw.

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