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Forum topic by BryanFaz posted 07-22-2017 02:43 PM 536 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BryanFaz

33 posts in 336 days


07-22-2017 02:43 PM

Topic tags/keywords: log benches outdoor furniture natural furniture

I was asked to (consider) building some outdoor log benches from fallen or soon to fall trees. Naturally I’ve never made any log benches…but it looks fun and challenging. I have tons of thoughts and questions. My first and most basic…moisture. None of these logs will have been on the ground long. A chainsaw will be my primary cutting tool. I’ve seen several pics of benches/chairs with the bark intact. I know you guys have suggestions….stay in the wood shop! Ha. Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!!!!!!


9 replies so far

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Loren

9623 posts in 3483 days


#1 posted 07-22-2017 04:15 PM

Wear a full face mask and other protective
gear. Fungus in wet logs can cause
allergic reactions.

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BryanFaz

33 posts in 336 days


#2 posted 07-22-2017 06:25 PM

Had not thought of that. Good stuff. Thank you.

I have searched for a discussion of the moisture content of the logs and have not found anything. Hopefully someone will have some familiarity with that issue.

Thanks again!!!

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tomsteve

663 posts in 1055 days


#3 posted 07-23-2017 06:54 PM

the MC on the logs will vary with species. other than that,i dont see an exact question about the MC.

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ocean

46 posts in 669 days


#4 posted 07-23-2017 07:17 PM

Cut the log down the middle end to end (this will give you two benches with one cut) drill holes for legs using branches off the same tree at an angle. Will the logs check? – probably, but depending on size of log this may have no effect on the strength. After they dry (months later) you can apply some kind of sealer.

-- Bob, FL Keys

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BryanFaz

33 posts in 336 days


#5 posted 07-24-2017 02:55 AM

I apologize if my questions aren’t obvious. I’ve never worked with wood that isn’t dry. Any outside projects I’ve ever made involved treated wood, paint as my finish, or both. These benches will remain outside so I would think the exposed wood will need finish-spar urethane or similar. But applying any finish to wood that isn’t completely dry would appear to be problematic. Thanks Bob…you addressed one of my concerns. Waiting for the benches to dry before applying finish makes sense. There is storage available on site I could take advantage of to give them time to dry out of the elements.

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tomsteve

663 posts in 1055 days


#6 posted 07-24-2017 01:38 PM

dbl posted here for some reason

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tomsteve

663 posts in 1055 days


#7 posted 07-24-2017 01:42 PM

rule of thumb,in a dry environment, a year per inch of thickness for mc to get down low when air drying.
i have some benches by the bonfire pit i made from some red oak logs. 7’ long and about 14” dia.i ripped them down the middle and took some 18” chunks of red oak and cut a notch in the end for the half logs to sit in.
that was 2 years ago. they were green. the bark is now starting to fall off of them and theyre holding up great with no finish.

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Loren

9623 posts in 3483 days


#8 posted 07-24-2017 06:39 PM

Imo, you can put a finish like spar varnish
on when the wood is dry on the surface.
A log will continue to dry out for years
even with the varnish on it, and the wood
will crack and move until it’s reached
equilibrium moisture content for where
it is sitting. Most finishes are still gas
permeable enough for wood to continue
drying after finishing.

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BryanFaz

33 posts in 336 days


#9 posted 08-20-2017 03:14 PM

Thank you all for helping me with this. We made a test chair and bench…I will post pics when back on laptop. “Bark” remain a question…should we remove it. Based on the comments here it appears it will fall off on its own in a couple of years. I like the natural look with bark in place. But not sure there is anyway to preserve the bark…nothing I’ve read so far. Thanks again folks!!

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