My first go at rustic.

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Forum topic by RussellAP posted 01-13-2014 10:24 PM 2514 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3104 posts in 2488 days

01-13-2014 10:24 PM

The top is from a hardwood store, the legs are reclaimed barn wood, the skirt and lower shelf is from pallet wood.

All white oak.

Seems like trash to me, but maybe some of you might know if I’m on the right track. I simply have no feel for this type of furniture, I wouldn’t have it in my shop, but I know the public is crazy for this rustic crap.

Feedback welcome.

Oh and I plan to use some vinegar on the lower shelf support where I cut it off. Grey it out like the rest of the wood.

Sorry about the lousy pictures, had to use my iPhone.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

30 replies so far

View TravisH's profile


627 posts in 2136 days

#1 posted 01-13-2014 10:37 PM

I think a lot depends on what one considers rustic. It may be rustic in the eyes of many but I don’t consider that rustic. I would describe it as “repurposed” or “primitive”. For me the top and base are far from complementing each other and seam to be fighting against each other. I think it would look better with a top constructed from pallet wood or some old benches for example.

View MalcolmLaurel's profile


300 posts in 1824 days

#2 posted 01-13-2014 11:01 PM

I’m with Travis. “Rustic” is something made (often very nicely made) with natural materials for a cabin or lodge. This is primitive, like something knocked together for a workshop.

Take the top, make legs from natural branches, and finish it nicely… that’s rustic.

-- Malcolm Laurel -

View mervillehomesteader's profile


31 posts in 1798 days

#3 posted 01-13-2014 11:26 PM

I hear you guys there. I have people wanting me to make stuff like that all the time , drives me up a wall. I home make a lot of stuff from necessity, and try to put as much care as I would anything else. To me it is as far from rustic as it gets. I would ditch the bark, it will only cause yah grief anyway, put four nice legs tapered with a drawknife and maybe a back on it of the same style. It would look good on the deck of my chicken coop when I finally get it done and if my blog on it would get approved so I could show off the pics. I do a special mix of bees wax and tongue oil that really show off the grain. Watch “Alone In The Wilderness” if you want to see rustic. Old Dick had it going on.

-- Perfectly Imperfect. Thats my style!

View Tony_S's profile


955 posts in 3284 days

#4 posted 01-14-2014 12:06 AM

The design directly reflects your attitude towards it…crap.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View b2rtch's profile


4867 posts in 3250 days

#5 posted 01-14-2014 12:14 AM

It is not rustic ,it is ugly
Rustic does not mean ugly or primitive

-- Bert

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2705 days

#6 posted 01-14-2014 12:19 AM

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3170 days

#7 posted 01-14-2014 12:26 AM

My idea of rustic is more old and careworn, something with a bit of charm. That combination you have doesn’t work IMO. Either live edge slab legs (short ones for a coffee table) or a repurposed sawn top. It looks too easy to knock over as well.

View MalcolmLaurel's profile


300 posts in 1824 days

#8 posted 01-14-2014 01:21 AM

At the risk of derailing this thread, I meant to ask above… can you elaborate on the use of vinegar to gray the wood? I’ve never heard of that before but it sounds useful in hiding some of the fresh cut edges when renovating my cabin.

-- Malcolm Laurel -

View richardwootton's profile


1701 posts in 2157 days

#9 posted 01-14-2014 01:36 AM

Not to beat a dead horse, but I do have to agree that I am not a fan of this particular design. The proportions feel totally off, and top heavy. The top and base also don’t compliment each other.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 2638 days

#10 posted 01-14-2014 01:46 AM

I’m with the others on this. I’ve loved every piece you’ve posted up until this, but this isn’t rustic. It’s beneath your skills and I don’t like it at all. If you took the top and made a base similar to the bench DKV posted, that would be rustic and much more fitting to your craftsmanship.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View GOOD LUCK TO ALL's profile


418 posts in 1929 days

#11 posted 01-14-2014 01:53 AM

I would finish this and use it to display some of your goods that you have in your market store. That way people would look at what is on the table instead of the table.

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2488 days

#12 posted 01-14-2014 03:04 AM

Perhaps I derailed this thread myself by using the word ‘rustic’ when I have no real idea what the word is.
I agree with all of your assessments, but you know what, When this thing hits the showroom some weird lake person is going to go nuts over it and buy it at $350.00.
My new retail location is pretty close to the middle of 5 lake communities. Three of them are not what you think of when you think lake community. They are 50-60 year old homes built precariously on the shore, or cliff would be more like it. The homes are old and intricate and lend themselves to just such a piece.
The cedar table shown above would not work here in Kansas City, at least not enough to make profitable to make and then sell, perhaps by special order, but they would work great in New Mexico, or Texas.
People are looking for those old attic dressers, chests, and tables mostly and it’s not really possible to make those and have them look right. So I thought I’d go clunky and barny in hopes that someone with poor taste would buy it. It remains to be seen if it will sell, but I’m gambling on the ghetto taste of the general public. I’ve learned that you can be right more often by betting on peoples weaknesses than their strengths, sad but true.

Plus if it comes down to dis-assembly, I won’t have to worry about holes and dents. lol.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View TimRH's profile


5 posts in 1795 days

#13 posted 01-14-2014 03:18 AM

Very nice

View hobby1's profile


344 posts in 2499 days

#14 posted 01-14-2014 03:38 AM

Here’s a way I would try to make it rustic, take a 1-1/2” to 2” drum sander, in your portable drill, use a fine grit, that will actually clog up quickly, to burn the wood, with the drill running set the drum on the edge of a leg, on the drill chuck side of the drum, then pulse the drill and start pushing the drum back and forth from top to bottom of the drum sleeve, pulling and pushing the drum sleeve, to give a softened edge to the legs,
as far as the top, of course the bark needs to be removed, or it will fall off, when you remove the bark, scrape down past all the punky wood, until you get solid wood, then sand and file the heck out of that area, to feather it into the rest of the edge, when you have divots and gouges that are super smooth where nothing gets snagged on, then the top will have a nice rustic look to it, also give the top a small bit of freeform, around the corners, without overdoing it, to keep it squarish as yu designed it to be,

back to the legs, you do this systematically pulling the drum off the edge and back on working towrd the middle of the leg, this will give an appearance of the leg being close to a natural loggish appearance, that would coinside with the top,

do the same technique with the drum sanding sleeve, to the shelves as well, the whole idea with the sanding sleeves is to give the edges a freeform super smooth look to it, however it can be overdone also, so be melodious in ploacing these sanding divots, a little random, but not chaotic, give the entire piece a continuos transition from top to bottom, making everything flow together.

That’s just my way of doing it, I’m no expert by any means, but you did ask for advise of what can be done.

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3243 days

#15 posted 01-14-2014 03:48 AM

Sounds like a great business plan, sell poorly made furniture to tasteless aristocrats/swamp people, whatever works.

Being from the Enchanted State of NM, I would buy the Cedar table but would prefer it made from Pecan or Mesquite. Especially if it came with Green Chile Cheeseburger with fries and a coke.

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