When we recently decided to stop renting our log cabin ( which I built thirty years ago) and turn it back into our family`s cottage we needed to furnish it again. Our financial resources were scanty but we were excited to imagine what our little log house in the big woods could be made to look like after so many years of renting. One last major job of cleaning, re-finishing the lodge pole pine walls and washing those high windows in the vaulted ceiling and then we were free to turn to watching the used furniture ads.
Skinning the bark with the drawknife.
The desk, seat and multiple tables were the next project to fit into the busy week of cabin preparations and first Spring garden planting. I first made the seating bench for the writing table to make sure I had my technique correct ( I `d made one coffee table using this method a couple of years ago).First I drilled four mortice holes with a one and a half inch drill bit into the bottom corners of the cedar seat top (being careful to not drill right through). The legs needed tenons on the tops to fit into these mortices and so I drilled the same bit on the ends of each leg to mark the correct size and then used the table saw to cut the waste depth about an inch back from the end. I chipped out the waste wood with my Swiss Army knife and sanded for a close fit.
Once propped up on it`s legs, I marked where the rungs would best go and drilled out the holes with a three quarter inch drill bit. After measuring for length, I cut the rungs and used a Veritas tenon cutter to shape the ends ( what a great tool to fit on an electric drill.) After dry assembly to check, I used yellow carpenters glue for final assembly and held the whole thing together with pieces of rope cinched up tight. Over the last couple of days I have mass produced a desk and five more side tables in an assembly line manner. A final hand sanding and several coats of satin varnish and they will be finished.