How-to Cut a Log to Make Rustic Furniture

How-to Cut a Log to Make Rustic Furniture

Let’s face it, if you want to make rustic furniture you’re going to need to learn how-to cut a log with a chainsaw. Here’s your chance. Watch this video and learn how Colorado based artisan Mitchell Dillman cuts a log to make rustic furniture.

Believe you me, there’s no piece of furniture that will bring you more pride and joy than the ones you have made with your own two hands…

So let’s take a few minutes now to discuss some of the basics when it comes to the proper way of How-to cut a log using a chainsaw so you can make rustic furniture.

First though, let’s get one thing straight. This article and video are Not intended to be your definitive guide to using a chainsaw.

If you have just recently purchased yourself a new chainsaw, or perhaps it is the first time you’ve pulled yours out in a while, please take time now to thoroughly read and understand the owners manual and users guide that came with your saw.

When preparing to cut a log with you chainsaw be sure your are wearing all the proper safety equipment.

Video Summary

One of the advantages you have when making your own rustic furniture is that you have the ability to craft the furniture any size you want.

Keep in mind however, there are standard sizes for just about any type of furniture. When it comes to sitting down, you will find most arm chairs are around 2 foot wide, loveseats 4 foot long and larger benches 5 foot or more.

For demonstration purposes, in the video, you will see I have one of our more popular Colorado Rock-n-Logs (c)2011. The Cabin Club Rocker comes from our signature ‘Cabin Collection’. These handsome rocking chairs are always cut between 24 – 26 inches in length. As you will observe, this leaves a seating area of between 16 – 18 inches which is typical for just about any type arm chair.

Cutting the Log:

When preparing to cut your logs, one of the first things you will want to do is to make sure you have an uncluttered, clean area to work in. You don’t want anything laying around that will trip you up and potentially cause you to fall.

In the video you will notice how I have set one log across the top of another. This is important. You never want to cut a log with it laying directly on the ground!

Once you have determined where you will be cutting the log and you have cleared the area of any unwanted debris it is time to get to work.

You are always going to want to be sure and hold your chainsaw with both hands. Never attempt to make a cut with your chainsaw using just one hand.

Next, establish a good firm footing, squaring up and facing the log head on.

Once you are ready to start the cut, be certain to use the buy Propecia online square or flat bottom portion of the bar. Avoid using the tip or rounded portion of the bar as this will increase the chance for ‘kick-back’.

Now it’s time to make that first cut.

Once you have fired-up your chainsaw, start the cut using a steady down-ward pressure. Gently work the saw back and forth in a slight rocking motion as you proceed through the log.

Make sure to never touch the ground with the bar or chain.

Stay focused on the task at hand.

It is always best to consider what pieces of log furniture you are making before starting up you chainsaw. Measure-up and mark the logs before you start your saw. Take time to consider any knots, limbs or imperfections in the log that will enhance the finished piece of furniture.

Doing all of this before actually starting up the chainsaw will make your cutting time more efficient, and even safer, as your attention will be focused solely on your saw and cutting the log.

If you plan on cutting several logs to make more than one piece of log furniture it is a good idea to take time and cut some ‘log cradles’. Use these cradles to hold and elevate your log off the ground when marking and cutting.

To make yourself a set of cradles, simply cut a notch in some of your cut-offs or scrap logs. This will be well worth your effort considering the time and energy it takes to properly sharpen your chain.

Remember, running your chainsaw into the ground is the fastest way to ruin any chain while potentially causing injury to yourself.

Finally, when cutting logs with a chainsaw, it is important to keep the alignment of the bar and chain away from your line of sight. Always hold the saw out and away from your body. This will help keep flying wood chips, saw dust and debris from blowing back into your face. Or if the saw should unexpectedly kick-back you will remain well out of harms way.

On a side note:

There’s been several folks asking me lately about the blue color you see in many of the log furniture pieces we offer for purchase. This is Colorado Beetle Kill Ponderosa Pine.

The dark blues, greys and green tints you see in these logs is caused by the Mountain Pine Beetle. This coloration is essentially a type of fungus which gives this wood its’ rich and unique denim look.

The devastation caused by the mountain pine beetle to the forests throughout the Rocky Mountains is almost overwhelming. Here in Colorado alone we now have literally millions of acres of Beetle Kill Pine (BKP).  Recent studies have concluded that by the end of 2012 there will not be a single living Lodge Pole Pine tree left in The State of Colorado.

While the Lodge Pole Pine has been the hardest hit, these tiny little beetles are now being found in many different species of Pine, including the Ponderosa Pine which you see in this video.




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  1. Joshua Duffie says

    I just recently cut a red cedar tree down that is around 250 yrs old so I’ve been told. I am from Mississippi, and we have a 2 story log house. My wife is wanting log type rustic furniture on the outside, and wants a log bed. We have a queen bed size. She also wants some tables. How can I cut the tree to make a long coffee table top? Do you have a video on how to saw angled slab? Also how can I make a bed out of this tree?

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