Introduction: HomeMade Modern DIY Log Lounger
Our partner RYOBI asked us to do an Earth Day project that would demonstrate how eco-friendly tools like their 18 Volt ONE+ Cordless Chainsaw could be used to transform waste into usable home furnishings.
The log lounger is a great way to turn yard waste that would end up in landfills or a fireplace, into sturdy outdoor furniture.
We had a lot of fun trying out our new 18 Volt ONE+ Cordless Chainsaw and are proud to present an affordable, modern piece of furniture that was made sustainably with clean-running electric tools.
Step 1: Supplies + Tools
Logs 3" - 6" in diameter
Reclaimed landscaping waste
I got these birch logs from a landscaping company that had been hired to clear a piece of land. I recommend using logs between 3” and 6” in diameter. Larger diameter logs can be used but can be difficult to drill through and connect. They also can get pretty heavy.
Lag Screws 6” and 9”
Purchase at Home Depot
I used zinc-coated lag screws to connect the logs together. The lag screws are the most expensive part of this project. I used ¼” lag screws 6” long for most of the logs and a couple 9” long ones for the bigger logs. 3-4 screws per log will do the trick. If you are using smaller logs, you can get away with using cheaper deck screws.
Brackets and Deck Screws
Purchase at Home Depot
The brackets are used to strengthen the floppy parts of the . Just screw them on the underside of the with deck screws.
RYOBI 18 Volt Chainsaw
The RYOBI 18 Volt Chainsaw is my new favorite tool! It's lightweight, easy to handle and runs on the same battery packs as my other RYOBI tools. More importantly, it doesn’t produce toxic emissions like gas-powered chainsaws and runs much quieter than traditional chainsaws, which is great for working on projects indoors.
RYOBI 18 Volt Cordless Drill
The drill is used to drill both the 1 ¼” counter sunk holes as well as the ¼” pilot holes for the lag screws. You can also use a hex attachment to drive the lag screws.
1 ¼” Drill Bit
Long lag screws are expensive and difficult to drive into the wood. Partially Drilling into the logs with a large drill bit allows you to use shorter lag screws.
Extra long ¼” Bit
I used an extra long bit to drill pilot holes through the logs I attached. This isn’t completely necessary but it makes driving the lag screws easier and reduces the likelihood of them breaking.
RYOBI 18 Volt Impact Driver(Optional)
In addition to a drill, an impact driver makes this project go a lot faster. You can drill the holes and drive the screws without switching bits.
Step 2: Cut Logs
I cut the logs into 18” long segments. Feel free to cut longer segments if you have enough material to work with.
Step 3: Layout the Design
I used blue painter's tape to mark an outline of the design on the floor. If you'd like a PDF of the template I used, feel free to email me. Do a test layout with your cut logs.
Step 4: Drill Holes
Use the 1 ¼” bit to drill large holes about 1-2 inches into the log. These holes allow you to use shorter lag screws. You'll want the holes to be deep enough to allow the screws to go into the second log at least 2.5 inches. Use the long ¼” bit to drill pilot holes through the first log only.
Step 5: Screw the Logs Together
Use a socket wrench or an impact driver to drive the lag screws and connect the logs. Use 3-4 lag screws for each log.
Step 6: Flip It Over and Test
Flip the lounge upright and see where it wobbles. You can also do a little bit of shaping at this point.
Step 7: Brace It With Brackets
Use steel brackets and deck screws on the back side of the lounge to strengthen and stiffen the weak and wobbly parts.
Step 8: Finished!
Happy Earth Day! Good luck making your own log lounger , and please email or tweet photos to @benuyeda or [email protected] For more detailed instructions, dimensioned drawings and different variations of the project, check out our soon-to-be-released book.
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3D Printed Student Design Challenge
How to Make a Log Couch
Lay two logs 24 inches long on a flat surface. Measure the wood, marking a spot 6 inches from the bottom of the log and placing a second mark 2 inches down from the top. Make a mark on the backside of the log 6 inches from the bottom. Make the same marks on the 36-inch logs.
Turn one of the remaining 24 inch logs upside down. Draw a small circle on the top, approximately 2 inches across. Remove the sides of the log with a wood saw, cutting 2 inches down from the top. Cut the bottom of the wood in the same way, turning the piece into a large dowel. Repeat this process for the other 24-inch log and both of the 75-inch logs.
Drill holes into the 36-inch logs, placing the holes on the marks you made in Step 1. Make the hole approximately 2 inches deep and 1 inch wide. Repeat this step with the two 24-inch logs you also marked previously.
Pour wood glue inside the holes on one of the 24-inch logs. Insert the 75-inch log into one hole and a 24-inch log into the second hole. Gently tap the end of the logs with a rubber mallet, forcing the wood into the hole. Clamp the wood together and wipe off the excess glue with a damp cloth.
Create the frame of the couch by working your way around the edges. The two 75-inch logs make the front and back of the couch, while the 24-inch pieces create the sides. Use wood glue on each hole and press the wood pieces together. Clamp the wood and let it dry overnight.
Remove the clamps and turn the couch upside down. Attach a smaller wood plank to the bottom of the couch with 2-inch wood screws. Space the planks evenly across the logs, attaching each one with wood screws. The planks provide support for the cushion used on the couch.
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Being off grid is synonymous with being more self sufficient, it is also usually a more rustic way to live. So making your own super cool and extremely beautiful log furniture seems to be perfect for an off grid cabin or home. Some of the most expensive homes in the world use this type of furniture, but theirs is not as special as yours could be. They don’t make it themselves, they hire some famous maker to do it for them. I would rather say I made it then some guy I never heard of before anyway.
The rustic look of logs in furniture is just awesome! There are different ways to finish the furniture, you can leave it very rough, it can be finished with a draw knife or even sanded and coated with clear or varnish. You can finish it the way you like if you are the one who is doing it. It is also a very cheap way to build furniture, especially if you have the right kind of wood on your property. Which of course adds another level of cool to the project if the wood came from your land you built it and now it is right there in your house. Dang that is pretty self sufficient! Did I mention the furniture is truly beautiful? I am pretty stoked about this project I hope you are too. Click the link below to get more detailed information about building your own log furniture.
How To Build Your Own Log Furniture
From Tree to Table: How to Make Your Own Rustic Log Furniture
Chapter 15 talks about different methods of finishing your projects: HVLP sprayer, aerosol or brush. Alan said, “Ideally a separate finishing booth is a great thing to have. Something with great lighting and an air filtration system and exhaust.” But, in lieu of that, there are other options to protect your work.
Investing in a portable saw mill like a Wood-Mizer would certainly make life easier for cutting boards out of logs. But if you don’t have the room or the funds for that size of equipment, Alan provides some ways around that.
Tools You May Need
As Alan says, “Tools are expensive but make the impossible possible.” He recommends saving money by buying the big ticket items used, searching out auctions, moving sales and estate sales. Some other tools you’ll want to have on hand for rustic furniture building:
• Drill Bits– Almost all joints will require a hole. Alan prefers Forstner drill bits for making a clean hole with a shallow pilot.
• Clamps – Indispensable and you’ll need various sizes.
• Putty Knife – Alan uses a “lowly putty knife” for peeling logs. “A good putty knife will be your best friend when working with logs. Trust me on this.”
• Japanese Saw – Use for cutting dowels and tenons flush with the wood face.
• Hand Plane – Just the ticket for breaking a long edge or taking off a high spot.
• Electric Planer – These really help flatten table slabs.
• Surface Planer–Takes a rough-cut board and transforms it into beautiful lumber. “I would be lost without my surface planer,” Alan said.
• Jointer – Using a 6" jointer he got at an auction for 25 bucks, Alan can flatten the sides of logs for attaching boards and slabs.
• Surface Grinder– For quickly sanding down knots and branch stubs.
• Battery Drill – Alan drills almost all his holes and small tenons with a battery drill.
• Right-Angle Drill – “The right-angle drill is an investment in your health,” Alan said, referring to possible twisted wrists when using a drill. The right-angle version gives you a long handle that tames all that torque when drilling big holes or cutting tenons.
• Miter Saw – A good 12" model can cut fairly good-sized logs in one clean cut. Great for cutting logs to length, squaring up the ends or just shaving another 1/4" off a tenon.
• Radial-Arm Saw – Alan created a “wood milling machine” out of his 1983 radial-arm saw and a surface planer.
• Bandsaw – Use to trim up any branch nubs left on the log after rough-cleaning it.
• Chain Saw– For cutting down trees and cutting logs to length, a lightweight 12" to 15" model is great. If you’re going to be making lumber or cutting trees for a portable bandsaw, you’ll want a little bigger model.
• Angle Gauge– When making legs for benches and chairs, it helps to have them at a slight angle. The angle gauge will be a big timesaver when it comes to repeating that same angle from leg to leg.
Couch diy log
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