Building Log Furniture


Begining log work

Finding trees
Log Peeling
Cutting logs in half
Quartering logs

Log projects

Rustic mirror frame

Cutting your log in half

In this article I will tell you how to cut logs in half right down the middle and prep them for your project.  The first thing you want to do is cut the log to length.  When cutting to length, make sure your hands are away from the saw blade.  I use a miter chop saw.  Use great caution when cutting logs on the chop saw.  They usually jump around and bind up your blade.  So if you are using a sliding chop saw, you want to lock the blade so it does not slide. If there is a gap between your log and the bottom or back of your saw surface, the log will slam into it.  To avoid this you should put spacers in between these spaces.  I usually use cut off scraps. 

Now that your log is cut to length, you can cut it in half easier.  You want to screw the log to a 2x4 or any straight board that is about the size of a 2x4. Put your screws through the 2x4 and into the log. You want to put the screws towards each end of the log. Make sure you screw them in where the log and 2x4 contact each other with no gap.  You now need to measure and set your fence on the band saw. You want to measure from the outside of the 2x4 to the center of the log.  If your log has some curves in it, measure on all parts of the log and find the measurement that will work for cutting the entire log in half. Once you find your measurement, set your band saw fence to that measurement. You want your band saw blade to be as wide as it can be. This will help insure a straighter cut on your log. Then run your log through with the 2x4 flush against the fence until the log is in 2 halves.

Once you have your 2 halves, you will probably want the back of the log to be perfectly flat and straight. I start by making one contoured side of the log a straight edge. To do this, find a board around ¾ inch thick with a straight edge as long or longer than your log.  Screw this board to the flat side of your log. When screwing this flat edge board to the log, make sure none of the log sticks out past the flat edge part of the board. This edge will be running against your table saw fence. Once the board is screwed to the log, you want to measure from the outside edge of your board to the most narrow part of the log. Now subtract 1/8 inch from your measurement and set your table saw fence with this measurement. Lay your log on the table saw and make sure the blade is high enough to cut all the way through the height of the log. Now run your log through the table saw and you will have a half log with a straight edge on one side.

Now you can make the back of the log straight and flat. Simply run the half log through the joiner with your new straight edge against the fence. You want the joiner set to around 1/8 inch. You might have to run it through more than one time. The longer the log, the more times you will need to run it through.

1. Screw the log to the 2x4. Make sure when they are screwed together, the 2x4 did not bend. If it did, your cut will not be straight.

2. Measure to the center of the log, set your fence and run the log through the band saw.