How to Finish a Log Bench

What You'll Need
Spoke shave
Paint brushes

Log benches are pieces of traditional rustic furniture that never seem to lose popularity. Finishing off a log bench can be simple or complicated. It all depends on your design.
One way to Finish off a Log Bench

Step 1 – Examine All the Joints

Log benches are used a lot and they need to be well fitted together to put up with the strain. Make sure all the joints have been properly closed and secured.

Step 2 – Check for Bark Beetles

If the logs still have bark on them there is a chance that beetles are living and breeding under the bark. Strip off any loose bark and make sure all is clear.

Step 3 – Test for Sap

Tree sap is very difficult to clean off clothing so you should make sure that no wounds to the logs are weeping sap. If there are any bad sap leaks it will be advisable to replace that particular piece of the bench.

Step 4 – Check for Stability

Put the bench onto a good level and solid surface and make sure it doesn’t rock. A bench with one leg too long tends to be even worse when put onto a soft surface and the rocking could loosen the joints.

Step 5 – Check for Smoothness

The bench will be used by many people and you need to ensure that there are no sharp edges and splinters that can injure them. It is also a good idea to ensure that no loose sections could rub together and crush a finger.

Step 6 – Check for Comfort

When you sit on the bench and relax do you feel secure? There should be no feeling that the bench might tip or that you might slip off the seat. Check that the back of the bench (if it has one) is at a pleasant angle and that there are no stubs sticking into your back.

Step 7 – Check for any Mold or Fungus

Check carefully to ensure that there are no indications that any of the timber has started to rot. This is often most easily spotted at the ends of branches and logs. Any rot should be cut out immediately.

Step 8 – Smooth Off Any Areas that Need It

A very useful tool is a spoke shave. With this you can look at every part of the bench and shave down any projections that might represent a possible danger.

Step 9 – Sealing the Wood

If you have used older wood that has virtually dried out it will be a good idea to apply a good sealant to the wood. This will stop water soaking in and prevent rot developing in the future. The sealant can be applied quite liberally but not wastefully. Pay special attention to the ends of the logs. You will find that they will absorb a very large quantity of sealant.  

Once the bench is sealed you can put it into use or even pant or varnish it.