Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

Handmade Aspen and Walnut Hutch

Some of you may remember last year's post about us milling a walnut log that we found on our property. With most days this summer being too wet to work in the garden, we had a lot of time in the woodshop to work on the hutch.  The light colored wood is aspen that we gathered during our stay in Wyoming back in 2005/2006.  The dark wood is black walnut that we gathered here on our property in West Virginia in 2012.  I think most will agree that the colors compliment each other very well.  We took a lot of pictures along the way to share with you!

The "bones" of the hutch were made out of 2x4's that Jon ripped into 2x2's.  This is our first piece of furniture not made with only logs so we improvised on what we thought would be structurally sound.  To add stability, triangles were added in the corners to keep the structure from shifting.  

Squaring up the board using the bandsaw.

Jon using the jointer to take away imperfections on the edges.

The drawers are now assembled and installed.  

We're seeing progress with a side panel and cupboard doors.

Jon is taking apart pallets.  The pallets will be used for the bottom and the shelf inside the hutch.

A view from the back before the back panel is attached.  Only one side has a shelf because the other side will store flour buckets.

To avoid skitter marks that often occur when using an electric sander, I decided to sand everything by hand.  Thankfully there wasn't much to sand because the planer did a really good job making everything smooth.

The drawers now have fronts.  Small branches were used for the drawer and cupboard handles.

Attaching hinges is a lot more difficult than it looks.

This is what I used to seal the wood to give the hutch a more natural look; it contains linseed oil and beeswax.  This is the same stuff I use on wooden toys.

The hutch is in its final resting place in the dining room.  Small logs were used as "legs" to raise the hutch off the floor a few inches.  I think a different paint color would make this hutch really stand out!

Jon wood-burned this sign and attached it inside the hutch.

It took about 3 months to build the hutch (not counting the time to collect the logs, shave the bark, and mill the logs into boards).  Making furniture from scratch with actual logs verses boards that are cut to perfect thickness and width takes a lot of time.  Every time we make a piece of furniture I think how fortunate we are to have power tools to make the job easier.  We have been told dozens of times that we should sell furniture, but I don't think most people would pay the true price for handcrafted furniture.  Like most things handmade these days, you just can't get reimbursed for the time.


Christopher September 18, 2013 at 7:13 PM  

wow. that is awesome looking furniture! April 15, 2014 at 9:52 AM  

Be careful with black walnut sawdust it can be poisonous. When I work with that type of wood I always feel weird after inhaling the dust. I do wear a make now.

About this blog

A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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