Rustic, woodsy design is my absolute favorite, and I love working with found materials. This week’s flashback is the perfect combo of both: the Rustic Wood Side Table by Joe Szuecs from the pages of CRAFT Volume 08. In the intro, Joe writes:

I had a dying madrone (Arbutus menziesii) in my backyard. Looking at its structure, I noticed a nice 3-pronged junction of branches a few feet above my head. I thought this would make a nice tripod base for a small side table, so with a bit of trial and error and a slice of another tree trunk for the top, this little rustic side table was born.

The antithesis to mass-produced commercial goods, this piece is funky and original by definition, made with found forest objects. It comes with a guarantee that no one else will have one just like it.

Joe goes on to teach us how to look for the perfect branch junction for the base. Here’s a picture of the one he started with:
Then, with a nice slice of trunk for the top, some basic hardware to attach the two, and a bit of serious sanding, you end up with a one-of-a-kind beautiful table that will last you years.
Here’s the full tutorial in our Digital Edition. And you can still pick up a back issue of CRAFT Volume 08 in the Maker Shed.


I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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