my Old Workshop

Great deals — cheap, rustic siding

Here’s a way to get a rustic look on your cottage or garden shed — even your home — that costs you next to nothing.

When the sawmill mills boards from a log, there are four pieces that don’t make the cut… the four outside sections. Flat on one side, and rounded (covered in bark or smooth) on the other, they’re kind of useless for 2x4s. So the sawmill usually sells them as firewood.

But if you use them as siding on your shed, you can recreate an old-fashioned effect very easily.

The slabs come in random sizes, and can be as wide as 12″ and as long as 16′. That randomness adds to the rusticity of the look. (Try saying that five times fast.)

Simply frame your structure normally, and sheathe it if desired. Then start adding on your slabs. You can lap them like ordinary lap siding, starting at the bottom and working your way up. Or you can mill the edges using your table saw, so they fit tightly together, for more of a log cabin look.

To make the corners tight and neat, install 4×4″ posts at each corner, and butt the slabs up these.

If you’re looking for slabs, start by approaching a small sawmill and asking their price. Of course, don’t forget about us; we’ll be happy to help with your other materials.