Yeoman Furniture

Dateline: 19 March 2016 AD

Rustic Yeoman Furniture

Way back in 2006 I posted an essay here titled Yeoman Furniture & My New Wood Box, in which I defined what yeoman furniture is. Then, in 2007, there was Yeoman Furniture Part 2.  Then in 2009, I posted pictures of a freestanding yeoman cabinet I made for our bathroom. Here are a couple pictures of that piece...

I haven't written about yeoman furniture here since 2009 because I haven't made any more. It isn't that I don't want to make any more yeoman furniture.  The problem is that I don't have the space to do much of anything in the way of serious woodworking any more. My small workshop is piled high and tight with Planet Whizbang inventory, and part of our house is too (it's becoming a real problem).

But day before yesterday I decided I had to take the time to make a piece of yeoman furniture, and that rustic yeoman bench in the photo at the top of this page was the result. 

My objective was to make a bench that was a little higher than a stool and a little lower than a standard chair. It will serve as a place just outside the door of our house for me to sit and put my boots on (or take them off). I used a piece of 33" long poplar mulch log for the top and some well seasoned pieces of fallen maple branches for the legs.

I didn't want to spend a lot of time on the project. Two hours was my objective. It ended up taking three. But I still have wood chips all over my driveway and lawn that need to be cleaned up.

I made a stool much like that when I was a teenager. It was in my parent's house for a lot of years. I also made a couple of nice bentwood chairs using saplings harvested from the edge of the woods. I had a LOT of energy back then. Now I have LIMITED energy. I had to sit in my recliner for awhile to recover after I made that stool (and I almost fell asleep).

There was no internet when I was a teenager, no Facebook, no iPhones with instant messaging. I thank God that stuff wasn't around when I was a kid. I mean, really!

But if there was an internet when I was a kid, you can bet I would have been using it to figure out ways to sell the stuff I made. Like, for example, that yeoman rustic bench. Between all the free natural resources to be found in the woods, and the free marketing possibilities on the internet, all a kid on a rural homestead needs these days to make some money is imagination and initiative.

Fact is, I know a man who makes a living crafting rustic furniture. He sells it for big bucks. He even left a good job at FedEx to pursue his craft. He started out making simple furniture (but not as simple and rustic as my bench), and now he makes furniture that is really something else. You can check it out at this link: Abiding Branches in King Ferry.


Unknown said...

Nice bench!

You've mentioned the need for more space...have you considered shipping containers? In my part of the country you can get a weather tight 40' shipping container delivered for $2,000.00 and unless you have a local ordinance, it shouldn't require a permit or cost anything on property taxes. Just a level spot to put it.

-Matt the Farmer

Elizabeth L. Johnson said...

Elizabeth L. Johnson said,
We have twenty foot and forty foot shipping containers. Very good for storage. Wanted to put ours underground as a root cellar, but they cannot withstand side pressure at all. Have since been made illegal to own in our county. Oh, brother! You have good ideas. Neat bench.

Jake said...

Does this mean you have to cut another poplar log for your dough bowl? ;-)

Nice bench though. Looks like it ought to do the trick.

Herrick Kimball said...

J Eby—

Good idea. I have looked into getting a shipping container two times over the past two years. The problem is that I have house, garden, some sheds and shop crammed onto a small open section of land here on our 1.5 acres. The only logical spot to put the container is between my house and shop which are pretty much right next to each other. So it boils down to aesthetics. Do I want a big container right outside the door of my house? I'm avoiding it as long as I can.

The ironic part of this is we bought 16 acres of land a few years ago. I want to build a Planet Whizbang shop, warehouse, showroom on the land, but it is unaccessible until we get some water problems fixed. To fix the water problem and get a driveway to an area for the structure will use up a lot of the money I have saved, not leaving enough to build the shop. So we will do what we have done here for years... make do until we have more money or a better option emerges.

In the meantime, I may end up getting the container. :-)

Herrick Kimball said...


I hope your shipping containers are grandfathered in.

It just isn't right that shipping containers are now illegal in the future state of Jefferson!

Herrick Kimball said...


I had more log mulch than I needed. Still have some good material to work with. The bowl will require more time, and I need a couple more tools that I don't have to carve a bowl—or to make carving a bowl easier. One of my sons wants to build a bench like mine. I hope he will follow through on the idea.

Unknown said...

I understand the aesthetics and money issues perfectly. I'm a old time traditional structures kind of guy, but...we are considering several shipping containers and hoop houses on our farm because can you really justify 20 to 30 thousand dollars worth of pole barn for 4 or 5 thousand dollars profit on cattle a year just to have it taxed at an additional $$350 to $400 a year through property taxes?

-Matt the Farmer