Friday, November 15, 2013

How to Use a Dutchman Wood Joint

A Dutchman, otherwise known as a butterfly or bow tie, is used as a patch in the repair of a wood object. The hourglass shape may replace a missing area of wood or be a substitute for a damaged piece, such as a crack in a table top. The wider edges of the Dutchman joint hold the wood on both sides of the crack together. Some individuals prefer to use the same species grain pattern and color as the original wood to camouflage the defect.

You may have noticed a recurrence of Dutchmen in Flat River Furniture's designs. These  bow tie shaped pieces of wood add unique character to the furniture, which is why contrasting wood species and colors are often used.

You will notice several Dutchman joints used in this farmers table that used a large split piece of wood as the top. The lighter colored joints hold the wood securely together while adding interest.


The joints can be made using a router inlay, or through the traditional method of hammer and chisel. To make a Dutchman joint you will need a:

  • pencil
  • small block of wood
  • band saw
  • chisel
  • hammer
Making the Joint

The first step is to cut the rectangular block of wood with a band saw. Unless you want every joint to be the same, the exact same dimensions of the blocks are not needed. Diversity is part of what will bring life to your piece of furniture, or whatever wood object you may be working with. However, the length of the block being used should be about three times the width. The thickness of the block should be the same as or less than the wood being repaired. 

A band saw is used to make the cuts that will give the block the signature bow tie shape. Make a cut from each of the four corners towards the center of the wood at about a 15-degree angle. The two cuts on each side of the block should meet at about the halfway point of the length of the block on the same side. 

Next, use your pencil to trace the now hourglass shaped block onto the piece of wood being repaired. The traced shape should run across the crack. 

Position the tip of your chisel so that it is slightly inside the pencil line of the block outline. The flat part should be facing away from the center of the traced shape. Tap the chisel with the hammer along the perimeter of the shape, creating a nice clean cut. The wood will begin to dislodge.

Continue to chisel away the wood within the traced shape, digging in the outline to make room for the block you cut. The depth of the joint should be a little less that the block's thickness. You should not dig completely through the wood.

Fill the joint space generously with epoxy and press the blocks into place, tapping with the hammer. After the glue has dried, grind the top of the Dutchman joints down. Once you have your joints level with the surrounding wood, you can sand the surface until it is smooth and then apply a wood stain to the surface of the object. Let it dry and enjoy your handiwork!

With a little work and creativity, a damaged piece of furniture can be turned into a new work of art. To see more examples of Dutchman joints used in furniture design, visit the Flat River Furniture Facebook page or our Pinterest boards

Monday, September 30, 2013

Winter Furniture: Sled Chairs and Ski Chairs

Have you seen our sled chair? It is the perfect touch of whimsy to your rustic decor. The sled makes up the back of the chair, while birch branches finish off the look as the front legs. Imagine your young kids or grandchildren having their holiday photo taken on this chair. 

If it look familiar, it may be because you had a Flexible Flyer of your own... an American icon that is still available today! Flexible Flyers have been around since 1889.

If skiing is more of your sport, glide through winter in rustic style with our ski chair version.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

New Natural Birch Candle Holders

New styles of Flat River Furniture's popular birch candle holders are available. The two newest sets include pillar candle holders with ferns and a clear coat that makes the bark shine. 

The second style is a five votive holder with twigs wrapped around the birch and attached with brass detailing.

Order yours for the holidays! They make wonderful presents, each one unique to show the receiver that you chose a special gift that cannot be found in big box stores. They are also a great house warming gift, or keep a couple on hand for those spare-of-the-moment presents. Of course you will also need an extra for yourself!

Each birch candle holder comes with a tag letting the receiver know that the order was specially handcrafted by Flat River Furniture. 

Call 401-397-5689 or email for more information about our products.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Rustic Walnut Farm Table and Birch Wood Candle Holders



Thanksgiving dinner anyone? This rustic walnut farm table is a one of a kind piece.

The 62X24 inch top is crafted from one piece of walnut that has been mended with 5 cherry dutchmen. It has been hand planned and rubbed with a deep oil finish.

 The legs are handmade from reclaimed wood and pickled with an organic stain.

Additionally, more birch candle holder styles have been added. No two are exactly alike. Get your very own version now!


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Natural Birch Candle Holders

Shed a little light with these natural birch tea-light candle holders. Created with the beauty of the wood and bark in mind, the tea-light holders are a simple way to bring some rustic flare to your indoor decor. Wrap them in rafia and leaves or holly and berries and they easily transition for to any season.

Birch candle holders come in varying sizes. They may even be customized to hold larger candle sizes. Put in your request now!

As always, Flat River Furniture is available for custom orders. The holidays will be coming sooner than you think. Place your orders now.  Contact Tim at 401-397-5689.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Update: Flea Markets, Hollowed Tree Table, Satisfied Customers

Looks like we have a little updating to do around here.

This past weekend was Saints John and Paul Flea Market in Coventry. There was a great turn out and two pieces went on to find good homes. I am looking to expand to other local flea markets, so be sure to keep an eye out on Facebook for updates on where Flat River Furniture will be next.

Secondly, a new addition was created for the FRF collection last week. This table was made from a naturally hollowed out tree trunk. Waxy natural satin stain was used to enhance the beautiful color of the wood and beveled glass top was added. 

Last but not least, one of FRF's customers insisted that we share her pleasure with her new bench. After seeing the rustic "twiggy" bench and side table that was one of the first products, Bob and Karen requested a bench of their own. Proudly displayed at their home in North Kingstown, this bench differs from the original with a curved back and dark stain.

Flat River Furniture is glad to have so many happy customers this week! Contact Tim is you would like to join the crowd.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Lions Motorcycle Run



Please join us for the 3rd Annual Coventry-West Greenwich Lions Cancer in Children Motorcycle Run and Steak Fry.


Support a great cause while enjoying a ride with friends, or as the quote above suggests, a therapy session.

Last Years Motorcycle Run, 2012