* Sledge hammer
* Splitting maul or axe
* Sturdy knife
* Chain saw
With all vital tools assembled, scour the woods for a potential log. Rarely does one find a log in satisfactory condition just lying about, and therefore it will be necessary to cut one. Here is discovered a tall, straight ash trunk, about 11" diameter where the cut needs to be made. It is indeed a potential log, and evidently quite proud of the fact.
Since we want internal bed dimensions to measure 4' X 10' we cut the long log - the side pieces - to 10' and the shorter to 5' as these will "cap" the longer logs to form the end pieces.
Once again use the chain saw to cut a slot in the end of the longer log, deep enough to hold the wedge in place, and running directly through the logs center point. A few sharp blows with the sledge hammer and the log will begin to split, straight and true down the center.
Help the splitting process along by enlarging the split with the maul, or wedge, or even as seen here, the wedge shaped piece that came from the notch which was cut when the tree was felled. In very short time the log will simply fall apart into two 10' semicircular planks, the two long sides of the new bed. Do exactly the same thing with the shorter log and now you have the two required end caps.
Now all that remains is to use the saw to cut 2' sections of slender saplings, about 14 of them, and use the sharp knife or a hatchet to give them a point. Then, arrange the semicircular planks, flat sides in towards the bed area and drive in the stakes to secure the bed in position. Use 4 stakes, two inside and two outside for each 10' length and 3 for each shorter length, one inside and two out.
These pieces are cut from an ash tree. Ash has the virtue of splitting incredibly easily and will last a number of years in ground contact. However, if a tall, slender red oak tree is available, always opt for the oak. It takes forever to deteriorate, which is good. It also splits more easily than does ash, which is better still.
You need never again visit the lumber yard for raised bed components, because now you know they literally grow on trees!