Log rafts were made of in the centuries past when lands were explored and timber was floated to market. Balsa wood rafts were also constructed for large ocean going rafts that many times weighed as much as 30,000lbs. Log rafts are classic way to travel and are a lot of fun to build. The rafts are not as affected by wind as some of their lighter cousins. The drawbacks to making a log raft is that the logs are heavy, the rafts can take a long time to build, the timber rafts can not be transported easily and the log rafts are hard to manouver.
How to Make a Log Raft
To make a decent size raft start by getting 5-8 logs down to the river or lake that are 8-12' long and at least 10-12" in diameter. Two or three other logs that are 3-4" in diameter and about 6" longer on each side of the raft will hold the logs together. The best logs for making a raft on are the lightest you can find because they will float the highest in the water and provide the most buoyancy not to mention they will be the easiest to work. Softwoods like pine and fir are good as well as poplar and balsa. You want to avoid woods like maple and oak as they will be hard to cut, move and won't float as well. Standing timber that is dead is also the best because it has the least amount of water so it is lighter. Note that the pictures below are for a small scale raft that would be fun for a child to play with. Much larger logs are nessesary for a full sized raft but the constructrction process will remain the same.