Tour the Log Heads' Workshop and Studio

Go behind the scenes for a peek at Gwen and Tommy Mitchell's Rocky Top Furniture operation.

Photo By: Judson Ridgway ©Scripps Networks, LLC

Photo By: Judson Ridgway ©Scripps Networks, LLC

Photo By: Judson Ridgway ©Scripps Networks, LLC

Photo By: Judson Ridgway ©Scripps Networks, LLC

Photo By: Judson Ridgway ©Scripps Networks, LLC

Photo By: Judson Ridgway ©Scripps Networks, LLC

Photo By: Judson Ridgway ©Scripps Networks, LLC

Photo By: Judson Ridgway ©Scripps Networks, LLC

Photo By: Judson Ridgway ©Scripps Networks, LLC

Photo By: Judson Ridgway ©Scripps Networks, LLC

From Roadside To Primetime

Meet Tommy Mitchell, he’s got one impressive rags-to-riches story, or as we like to say, a “logs-to-riches” story. About 20 years ago, he started selling his custom-made log furniture on the side of the road out of a trailer. Today he has multimillion dollar business — Rocky Top Furniture — and he and his wife Gwen star in the hit TV show Log Heads.

Impressive Client List

Rocky Top Furniture has over 50 employees and is the nation's largest manufacturer of northern white cedar log furniture and log railing, plus they also custom build log homes. Their client list includes Disneyland, Six Flags, Knotts Berry Farm and the US Army.

Office Full of Power Tools

We recently took a tour of Rocky Top’s facilities located in Lancaster Kentucky. Although we could have easily spent a full day happily roaming the 75,000-square-foot workshop and showroom, we focused on Tommy’s personal creative space. The place where he goes to find his mojo — envision, design and create. Much to our delight, the space is a combination of laidback office and chainsaw mecca.

Conference "Table"

Tommy’s office looks more like a bar at a rustic hotel than an office. Here, he and his wife Gwen confer over one of his latest designs — a new bed for Gwen. Every morning, Tommy holds meetings with his staff at the bar. He finds the counter-height, L-shaped configuration much easier to work at and to brainstorm with his crew.

Aged Materials

The office walls are lined with reclaimed lumber taken from an old barn. Tommy likes to mix salvaged wood with natural wood in a lot of his furniture design and artwork.

Tommy's Design "Notebook"

Why bother with pen and paper when 1x6 scraps of wood and a permanent marker work just fine.

Tommy's Hideout

Opposite his bar/desk, is one of Tommy's workbenches. Having his tools so close allows him to get right to work. Most folks might find the sound a chainsaw a little unnerving; to Tommy having a spinning saw in hand is relaxing, his way of unwinding. That was very evident to us. The second he picked up that thing to give us a demo, you could see him enter his zone, we were no longer there, it was just him and a couple of trees.

Green Mixologist

Tommy mixes and creates all his own finishes. He’ll spend hours blending stains and paints until he achieves just the right color and luster. The Rocky Top Furniture employs a lot of eco-friendly manufacturing processes. For instance, they use only water-based finishes and they recycle all the sawdust – local horse farms use it to line horse stalls and stables.

Antique Tools

Mostly for show, antique tools decorate the floors and walls of the Rocky Top offices and showrooms.

Gwen's Office

Gwen runs the day-to-day operations at Rocky Top Furniture. Her office is a bit more feminine than Tommy’s and there are no power tools anywhere in site.