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tahir

Peeling bark

One of the projects we'll be looking at is stools, we hope to use tree prunings for the legs (got some lumpy bits). How and when would you peel the bark off, I assume they'd peel better green?
dpack

some peel best green ,some split and fall off as they dry

with green slit the bark along the length and then use a cut twig wedge to work it off the wood by going along and round it a bit further each pass

with a dry stick bash it with a another stick often gets it so loose it will pull off with fingers or ready to use a wedge as above

iirc ray mears has written and filmed about removing bark for rope ,canoes,boxes etc
you dont need to be as tidy if it is the stick you need

i often use drawknife style with a big blade or a flint scraper if it is the stick rather than the bark i need but that will leave tool marks on the stick
Mistress Rose

I would draw knife back to the wood. The under bark is slimy when green and dries a dull brown that you can't do anything with.
tahir

I would draw knife


That's what it's called!! Thanks Smile

One other question, if I peel green, bearing in mind that these are quite small bits of wood (4-6" diameter) won't it all split in drying oncve the bark's off?
Cathryn

Do plenty? This isn't a project for tomorrow is it? I imagine if you dry slowly and turn regularly it's got to help avoid that?
tahir

Yeah a project for tomorrow (or one of the days after that), we kept some back from summer pruning, had a go at one at the weekend and the bark really didn't want to come off.
Nick

I imagine if you damage the bark and let it dry, it'll half peel itself off. That's what happens in our wood pile, anyway.
tahir

How do you make the 1st slit, I tried with a knife and it was difficult to stop it slipping off and chopping my fingers off.
Nick

Dunno. Mine are split with an axe, but that probably won't suit you.
tahir

I ain't got an axe, I think my wife would be worried if I bought one
Pilsbury

Clamp the wood in your vice padded with some spare materials if you have any ( if not I might have a bit in a box...)
Take a Stanley knife and slit the top of the bark, or use the jaws of the vice as a guide and slit the sides, turn the wood through 90* and slit again and then leave to dry a bit, should be able to peel the bark off and the vice will keep your fingers well away from the blades.
tahir

Will give that a go, ta
Pilsbury

I ain't got an axe, I think my wife would be worried if I bought one

how can you have that many trees and no axe? Even I have a hand axe and larger wood axe and I don't have a single tree in my garden.
I even recently 'inherited' an electric chainsaw...
Nick

Yes, but do you have Staff? Wink Pilsbury

Not for another few years but he is already chopping his own melon cubes and cucumber slices so a chainsaw shouldn't be to hard... tahir

I ain't got an axe, I think my wife would be worried if I bought one
how can you have that many trees and no axe?

Never had call for one yet
Treacodactyl

If the wood has been cut for several months I would expect the bark to be quite difficult to peel off. On fresh wet wood you can sometimes just use a thumb nail to lift the bark and peel it off.

If the method suggested doesn't allow you to peel it, and if you've still got your fingers intact, I'd also suggest the draw knife route or even a spokeshave might be easier and safer.

As for splitting, don't rush the seasoning and leave the logs oversized I would guess. I have heard people suggest dipping the ends in wax or even sealing with polyurethane varnish but not tried it myself.
Ty Gwyn

If the wood you have available is 4 to 6 ins diameter,
How thick are you intending the stool legs to be?

Would have thought there is enough waste wood to cut off without worrying about the bark.
tahir

If the wood you have available is 4 to 6 ins diameter,
How thick are you intending the stool legs to be?

I was thinking wedge shaped with the "natural" side exposed
tahir

If the wood has been cut for several months I would expect the bark to be quite difficult to peel off. On fresh wet wood you can sometimes just use a thumb nail to lift the bark and peel it off.

If the method suggested doesn't allow you to peel it, and if you've still got your fingers intact, I'd also suggest the draw knife route or even a spokeshave might be easier and safer.

As for splitting, don't rush the seasoning and leave the logs oversized I would guess. I have heard people suggest dipping the ends in wax or even sealing with polyurethane varnish but not tried it myself.

I'm grubbing up several plums this winter, I think I'll give them a go
Rusticwood

For short lengths I use a sharp knife, slide it gently under the bark and peel as much as I can off then repeat. For the bits that are left from the
cambium layer use the knife to scrape it off.
For long lengths a draw knife on the shave horse, with a bit of practice you can be gentle and just remove the bark.
dpack

a bit long term but

i have a very nice 3 leg stool from a topped out hawthorn that had put up three sprouts about 50 yrs before i got it

i have made 3 leg stuff (stools and tables)from cherry that had been topped i think these might be a bit quicker to "grow furniture " than hawthorn
Mistress Rose

I would leave the lengths of wood very overlength and then cut the legs out of the good wood. You could even leave the bark on and work with the draw knife and other tools when you come to shape the leg. Wax is often used to seal the ends of the wood to stop splitting, but you would have to at least cut away some of the bark or the wood would probably rot before it seasoned. tahir

I would leave the lengths of wood very overlength and then cut the legs out of the good wood. You could even leave the bark on and work with the draw knife and other tools when you come to shape the leg. Wax is often used to seal the ends of the wood to stop splitting, but you would have to at least cut away some of the bark or the wood would probably rot before it seasoned.

Good advice
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