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Does anyone have an easy method for stripping bark from branches? Beech, oak, elm, ect. And it is deadfall not live. I'm making walking sticks. My tools are knife, fingers, and sandpaper.
When the wood is fully cured it will probably just fall off. A heavy knife can chop it off kinda like peeling a carrot. Sanding will take forever without a belt sander and coarse grit.
Try a drawknife. It is what I use. You can find them at flea markets, antique stores, or at worst, in woodcarving catalogs.
It is best to get your hands on freshly fallen wood, as, in my experience, the greener the wood, the easier the bark is to remove. I have never dealt with Beech or Elm, as I live way down south, but Oak is certainly easier to work with green, and Hickory is even better.
If you are stuck with nothing but deadfall and a regular knife, use small, precision cuts (no more than an inch long apiece) to remove the bark. I know it is tedious, but the results will be better.
Oh yhea,as an aside, if you get a chance to use green wood, strip the bark off ASAP, and dip the end grains in wax. then put the piece up for one year per inch of thickness in a dry place. This will keep the wood from cracking by allowing the moisture to escape from the sides slowly.
Just some suggestions.
Thanks guys. I'll try a drawknife. I'm using a regular pocket knife to do basically what you say Skofnung. I want to keep the natural shape, so I don't want to chop off the bark. The sanding is more of a final step after the bark is off.
The bark of any type of wood will peel better when it's green - and even better yet when the sap is flowing in the spring.
yeah. while it's green, just soak it in water for several hours. the tanic acid will soften the gum that's binding the bark to the live ring. IMHO, it's not a good idea to whittle or use a draw knife as this could damage the first ring of the wood which is the strongest part. you want that to stay whole.
my walking sticks are made of guava branches. there's hardly any bark to speak of. the dry parts peel off easy while the young ones stick to the wood for years.
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