How stable is bark edge

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Forum topic by Mike posted 09-05-2012 09:28 PM 1007 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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93 posts in 3163 days

09-05-2012 09:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question walnut

my walnut stash in the basement is finaly dry. I am cutting up some to make facing edge for 3/4 inch plywood shelving unit.

Some of the pieces end up with a bit of bark on one edge. It has some fissures and such in it as it is bark but looks kind of cool.

Will that bark edge hold together or does it need to be treated in some way to give it strength or stability?

-- Mike, Cantral Oregon

5 replies so far

View HorizontalMike's profile


7757 posts in 2912 days

#1 posted 09-05-2012 09:34 PM

All I can say is if you could see inside and under some of my projects, a bit of bark edge shows up once in a while. I just finish it like the rest, or maybe a bit heavier coat if it sucks it up. I would not trust it structurally, but hidden and non-structural, I let it slide. I may not be the most experienced and I LIKE older mision and rustic styles and feel it adds some character to the piece.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Doss's profile


779 posts in 2263 days

#2 posted 09-05-2012 10:19 PM

It depends a lot on the species, the amount of expansion/contraction it’s going to experience, the shape of the outer wood connected to the bark, and the cut of the wood.

I’ve had bark that I had to essentially chisel off after drying and some that just fell off from the same log. Personally, I really don’t trust it to stay on all that much. But, if dried and cut properly and finished properly, it can stay on there for a long time.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Don W's profile

Don W

18715 posts in 2566 days

#3 posted 09-05-2012 10:22 PM

I typically grab it and see if I can pull it off with my hands. If I can, it won’t stay, if I can’t I think I can leave it. It hasn’t failed me yet.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Mike's profile


93 posts in 3163 days

#4 posted 09-07-2012 01:58 AM

All good common sence advise. Thanks guys. I did pull on it and it is well stuck. I did see that it has very little structural strength and will use it accordingly.

I think it is cool looking and I can incorporate it into some projects for a neat look. I will have to play with finishing it.

-- Mike, Cantral Oregon

View WDHLT15's profile


1743 posts in 2474 days

#5 posted 09-07-2012 02:57 AM

Bark is tightest and the most stable on a board if the tree was cut in the dormant season (winter here in Georgia). It is the least stable in the spring when the cambium becomes active, and can actually be very easy to peel off a green log. The old-timers said that, “Bark slips in the Spring”. So, if you want the bark or live edge with bark on a board, the tree that the wood comes from should be harvested in the dead of winter.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

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