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Forum topic by Karennic posted 09-01-2013 07:47 PM 817 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 1729 days

09-01-2013 07:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question


I’m relatively new to working with live edge wood and have been working with sycamore up until now.
We have just taken delivery of some air dried slabs (9’ long) of sycamore, maple and ash.
We’re having some trouble removing the bark from the sycamore. We’ve always found it pretty easy to get the bark off before, but this time we have bark which is covered in what I can only describe as deep set, armour plated scales- very, very tough. We’ve tried wire brushing, chipping, etc but progress is very slow. I don’t want to attack it with a power tool as I want to preserve the shape as best I can.

Can anyone recommend a good hand tool for getting thick, scaled bark off of air dried wood?


-- Karen, Scotland

7 replies so far

View firefighterontheside's profile


18179 posts in 1855 days

#1 posted 09-01-2013 08:01 PM

You could try a draw knife. That is what they use to remove bark from logs for a log home.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View watermark's profile


483 posts in 1942 days

#2 posted 09-01-2013 08:29 PM

I don’t have any experience with Sycamore but a draw knife is what I use. It works well but you have to be careful not to start cutting into the wood itself also. I got a good deal on an antique one from Ebay.

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

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7736 posts in 2006 days

#3 posted 09-01-2013 08:38 PM

How ‘bout an adz…

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2689 days

#4 posted 09-02-2013 12:55 AM

I use a wire wheel on a 4 1/2” hand grinder. Use a full face shield.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Karennic's profile


4 posts in 1729 days

#5 posted 09-02-2013 04:35 AM

Thanks for the suggestions- I’ll definitely try the draw knife and adze.
We did try both a grinder set wire wheel and a vertical set drill mounted one too, but even they didn’t really get through the scales- it’s far tougher than anything we’ve used so far.
Thanks for your help- much appreciated.

-- Karen, Scotland

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Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1947 days

#6 posted 09-02-2013 12:56 PM

My concern is the wood dry enough to work. In my experience once the wood is dry the bark comes off fairly easily. Just wondering???

View Tim's profile


3807 posts in 1960 days

#7 posted 09-02-2013 05:33 PM

Try a the draw knife dull. I’ve read that’s what is used for stripping bark. I’m not sure if it’s because it works better or because the dirt embedded in the bark makes it not worth sharpening anyway. I can imagine it working better and not biting into the wood depending on the bark. Bark of certain trees comes off more easily depending on when it was harvested. If you get it at just the right time, it peels right off when green.

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