stripping bark off Ash live edge slab

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Forum topic by distrbd posted 02-09-2014 06:30 PM 1526 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2220 posts in 1868 days

02-09-2014 06:30 PM

I have a slab of Ash 2” thick 30’x22” with live edge ,I am in the process of making it to a coffee table,I would like to remove the bark from it,never done this before but thought of using a chisel and hammer is a good start.
I have heard if the slab was cut in winter ,the bark will not easily come off,I even thought of leaving it on but the wife would not like it as much.
How would you remove the bark off without damaging the edges?

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

9 replies so far

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 3513 days

#1 posted 02-09-2014 06:43 PM

A draw knife.

-- Nicky

View WibblyPig's profile


168 posts in 2696 days

#2 posted 02-09-2014 07:31 PM

If you have a drawknife, it’s the perfect tool. If not, the widest chisel you have. You need not just the bark but the cambium, phloem, xylem, etc. layers (all the way down to the wood). Then use a brass wheel or a flapper sander to smooth it all out.

-- Steve, Webster Groves, MO "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

View Ingjr's profile


143 posts in 2438 days

#3 posted 02-09-2014 07:35 PM

I’ve had mild success just tapping it with a small hammer. Followed up with a draw knife as was suggested, followed by a wire brush in a drill.

-- The older I get the faster I was.

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14167 posts in 3404 days

#4 posted 02-09-2014 07:46 PM

if you want the natural look under the bark then use a power washer.

How are you liking your drum sander?

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1783 days

#5 posted 02-09-2014 08:56 PM

I’ve never seen a 30’ long coffee table…with or without bark.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View distrbd's profile


2220 posts in 1868 days

#6 posted 02-09-2014 10:21 PM

lol Clint,let’s just call it a small table.
I just finished removing most of the bark using a 1 1/2” wide chisel and cleaned the rest with a spokeshave,thank you all for the suggestion it definitely worked,it would have been a lot easier to use a draw knife but I don’t have one .may be the Austrian Drawknife that Lee Valley sells is good enough for the future.

Steve Webster,Ingjr.The last thing left to do is to get the edges smoother,I’ll follow your advice and use a wire brush .

Dan’um style ,power washer is alright but remember I’m in Canada,we have 2’ of snow on the ground right now.maybe I’ll try that in Summer.
The drum sander is a dream to work with,a little finicky but it’s to be expected,I have not upgraded the sanding belt to hook&loop yet since it’s fine the way it is. over all I’m very happy with it,I should have bought one when I started woodworking.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View mahdee's profile


3464 posts in 1189 days

#7 posted 02-09-2014 11:30 PM

Hey Ken, You can basically create your own “live edge” using a grinder with a sanding disk or a doughnut grinder. If the nature didn’t make it pretty enough for you, go that route and make your own beauty.
Let’s see some pics.


View distrbd's profile


2220 posts in 1868 days

#8 posted 02-09-2014 11:54 PM

Mr jinx,Actually I thought about buying one these Kutzall carving discs LV sells but for $70 I won’t use it much to justify the price.I may use the grinder the way you mentioned to sand the legs so they(hopefully) will match the top .I’ll post a pic once it’s done.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View mahdee's profile


3464 posts in 1189 days

#9 posted 02-10-2014 12:22 AM

Uh, oh… Last time I looked they were $50, now $60, and NOW $70????
Supply and demand make the the markets, I suppose. I don’t think Ashe has any oil to it to spend $70 to clean it out with a regular rough sanding disk for $8 you should do fine. I’ll wait a few years to buy a doughnut cutter for $30. Just like any new movie, in a few years they go from $40 to $5 in a matter of months.


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