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How to Peel Logs for Log Furniture

February 15, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 343

Techniques and Styles of Peeling Logs for Log Furniture

When making log furniture, the goal is to make a work of art. Regardless of what type of material you are using, the hand crafting is an art form.

The art form comes from the type of wood used, the design used in creating the form of an hand crafted chair, and the finishing application of the log in both the bark peel and stain color.

This article will discuss the peeling methods or ways bark is removed to reveal the natural beauty of the wood. All peeling techniques used are applied with a traditional drawknife, allowing the craftsman to create exactly the look they intend.

With any peeling technique first follow these steps to prepare the log.

Secure the log on either end with a bench clamp with enough of the diameter above the clamp top so not to hit the clamp when peeling over the ends of the log. Remember too that if end will be made into a tenon end, you don't need to peel the last few inches. After making sure your drawknife is sharp stand alongside the log standing over enough to get a straight line with the stoke and not an awkward motion or reaching out to far, you should be comfortable. Start at the far end of the log, furthest away from you, with the blade at about a 45 degree angle. Note that a lesser angle will just slip and just scrape the bark, but too much angle will result in too deep a cut into the wood. Pull or 'draw' the knife toward you and the nearest point of the log, applying an even pressure with both hands.

How to apply a "Clean Peel" with a drawknife

A clean peel is just that, peeling off all the bark on the log. If too much or little bark and wood is peeled, you will end up with either a chunky looking log, or a log that looks as if it is experiencing partial baldness. A good clean peel completely removes all the bark, but not too much or too little of the bark and wood underneath.

Pull using enough downward pressure to get past the bark and into the wood, but not so much pressure as to dig into the wood and leave a 'ditch' of sorts. You want the log to remain as round as poosible.After peeling the top third or quarter of the log, reset it in the clamps and repeat for the other sections of bark until you have rotated the log completely and your peel is complete.

How to apply a "Skip Peel" with a drawknife

1. The skip peel is aimed at leaving behind some bark to reveal the wood underneath. As you peel the bark and small bit of wood underneath, think of how 'heavy' you want the peel to be, heavier being just a small strips of bark left, and lighter being larger patches of bark left behind.

2. Using the same drawknife angle and technique as above, choose areas of the log to peel, applying shorter and longer strokes so to leave behind different shapes of bark on the log.

3. Remember this is your art, so you can choose any patterns you want. Apply peels to larger areas of bark and see the resulting look of the bark areas left behind. Take shorter strokes to leave larger strips of bark, and longer ones to leave smaller strips.

4. You will need to experiment and practice your technique to get the look you want. Don't be frustrated, you will sometimes remove too much, and end up needing to use the log for firewood in your wood stove! You can always take off more, but you can't put it back. Start small and you can always fine tune your intended look by peeling more.

This information is available to you from the video series on "How to Build and Care for Log Furniture"

Mountain Time Chairs was started and remains high in the Rocky mountains in the town of Crested Butte, CO. Starting in 1995 Gary Klifman and his father Howard Klifman started their dream of producing the finest hand crafted log adirondack chairs available. Using only standing dead or beetle kill lodgepole pine, our chairs are are harvested and built with an envioronmental focus, and help keep Colorado forests healthy.

Gary Klifman Co-Owner of Mountain Time Chairs Inc. Crested Butte CO 81224

Source: EzineArticles
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