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peeling logs before bucking and splitting

 
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ok folks, just wondering if anyone might have a favorite way to peel bark off of logs. ive found that firewood dries much faster if the bark is removed from the wood. and with the super efficient wood stove I installed a couple years ago the wood has to be perfectly dry to burn without keeping stove door open. today I'm dealing with a pretty good size hickory tree that had been standing dead for more than a year  and on the ground since very early in the spring and I'm going to harvest its dead twin out of the forest as soon as this one is cut, split and stacked in the woodshed.
 
Rocket Scientist
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Hi Bruce; A long handle spud works well and you get to stand up.
The other choice is a draw knife. Works well but lots of work.
download-(1).jpg
Spud
Spud
download-(2).jpg
Draw knife
Draw knife
 
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I learned something a few years ago that I'm ashamed I didn't realize decades ago. The best way to peel a log is to do it in the spring or early summer. I read that and could have kicked myself. When trees grow, the bark grows first and then the wood fills in there at the cambium layer. When the bark grows, it is at its loosest before the wood has filled in under it. How many times I've accidentally barked a tree with a tractor tire in the spring and thought ,"it barely touched it!" when a huge chunk of bark got knocked off, and yet I never made that connection. If you're cutting dead trees, this won't help, though. I've found often the bark can be knocked off while splitting rather easily, though I don't normally try. I do try to split the wood in ways that maximizes the surface area of fresh wood to dry faster.
 
Jordan Holland
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To add to Thomas's list of tools, peeling axes were invented also for this very purpose. The one on the top is a "full peeler" pattern and the one on the bottom is a "California half-peeler" pattern. An interesting tidbit about peeling axes is that they are often reversible, since they apparently were prone to excessive toe wear due to the nature of their use.
20201022_103417.jpg
Peeling axes
Peeling axes
 
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