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cypress knee bark ?

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  • cypress knee bark ?

    I have several 2ft cypress . Down south they sell knees that are cleaned & varnished. I would like to do the same for carving. Have heard of boiling...need to know method[s] as they float and still are not easy to peel! There has to be a fast & efficiant way....I'll be older than the trees they came from the way I'm goin!! Any & all ,....,,,,..,help appreciated.Thanks RON1

  • #2
    Re: cypress knee bark ?

    I bought 5 knees from a guy on ebay awhile back, and he said he uses a large tub hanging over a firepit to boil the knees before peeling them. I don't know how long you would have to boil them, but I would think 2-3 hours would be a good time to pull one out and test it.

    If you haven't carved a cypress knee yet, you'll love it! They are soft and light and in my opinion, carve better then basswood. There is really no noticeable grain, but the swirls and ridges are hard, almost like a knot! I tried to use those areas for beards where possible.

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    • #3
      Re: cypress knee bark ?

      Unfortunatly once they are dry there is not much you can do I have about 30 of them sitting here in my shop. I took a trip to Florida and brought some back the lady that was selling them took me out back where she had a 45gallon drum with a burner with water and boiled them she said for about half a day. Then she took them out and while they were still hot and they seemed to peal like nothing. Then she put them in a tub with a mixture of javex and water and washed them. They turned out beautiful I brought some home with me. She had some that were sandblasted as well that is another way only trouble the sand is hard on carving tools. The ones I have with bark on I just use a wire wheel on my grinder and a good dust mask.
      Colin

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      • #4
        Re: cypress knee bark ?

        Made a lot of lamps out of cypress knees in high school wood shop. Made same interesting and pretty lamps. Most bases were NOT the square bases but followed the outline at the bottom of the knee. I have those still yet as I recieved them back when my grandparents and parents past away. To bad the tops were squared off to house the fixtures. HMMMMM, may make for a nice carving anyway.
        Safety first, then enjoy carving! Ken Caney, Ks

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