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Cleaning bark for carving

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  • Cleaning bark for carving

    How do you clean bark to be carved? Wash it down and let dry again?
    Safety first, then enjoy carving! Ken Caney, Ks

  • #2
    Re: Cleaning bark for carving

    Kenny all I do with mine is take my air compressor and blow all the loose stuff off of it, make sure that the back is nice and smooth and straight. Then I carve it and afterwards seal it and it is ready to go. The only problem you will have if you wash it down with a power hose is that bark is like a sponge and will absorb a lot of water and you will have to dry it out again before carving, wet bark doesnt carve well. I clean off the area I want to put the carving with a gouge and then start carving. I dont clean off the whole area as I like the contrast with the inner and outer bark.
    Colin

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    • #3
      Re: Cleaning bark for carving

      I just use a knife to clean and level the back and a stiff bristle paintbrush to get the loose bark and stuff out of the cracks on the front.

      I also only 'shave' the rough outer bark off the area where the carving is going to be. I used to do the whole front but found that I like the contrast of rough, grey, bark with the reddish of the carving.

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      • #4
        Re: Cleaning bark for carving

        Wll, I just came into a lot of the Plain Cottonwood bark. And I do mean a lot. I wasn't sure the procedure to clean it. Had some bugs which in some but after spreading some of the bark out, have not seen any. What I have is a Pickup bed full of Plains Cottonwood. Amazing what you find when you visit relatives in central Kansas.
        BTW, I had bought some from Rossiters out of Wichita which was some quality bark that morning and went on to visit some relatives and he asked what I was doing with that bark, Well, after than, we went and picked up a bed full.Thanks Cliff for the info. Will give that a try.
        Safety first, then enjoy carving! Ken Caney, Ks

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        • #5
          Re: Cleaning bark for carving

          Is it the thick bark? If so....lucky! :P

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          • #6
            Re: Cleaning bark for carving

            Dave, Some of it is 4' and some is 6'. One piece is a little under 8'. Yes I do feel I am lucky as At Rossitters it was about $6:00 a pound and I bought about $100 worth. Then we went to visit My wife's Cousin who just retire from be a Chief of Police in his town and said, You buy Cottonwood Bark? Like I was crazy. Now this is the Plains Variety but it is some nice stuff. Guess now, The little bride can carve the day away. DAng, I'll have to cook and clean house.

            May look in to a side line on selling as while we where there at his place, he tool me around and showed me all of the downed Cottonwoods trees and it is almost endless.
            Safety first, then enjoy carving! Ken Caney, Ks

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            • #7
              Re: Cleaning bark for carving

              Kenny, sounds like you'll be busy with the bark for awhile.

              Cleaning, I go over my bark with a stiff brush for several minutes getting all dirt & pepples out of the crevices.

              Goodluck....Coffeeman

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              • #8
                Re: Cleaning bark for carving

                Thanks Coffeeman for the reply. I have started doing just that and following up with Cliffs suggestion on blowing the dirt and junk out of the crevices. Got a lot of it to do and by the sound of my wife's cousin can keep it coming by the pickup loads. I have contacted a couple of local carvers and they are interested enough to come by and look at some of it. One piece tore off at a little over 7 feet lond and 2 foot wide so will break it up more.

                Thanks to you and Cliff on cleaning bark. Very helpful to me.

                That is what I like about theis board, The helpfullness of everybody. Have a tractor pull and craft show this weekend and some local carvers. May see if some of it sells.
                Safety first, then enjoy carving! Ken Caney, Ks

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                • #9
                  Re: Cleaning bark for carving

                  Ken,

                  You might want to give this a try, selling it on ebay. I've been buying my bark on ebay and usually paying around 425-$30 for a box of about 25lbs worth, usually get 7-10 pieces roughly 3' w X 10-14'long.

                  Look up on ebay , search 'cottonwood bark', maybe something you can do if you want to sell some.
                  Goodluck...Coffeeman

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                  • #10
                    Re: Cleaning bark for carving

                    I am afraid if I had all that free bark...I would end up a bark carver! lol

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