I have built a piece featuring the naturalun sawn and planed edge of a plank. How can I finish it to ensure the bark remains part of the piece? I've seen tables etc with a glossy finish- what do they use?
Good luck on keeping the bark on. I think it isn't gonna happen. Unless you glue it on.
HI If the tree was cut down in the fall or winter when the sap is down you should have no troble with the bark coming off. In the spring and summer when the tree ia activley growing the bark will come off .
Have a nice day :Lee
It was in the fall--when the hurricane cut down a lot of trees. It was a "make do", as others have been.
Edited 6/3/2009 7:08 am ET by Gretchen
Hi You may be ok with the bark It depends on how mutch sap was in the tree when it blew down
Have a nice day Lee
Long gone--and the bark did not stay on.
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If you put on a really thick coat of varnish, it should stay in place. Take a brush and
"gob" it in real well, catching all the nooks and crannies and just let it run and ooze off on it's own. And the thicker you can get it in to the cracks, the easier it will be to wipe down and keep clean. Let me know if you like and I can sens some really nice pics of some rustic rough sawn cedar that we have done in the past.
From experience, I think it will stay for a while, but be ready for plan B, because eventually it is going to fall off.
I agree with Gretchen here. Also, remember unless this has been kiln dried (and bark isn't likely to survive kiln drying intact) it is the bark that may harbor insects. If the barkless "live edge" was good for Nakashima ....
Test your finish on scrap, FIRST, or risk having to scrap your finish.
The best way to assure bark staying on the board is to buy lumber that was harvested in the late fall or winter. The cambium layer separates the bark from the sapwood. In the spring and early summer when the tree is actively growing this layer is weak, hence the ease of stripping bark off trees early in the growing season. As the tree starts to shut down for its winter rest the layer becomes toughened to survive its dormancy. Wood harvested after frost has completely shut the tree's systems down has the best chance of staying on the board. I built some cabinets a decade ago from birch that had been cut in the winter and then dehumidification-kiln-dried and the bark is still firmly attached without the need for glue or gloppy finishes.
Thanks for the good info. Another fine example of the vast reservoir of experience availaable to woodworkers thru the many users of Knots.
that is a bit of information i will file away and never forget. usefull.
the local oak trees, here-about, sport bark that comes off in very neat 1/2 pipe shapes, if you know what i mean. when i've made rustic items that need the bark re-installed, as it were, gluing has worked quite well for me. however, it does require that the bark comes off in one piece.
Edited 6/3/2009 2:43 pm ET by Eef
thanks for taki;ng time to read a;nd reply.
Leaving the bark on is not a good plan at all. No matter what season it was harvested in it will separate sooner rather then later, but separate it will, and no amount of foreign chemicals is going to prevent it-might slow it down, but that is all.Apart from that, if it doesn't fall off on its own , some kindly insects will EAT IT OFF.
I have read about "natural edge" furniture and always assumed that it had the bark on.
I have occasionally come across planks which looked like they had a thin layer of bark along one edge and have in fact been toying with the idea of building a coffee table with one of these.
Have I been barking up the wrong tree? :-)
"Have I been barking up the wrong tree? " I beeleaf so.....
Not sure about your thin planks but I have been using this white oak stump as a bedside table and now an end table for 20 years. Five moves, a lot of parties, two kids and a dog later the bark is intact. The tree was cut in the early fall and "air dried" standing on end beside my bed. I just sanded and finished the top a year ago.Chris
Early in my furniture career, perhaps in my naivete, I left the bark on a walnut slab that a customer had been storing for a number of years. I stabilized it using liberal doses of super glue and a bit of epoxy. To my knowledge the table is still in fine condition although I cannot say that for a fact. I haven't seen this particular client for some time. But she is the sort of individual who would contact me if something went awry with anything I made for her.
To those who say that bark cannot be stabilized... do you know this for a fact or are you surmising based on... what? Granted, any sort of glue stabilization process will probably not stand a substantial test of time (100 + years), but maybe 20, 30 years or more??? I'd be very curious to learn of any substantiated tests.
You can keep it on that for sure. We had two for supporting an 8 foot walnut burl "table".
I always remove the bark. Pictured is the edge of an Ash flitch being used for a desk top and a Cherry coffee table.
I have a table that has bark on it that was made by my grandfather. It's at least 45 years old. I am looking for a way to clean the dust out of the bark any ideas.
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