Peeling logs...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by mpillow, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We had a bunch of near mature fir trees blow down this winter so I decided to teach the kids a little hands on history....gave them an axe and hatchet (ages 11 and 10) and away they went...had them limbed and limbs fed to some very hungry goats who had run out of Christmas trees....

    So now we are peeling...they were not peeling deep enough leaving the reddish pith still on so I went to work on the first tree with the hatchet to show them how to make it make the peel sound and the blonde wood I was looking for....IT SMELLS SO GOOD!!! Its a lot of work though...I was able to peel up some good size pieces and then I showed them how to wash the pitch off their hands in a mud-puddle using sand....
    We plan on doing 3 trees to make into a 5ft by 20ft raised bed garden....we are thinking also of treating them with wood ashes and linseed oil...

    Now we also have nicely peeled Christmas trees thanks to the goats which may become a quilt ladder....my dad has made walking sticks out of goat peeled cedar that were really pretty....my son also made wooden golf clubs out of maple for his dad for Christmas...a putter and a driver....

    The kids want a draw shave....so their log cabin goes up faster :monkey:
     
  2. buspete

    buspete Well-Known Member

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    Tell me about the wood ashes and linseed oil thing. Do the ashes work as a preservative?
     

  3. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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  4. logbuilder

    logbuilder Well-Known Member

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    There are lots of ways to peel logs. I've found that the best way depends on the size of the log and how fresh the log is. I've used a bark spud, hatchet, and drawknife. I've heard of using a pressure washer but never tried it. For me, I prefer the drawknife. For smaller logs, I've built a peeling rack. Makes it easy to roll them over to get at all sides. Here is a pic.

    Robert

    [​IMG]
     
  5. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ours is where it fell....landing across another tree that fell a few years ago...its time for it to be twitched out and spun....its the same size as the one in your photo....one that we need to get down is hung like a widow-maker...we also have some cedar down nearer to the swamp area....the kids may get a cabin after all..... ;)

    Maybe we'll build a rack like yours!!!

    Is Northern tool the only place to buy a drawshave? They have a big one, small one....the big one better?
     
  6. logbuilder

    logbuilder Well-Known Member

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    You can get drawknives from several sources. Here is source for real high quality down to reasonably priced ones. The 13" peavey would probably be a good all around one. Mine has adjustable handles which I like.

    Robert

    Drawknives
     
  7. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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  8. lilmommajnn

    lilmommajnn Well-Known Member

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    I have used a drawknife...worked pretty well. Did learn one lesson the hard way though....DO NOT let your wood season before stripping it!!!! It makes it next to impossible to remove the bark, let alone the underskin.....

    Jenni
     
  9. dennisjp

    dennisjp dennisjp

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    You can make really nice draw knives yourself, using rearend springs from old cars or trucks that you can buy cheap. One spring from an old pichup has several leaves in it and cutting it with a torch doesn't hurt the area that you will be cutting with. It will take several grinding wheels on a 7" or even a 4.5" grinder to grind away enough metal so that you can sharpen it, and you will need someone to weld the handle attachments on, but on a tight budget, they can come out nice.
     
  10. buspete

    buspete Well-Known Member

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    Wow, new-made drawknives are pretty expensive!

    I've got a couple I picked up at flea markets as antiques for about $10 each. There are lots of old ones around hanging up on walls as decorations, what a waste of great old tools!
     
  11. logbuilder

    logbuilder Well-Known Member

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    I too have some old ones. As long as the handles are still tight, they are great. My favorite one appears to be pretty old but feels the best of all.
     
  12. MichelleB

    MichelleB Well-Known Member

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    Dennis, my neighbor gave me a draw knife made as you described! I haven't used it yet, but it's SHARP and ready to go.
     
  13. dennisjp

    dennisjp dennisjp

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    It sure beats the 150 - 200 dollars they want for one. For that, a man could buy a little welder, grinder, and the springs to make two or thre of them, and still have the tools to build other things.
    I have a gas furance that ate $418 worth of gas in Dec., $396 in Jan., and I was burning an open fireplace the whole time. I wanted one of those tube grate blowers but they wanted $479 for a five tube unit to fit my fireplace.,
    I bought a 12 ton pipe bender, a 180 amp welder, all the tubes(schedule 40, and not the thin wall the other units had) and box tube for it, cut to lenght, (I didn't have the money for a saw) and a 150 CFM blower for it for about $425 and it only took me, working by myself and I am disabled, two days to build it. Bending the pipe almost killed me. I took a couple of extra pain pills and kept getting it. Couldn't get out the bed the next morning, but the light bill went down to $209 for last month. I haven't gotten the one for this month, but my wife gets up at 5AM to get ready for work. We cut the furnace on just long enough to knock the chill off fast while I get the fire started again, and with a few coals left in there, a hair dryer gets it going fast, and the heat starts rolling. It puts out a lot more heat than the gas furnace does. I think it will go down even more this month. I have been beter at getting up and getting it started every morning.
    Any way, If you can buy the tools to build something, that is usually better for less money, then you are way ahead in my book. Could be wrong, but thats my book and I'm sticking to it. LOL

    ____________________________________
    Anything that someone else has done,
    you can do it too if you learn how they did it. :clap:
     
  14. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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