A friend has asked me to make her a candle log out of a piece of
Catalpa. This "log" is about 5" in diameter and about 16" long. The
idea is to make it flat on one side so it doesn't roll and leave the
bark on it. Holes for the candles will be drilled into the rounded
Question: Is there anything I can do to keep the bark from drying up
and falling off? Has anyone ever make anything out of Catalpa?
ISTR seeing cross-sections cut from logs with the bark left
around the edges sealed in shellac or epoxy for use as
clocks and such.
It doesn't look natural, but it does last.
When I was a kid my smarter older brother made a natural
looking birdhouse out of a piece of firewood. He split the
log, hollowed out one half, fitted a flat back and a hanger
onto the hollowed part, drilled a hole through the rounded part
and added a dowel for a perch. Then he peeled off the bark,
which was already coming off easily on it''s own, scraped the
punky residue of the cambrium from the wood and from the
inside of the bark, and the gluied the bark back on. I think
he used resorcinol glue.
It lasted several years outdoors.
Use the right species. You want something that doesn't have
substantially more moisture in live bark than in live sapwood (i.e.
minimal shrinkage problems) and that also has a strong and thin
cambium layer between them. Lack of mining insects helps too.
Look at what's in your timber racks and still has the bark well-
attached. Use some of that.
Never heard of it (probably not unusual on my continent), so I'm
afradi I can't judge it for point #1.
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