debarking and cleaning up rough wood


I am making some rustic furniture, and things that use pieces of wood from nature.
How does one get the bark off, and down to the wood without having gouge marks, and so they can either sand or sandblast it smooth enough to varnish?
My pieces will be smallish, from one to four inches in diameter.
TIA
Steve
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A drawknife can do the job. It's nice to have a way to hold the twig, too. Google "shaving horse", or "bodgers bench". Tom
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Fresh cut with sap up sits for a week warm and damp and peels after slitting.
Old cut with sap down is a job for a bark knife.
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I have found that even if you cut it green (sap up) butr failt to get to it for a coupleof weeks - probably less for such small material - that the bark begins to stick. It starts on the side which is facing up because gravity puolls the sap to the underside of the stock. In other words, don't do what I did!
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wrote:

Depends a lot on the species.
Expect lots of end checking, so cut the raw stock long
Get a wood stove, the wastage is enormous, so stop worrying about it and see it as a useful by-product instead.
Work quickly while the wood is still green (for most species - some peel on drying).
Take all the bark off in one go - soft cambium beneath is hard to shift once dried.
Any edged tools you like, it's the clamping bench that makes the most difference to ease and speed. If you're doing a lot, look at making yourself a shave horse to sit on.
A whole variety of spokeshaves and drawknives, particularly wooden spokeshaves with big mouths for rough stripping, then iron shaves with tight mouths for finishing.
Clean your tools after use and oil them - green shavings cause rust in no time.
Sharp tools are less effort to sharpen than blunt tools are to use.
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