Peeling cherry bark / Sharpening drawknives

I'm working on several cherry countertops that are to have live edges with the bark peeled off. I'm not sure if these trees were cut in winter, but I'm having difficulty getting underneath the cambium. I've been able to hog off the bulk of the bark with a drawknife, but it leaves a pretty thick layer of furry stuff that doesn't really want to pop off too well. What I've been doing is sort of scraping it off with one side of the knife, and then taking an orbital with some 100 grit to get the rest. Trouble is, I'd have to sand pretty deep into the surrounding wood to get all the brown out of the low spots. (And I'm not even sure I want to, given the blinding whiteness of the underlying sapwood....but that's a different issue for a different forum - aka "The Client") I'm wondering if any of you all have a secret technique for getting the cambium layer to separate "cleanly" from the sapwood, leaving just that really thin layer of brown coloration. Has anyone tried soaking it? I'm hesitant since these planks are already a bit thin and warped.
On a related note, do most of you put a back-bevel on your drawknives? I'm thinking that one might help prevent accidental gouging when debarking. Sound right?
Thanks all.
JP
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I don't have a drawknife. When I've needed to do this I use a chisel to get the worst of it off, and then a spokeshave, then sanding. You could perhaps switch to a spokeshave once you get close to avoid digging in.
-Kevin
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On Feb 24, 10:34 pm, snipped-for-privacy@YAHOO.COM wrote:

Thanks, Kevin. I'm sort of getting the hang of it now. We've decided to go all the way down to sapwood, so I've still got some hand sanding to do to get into the low spots, but it comes off pretty easy now that the bulk of it has been scraped away.
JP
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Whether to back bevel or not is a matter of debate. I put about a five degree back bevel on mine.
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