removing bark from live edge

I just received an excellent fathers day gift. My wife got me a large black walnut slab with a nice crotch at one end, this is perfect for a slab coffee table. I have never made a piece of furniture with a slab before and I want to remove the bark and leave a live edge. Is there any advice out there for removing the bark.
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I've thought of a half dozen one liners so far.
My mind is not in the gutter. I can't get up that high.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

What, you can't stand the thought of a crotch on the table top? Just admit it...lol.
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A drawknife is commonly used. I'm sure YouTube will have some videos that will walk you through it.
R
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The draw knife suggestion is agreeable.
Is your crotch green, semi-green or thoroughly dry? (LOL)... seriously, though.
Sonny
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First thanks for all the replies. I would say the slab is pretty green. Its 2 inches thick and was sawn in Feb. of this year.
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I wouldn't use a draw knife, you will carve away the live edge. I typically just pick at with a cats paw or small claw hammer and break away any loose stuff but leave any well adhered portion in place. Then plaster it down with some poly finish.
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I like to get all of the cambium layer off of walnut, so the white sapwood contrasts nicely with the darker brown heartwood. I use a drawknife for the big stuff, but tend to move fairly quickly to a chisel, used bevel side down with a smooth slicing cut just under the skin. Lastly I touch up any indented/concave areas with some sandpaper. Be careful when you sand though; you don't want to grind dark brown heartwood swarf into your lily-white sapwood. (An air nozzle helps the inevitable.) Good luck! JP
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On Mon, 20 Jun 2011 16:26:58 -0700 (PDT), "SonomaProducts.com"

Hold a hammer with both hands (like an extremely dull drawknife) and use the handle to knock off the bark. Rub and tap, leaving the edge intact.
-- Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball!
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We have a guy here in an artist community I see at the once a year furniture show. He does fine woodwork on the stands/pedestals of tables of all sorts, and uses natural edge slabs for the tops.
He is much less low tech than you guys.
He hooks up the pressure washer he uses to clean up his outside spray finish area after getting it pretty filthy, and simply blows off the bark with water pressure. Works like a champ and only takes a few minutes. No knife marks, gouges, or careful carving needed. And the wood is nice and clean, free of grit and all the other stuff that hides in bark when he is finished.
The end product looks great.
Robert
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Great idea
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Is how logs are debarked.
--
"I'm the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo ..."


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On Wed, 22 Jun 2011 22:39:41 -0700, "Lobby Dosser"

In the field, it's a wee bit rougher on the tree's live edge: http://goo.gl/bWV7I
Ditto at a mill: http://goo.gl/fysJV
-- "Human nature itself is evermore an advocate for liberty. There is also in human nature a resentment of injury, and indignation against wrong. A love of truth and a veneration of virtue. These amiable passions, are the latent spark. If the people are capable of understanding, seeing and feeling the differences between true and false, right and wrong, virtue and vice, to what better principle can the friends of mankind apply than to the sense of this difference?" --John Adams
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"Tom" wrote in message
I just received an excellent fathers day gift. My wife got me a large black walnut slab with a nice crotch at one end, this is perfect for a slab coffee table. I have never made a piece of furniture with a slab before and I want to remove the bark and leave a live edge. Is there any advice out there for removing the bark.
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Go after it with a blow torch. Wet the bark down sopping wet, then hit it with the big heat. The heat bubbles up water at the juncture, and helps it pop off. Have a fire watch on hand, and do it outside away from buildings, in case it goes very badly.
You will need one of those big propane jobs that are used to melt ice and burn off weeds from cracks.
Let us know if do it, how it works.
-- Jim in NC
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