The best way to strip bark from a large branch?

I want to make a climbing tree/scratching post for a relatives cat for which I've found some largeish branches. I now need to strip the bark off them, is there a generally accepted method for doing this? I remember doing it ages ago with a chisel and hammer but that was on a small branch to create a walking stick. Would it still be the same method though for a bigger piece? I was thinking that using a heat gun would make the process easier too? On a second note, should I treat the wood once I have stripped it, bearing in mind its for indoor use and that cats might chew it?
Any thoughts appreciated.
Jim.
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Last time I stripped bark I used a draw knife, and wished I had a shaving horse to hold the piece. But a sharp draw knife was very easy to use. A hammer and chisel would be way too much work for me.
I would leave it untreated if a future push stick was going to be clawing it..
djb
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James Duncan wrote:

I'd use a draw knife. http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?SID=&ccurrency=2&pageD502&category=1%2C130%2C43332

I'd leave it unfinished/untreated.
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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My cat preferred the post with the bark on - - made a mess, but saved the furniture.

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Harvest now, with sap up. Soak for a week in dihydrogen monoxide, slit and peel.

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proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email

How do you find work out which way is up for the sap?

Friggin rocket fuel. It _blows_ the bark off!
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Depending on the size of the branch and thickness of the bark...drawknife as some have said is most likely the best, but if you don't have a drawknife try a potato peeler.(G)
GJP
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