Catalpa Candle Log

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 top.
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?
Thanks, Glenn
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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.
--
FF


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Since you asked: http://www.cheamturners.co.uk/armushroom.asp
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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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