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I've come into some nice sticks. However, removing the bark has been some work.. The pic I've attached has very easy top layer bark to remove but the inner bark is a beast! I took a good while yesterday whittling it off with a dull knife. Dull actually works better and I don't have to be careful gouging into the wood and making mistakes. I'm the type where I begin to think there has to be an easier way. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
 

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A 60 grit drum sander on a electric drill will do a quick job on most bark. I have not done it but some people say they use a pressure washer. For many years I used a small drawknife.. Flex-cut sell a nice one.
 
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I usually take off outer bark with a Flexcut roughing knife. Outer bark I will sand off with an electric palm sander. Final sanding I like to do by hand.
 

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I don't do a lot o peeled sticks but when I do, I use a scraping motion with the blade around 90* to the work, not a slicing motion for the inner bark. You'll get a feel for it. It also depends on the species. Some barks like on maple shoots tend to almost fall off, others are stuck on pretty good. You can also wet the stick down some. Sometimes that will loosen it up some too. (What! After I spent all that time drying it out in the first place? Are you kidding me?) You're not saturating the stick, just wetting the surface good. It will dry off pretty quickly.

I think most sticks look better with a little bit of the inner bark still attached. Adds some color and variety to what could otherwise be a pretty bland stick.
 

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I have two drawknives, one that is all wood and one that is iron. Each is entirely different in the way it works. The iron one has a blade that sits at a steep angle and is finely adjustable with knurled nuts. With a good sharpening and a fine adjustment it will take off tissue paper shavings.
 

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So far, it's a patience game. And work. I have the shafts of these sticks squared away. This particular stick still needs work around the top. The bark is fuzzy and I have to sand it off. It's a lot of work, but it's going to be a great stick when finished.
 

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Nice stick! If it was mine, I would sand all the bark off the top and the hand grip area for contrast, leave the rest as is and give all of it a light stain to take away the 'new' look.
 

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A coat of finish will harden up the fuzzies then it won't take more than a light sanding to get things smooth.

Great looking stick. I like the shape of that one.

Rodney
 

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I've come into some nice sticks. However, removing the bark has been some work.. The pic I've attached has very easy top layer bark to remove but the inner bark is a beast! I took a good while yesterday whittling it off with a dull knife. Dull actually works better and I don't have to be careful gouging into the wood and making mistakes. I'm the type where I begin to think there has to be an easier way. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
I still use a small draw knife initially. Some coarse-grained woods such as Bois d'Arc, require practice to avoid gouging too deeply in places. Then I go to a rotary sander with progressively finer grits, then to manual sanding.

Stems and knots can actually damage a sharp draw knife blade, with some very hard woods. Take care with addressing those issues.
 
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