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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just getting interested in sticks and I found my first piece of wood, already seasoned and what I believe to be sycamore. It has a reddish brown bark, pairs of knots alternating up the branch at 180 degrees to one another and a creamy very fine grained wood. The upper layer of bark comes off with a sharp knife like a sheet of paper, albeit thin strips, but it leaves underneath a off-green layer which again will come off but is going to require either whittling, which will leave tool marks that need sanding, or hitting it with the sander from the get go. Is there a technique I'm missing here to shift this stuff?

Regards, Lol
 

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It is your preference. You may want to give it a thin coat of finish and see if the under bark looks good. If not you will sand it down and refinish. I have done this a number of times. Some I sanded all the bark off and other looked good and I just added a few more coats of finish..
 

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Use a scraping action instead of a slicing action with the edge of a knife. You'll still need to sand some but it will be less.

Rodney
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@ Lily'sdad - I forgot to mention that there is some scarring down to the wood in the bark so it's far from perfect. Looks like it's mask on time and get to some scraping and sanding :)
 

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Put the shank to soak in water for a couple of hours underbark will then scrape off no tool marks. I stick mine in the water butt
 

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I remember stixman said he used a pressure washer to remove bark . looks like it works very good if you have a pressure washer.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I remember stixman said he used a pressure washer to remove bark . looks like it works very good if you have a pressure washer.

I do indeed have a jet washer - although the wife will expect the patio doing at the same time :)
 

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English sycamore appears to have a somewhat different bark than American. American sycamore starts out looking white. Actually its a pale powder that is on top of an olive green layer. As the bark ages, it begins forming papery flakes that are tan colored, the reddish brown, the brown and coarse. All layers of the bark are rather spongy.

The thick brown stuff is fairly easy to remove. The thiner flaky stuff can sometimes be rubbed away w. ones hand. I've put varnish over some base layers a few yeas ago. W. age, the whiteness and greens is gone. The color is a nice medium brown, and appears leather-like. No sign of peeling yet.

American sycamore forms many clusters of side branches, which fall away as the main branch grows, leaving bark covered bumps. Those ere usually rotten inside. In a few pieces, once I had cut away the rotted material, I had gaps so large that I needed to fill them in. Along w. basic wood filler, I've tried bits of polished stone, or lumps of brighter, denser woods, both fixed in place by resin. But in a few cases I discovered too much rot. You wood may be different, but if you have side lumps, try probing them with a think pick of tiny screwdriver.

Tho' it can de a lot of work, the sycamore grain is often very sinuous, and its work sanding it smooth to show the convoluted lines.
 

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I know this is about debarking seasoned sycamore but if you cut this time of the year ( uk) you can strip a stick in about 3 minutes, how do I know this I just did it. Into the rack to be seasoned , lots of time and energy saved
 
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