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Author Topic: Dealing with dirt in the bark  (Read 838 times)

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Offline DanMc

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Dealing with dirt in the bark
« on: May 16, 2017, 12:42:12 pm »
Last year I milled one log that had dirt packed into the bark.  So, as I saw on one of the Woodland mills demo videos, Josh used a wire brush to clean it up.  I did the same thing.  After that log, my blade was pretty much finished, so I know one way that doesn't work. 

I have some more logs with dirty bark.  How do you deal with that?  Some people have debarkers on their mill.  Are there add-on attachments? 

If no debarker is available, then what do you do?  Pressure washer?  Use a chainsaw to grind off the bark?  What other clever ideas are there????
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Offline caveman

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Re: Dealing with dirt in the bark
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2017, 01:12:18 pm »
We brush sometimes.  Sometimes we pressure wash.  Other times, if the bark is not clinging too tightly, we will scrape off the bark.  On the logs we store in our pond for any length of time, the bark comes off easily but the wood stinks until it dries.  We seldom get them mileage from our blades that the folks who have debarkers recognize.  I welded an ax head to a 1 1/4" bar that is about 5' long.  It is a pretty fair bark spud, tamping tool, root cutter and general implement of torture (not something most of us want to operate several hours a day).

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Dealing with dirt in the bark
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2017, 01:49:10 pm »
Long Wood chisel.


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Offline SlowJoeCrow

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Re: Dealing with dirt in the bark
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2017, 02:41:25 pm »
As I don't deal with a large quantity of logs, I use a drawknife, which is relatively quick and works well for me.

Offline Savannahdan

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Re: Dealing with dirt in the bark
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2017, 04:44:14 pm »
I use a short-handled axe (not hatchet).  It gives me the ability to get under the bark with its edge and then I can use the handle to pry or twist.  Sometimes I have to use some persuasion in the form of a large diameter hickory or oak limb.
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: Dealing with dirt in the bark
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2017, 05:52:59 pm »
I normally depend on the mill's debarker, but once in a while I have to get my debarking spud out!

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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Dealing with dirt in the bark
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2017, 06:04:33 pm »
Drawknife, axe certainly work OK to get under the bark.  I've used a pressure washer also, what a mess.  Winter is bad with a pressure washer. 

However, modifying the sawing pattern a little will make a big difference. 

After the first cut or two, always rotate the log so the band enters the freshly sawn clean wood.

Generally, if I have a dirty log, even with a debarker, I'll rotate to a clean face and run it to get the first couple slabs and flitches.  After that it's clean sailing.

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Offline esteadle

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Re: Dealing with dirt in the bark
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2017, 06:15:37 pm »
I agree with YellowHammer. Rotate the log to the best, and least muddy face. Take time to saw a proper size slab off the log, and then rotate and cut into fresh wood, not mud. I use a simple brush to help brush away heavy mud that is obviously in the sawline. And I have a debarker that I need to fix one of these days that does a good job.

To help avoid this in the first place, don't drag logs through mud, don't put down gravel around your sawing area, and spread sawdust everywhere logs sit, so they don't pick up mud from being in contact with the ground.
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Offline Kitospring

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Re: Dealing with dirt in the bark
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2017, 09:18:55 pm »
When I first started milling last year, I used a garden weasel tool to remove dirt and rocks from the bark; that didn't work well.  Then I switched to a very stiff wire brush, and that didn't do the job.  I have a warm weather source of water that I used to clean the bark via garden hose; the low pressure was enough to move some of the dirt, but I still found rocks the hard way.  Then I started using a power washer, weather dependent, and inspected the cut path on every cut through bark.  My blades sharpness dramatically picked up, when I was blaming my poor sharpening skills for my bad cutting.  I'm still a bad cutter but my blades last a lot longer. 

Offline dgdrls

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Re: Dealing with dirt in the bark
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2017, 08:43:07 pm »
I will manually  debark the ugly stuff with a Bark Spud and a rubber mallet.

Same idea as kbeitz, but it has a rounded body, follows the log profile better.


Offline woodman58

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Re: Dealing with dirt in the bark
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2017, 09:58:51 pm »
Try one of these from a sponsor on the right.
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Offline sandsawmill14

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Re: Dealing with dirt in the bark
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2017, 06:25:48 am »
x2 on the log wizard we have one at the big i saw for mostly to debark ties but will do logs just as well   best bang for the buck that i know of :) i was amazed at how good it works :o :)
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Offline Dewey

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Re: Dealing with dirt in the bark
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2017, 07:29:58 am »
   x3 Get a Log wizard attachment for your chainsaw it works great !!

Offline Magicman

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Re: Dealing with dirt in the bark
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2017, 08:36:36 am »
Remember that even when rotating the log so that the dirt is away from the entrance cut, there is still some dulling action taking place when the blade exits through dirt.   :-\
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Offline Darrel

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Re: Dealing with dirt in the bark
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2017, 09:58:57 am »
A few years back I had an opportunity to use a very used and dull log wizard and it worked quite well inspite of its dullness.
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