How to Peel a Log


Whether you're making fence posts, building log furniture or starting a log cabin, you may want to peel the logs you use. The advantages of peeling a log rather than using it with the bark on include protecting the wood from insect attack and speeding the drying process. You may decide to leave traces of the bark for a rustic appearance, or peel it completely for cleaner lines.

Things You'll Need

  • Logs
  • Lathe (optional)
  • Chainsaw
  • Peeling spud
  • Drawknife
  • Decide whether you want to use a machine such as a lathe to peel your logs, or if you want to peel them with hand-tools. Using a lathe creates a nearly perfect cylindrical log. While this may work well for a log home, using hand tools is preferred by most people working with logs.

  • Cut your wood between spring and fall with a chainsaw. Logs cut then are easier to peel than those cut in the winter.

  • Start your peeling by using a peeling spud. This tool pries most of the bark off the log.

  • Choose the size and weight of the drawknife you want to use. The drawknife removes the bark that's left after you've used the peeling spud. Base your choice on your size and strength, the size of the logs you're working with, and what feels most comfortable in your grip.

  • Scrape the log with the drawknife to remove the rest of the bark. You may need to use a chainsaw or a grinder to wear down the knots. Doing that can ensure that you don't nick the edge of your drawknife's blade.

  • Consider what you're going to be making with the logs. You may want to leave some of the bark on the log to give it a rustic look, but remember that if you do that, you may also leave some wood-boring insects in the log.

  • Work with the drawknife until your log is as cleanly peeled as you want it to be.

Tips & Warnings

  • Usually you push the drawknife against the knots, but if one is particularly hard or jagged, you may need to peel in the opposite direction.
  • Be sure to keep your drawknife sharp as you work on the logs. A dull knife not only makes peeling more difficult, but it can also cause you to hurt yourself.
  • If you want squared-off logs, use an axe or an adze to remove the bark and shape them.

Related Searches

Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • How to Debark Pine Trees

    Making your own wooden posts or prepping a pine tree for cutting wood planks out of the pine log is a fairly...

  • How to Peel Cedar Posts

    Cedar posts are used for a variety of projects including building furniture, outdoor pergolas or even fence posts. One important aspect of...

  • How to Strip the Bark Off of Cedar to Make a Log Bed

    Cedar trees produce a wood that is both attractive and aromatic. It is often used to make furniture, including beds. When constructing...

  • How to Debark Cedar

    Most building applications that use cedar logs require the logs have their bark removed prior to construction. Manually debarking cedar logs is...

  • How to Peel Birch Bark

    The birch tree is a type of tree that grows in the northern hemisphere that is characterized by its white or silver...

  • Tools for Log Debarking & Cutting

    For many years, workers called bark peelers did all the work from cutting down the trees, peeling off the bark and then...

  • Ways to Debark & Skin Logs for a Cabin

    Log cabins must be built out of logs that have had their outer and inner layers of bark removed. Leaving the bark...

  • Log Peeling Tools

    Whether you're building a log home or installing log fence posts, removing the bark is one of the first steps before beginning...

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!