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

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Cedar bark separates from the underlying wood with only a little effort.
Cedar bark separates from the underlying wood with only a little effort. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Cedar trees produce a wood that is both attractive and aromatic. It is often used to make furniture, including beds. When constructing a cedar bed, you can preserve the rustic nature of the log by peeling the bark to reveal the wood underneath, which is already very smooth and may require little to no sanding. The bark of cedar is very fibrous and separates easily from the wood, either in sheets or long thin strips.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Axe
  • Cedar branch 2 inches in diameter
  • Draw knife

Select freshly cut, green cedar tree logs of the diameters and lengths required for the construction of the bed. Choose logs that are clear of anything but the smallest branches. Remove the branches with the axe.

Cut two 2-inch slits about 1 inch apart, through the bark at one end of the log. Insert the knife blade between the bark and the wood underneath. Pry the bark up off the wood.

Grasp the bark and pull upward and away from the log in a long strip. Continue to pull the strip off, down the entire length of the log.

Cut a medium cedar branch about 2 feet long and 2 inches in diameter. Cut the end of the branch to form a long angle at the end of the branch. This is a bark spud.

Insert the pointed end of the bark spud, with the cut side facing up, under the edge of the bark where you removed the strip. Carefully, pry the bark away from the log with the spud, working down along the log.

Grasp the bark and pull it away from the underlying wood as you pry. Continue to pry with the bark spud and pull the bark until it comes completely off the log.

Use the draw knife to remove any remaining bark, carefully running the blade of the knife down the length of the log. Smooth any spots where small branches were growing with the draw knife.

Allow the wood to cure completely before doing any woodworking to construct the bed.

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