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post #1 of 30 Old 11-25-2012, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Live edge questions

I currently have a live edge crotch slab of black walnut that I'm going to make into a coffee table for my parents for Xmas. The slab has been dried already, but I just cut down a smaller walnut tree for my aunt today and have been in need of an idea for the legs of the table.

My questions are, what is the best way to remove the bark from the slab while still keeping the live edge look. And second, since I found one or two interesting sections of log while cutting down the tree today( tripod type sections). Can I use the logs right away since the log itself probably won't change shape to much, and how would I go about removing the bark from the logs as well?
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post #2 of 30 Old 11-25-2012, 09:25 PM
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I have taken bark off of cedar and mesquite. Used a wire drill bit then flap sanding disk. Have also used high pressure washer for posts.
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post #3 of 30 Old 11-25-2012, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Like a wire wheel bit? I'll try that I don't have a flap wheel type sander though only a row sander. Any idea about using the logs right away since I won't be cutting them into birds but leaving them whole and only removing the bark?
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post #4 of 30 Old 11-25-2012, 09:44 PM
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Not sure about using the slab right now. How dry is the wood? Moister meter may help answer your Q. Be sure to seal it well.
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post #5 of 30 Old 11-25-2012, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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The slab has been thoroughly dried( was kiln dried before I bought it) what I'm wondering is if I can use two sections of log from a tree I just cut down( roughly 18inches long 3 to 4 inches thick, in a tripod type shape) with ought having to dry them all the way out cause I need them to complete the table by xmas
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post #6 of 30 Old 11-25-2012, 09:58 PM
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I wouldn't be afraid to use the log right away for what you want to use it for. Be prepared for it to split or check and if you stain it you may have to touch up the splits down the road.

Do one thing at a time, do it well, then move on.
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post #7 of 30 Old 11-26-2012, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Would using like a kreg type pocket screw hole to mount the legs be a good idea, but making the hole slightly bigger so the wood can shrink and expand some be a good idea to minimize splitting or checking? Or is there maybe a better way to do so
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post #8 of 30 Old 11-26-2012, 09:20 AM
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Personality I wouldn't want a visible fastener. I would probably use dowels to attach so they are never seen.

Do one thing at a time, do it well, then move on.
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post #9 of 30 Old 11-26-2012, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Would wood or metal dowels be better in this situation
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post #10 of 30 Old 11-26-2012, 09:44 AM
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Wood.

Do one thing at a time, do it well, then move on.
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post #11 of 30 Old 11-26-2012, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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I appreciate all the help, thanks
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post #12 of 30 Old 11-26-2012, 09:15 PM
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If you have an air compressor I have a tip,that worked. I had a few logs to get the bark off and the sanding and even a side grinder was too slow. I used a cheap power chisel that is powered by compressed air. It was like a small jack hammer and took the bark off very quickly and well. I followed up with progressive grits with a ROS.
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post #13 of 30 Old 11-27-2012, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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I don't have a compressed that is big enough, just a lil pancake comp. guess ill have to do it the hardway
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post #14 of 30 Old 11-27-2012, 05:53 AM
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If you want a quick dry for the legs, put them under a small tarp with a under desk sized space heater and let it run for a week or so.
Open the ends of the tarp so the heater can breath fresh air so it won't overheat and open the other end so moisture can pass out. Pup tent style.
Keep temps down to about 100 degrees. Use a thermometer to check up on them.
I would NOT use fresh cut wet wood for legs. Your slab should be at ~10% moisture or less. Introducing something as legs @ 30%+, you are asking for shrinking issues and the legs will loosen up, even if glued/pegged/bolted. No sense to chancing it.

A good sharp pocket knife will remove bark. Some use a draw knife. Then you clean it up after.

Last edited by Da Aardvark; 11-27-2012 at 05:55 AM.
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post #15 of 30 Old 11-27-2012, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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Here's a question then with that method, would a dehumidifier work better than a heater?
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post #16 of 30 Old 11-27-2012, 09:37 AM
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I think a dehumidifier is nice but not necessary if you are sending in dry heat from a space heater. You are basically steaming off the moisture and letting it escape the other end.
I've done this method for fairly large stacks of walnut slabs, 6ft L x 18" W x 2" T. They went from 30% moisture to 10% internal moisture in 5 days.
Oak burl stacks also dried fast.
Secret on slabs is to keep them stickered and weighted and even bar clamped if necessary, to avoid warp/cup.

I'm one that is limited in shop space and immediate drying is a must, so I don't eat up space with stacks of wood I can't use.
If I cant dry em fast, I don't waste time or space with them. I might lose 30% of my stock to cracks/checks, but it isn't important and I'll use the waste in some fashion.

Last edited by Da Aardvark; 11-27-2012 at 09:40 AM.
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post #17 of 30 Old 11-27-2012, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Since ill be use the logs whole ( will only be 16 to 17 inches long at most) should I remove the bark befor or after?
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post #18 of 30 Old 11-27-2012, 10:01 AM
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Your choice.
The bark comes off much easier wet.
In drying you chance some cracking with bark off, and possibly even with the bark on.
I would suggest drying at least 2x the logs you plan on using and see what you get as an end result.
Some splits in rustic furniture is acceptable and some can happen even months later..
You might feel different about the asthetics of a few splits. I live with them and do many end grain projects where splitting is expected.
But the big thing is to get the wood dried to a 10% internal moisture. Cut your pieces way long for drying and toast em up. After a week, nip off an inch or two and do a moisture check. Cheapest method is to put the log up to your lips and you can feel the moisture. Not accurate but it works, If it feels dry, you have a low m.c..
Also Lowes sells a cheap moisture meter for ~$45.00. The work pretty accurately down to 6%, and it is a must for your shop.
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post #19 of 30 Old 11-27-2012, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Cracks don't bother me, there is a decent size on in the dried slab that ill be putting dutchmans in, I'm going for the rustic look, obviously still want it to be structurally sound though
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post #20 of 30 Old 11-27-2012, 11:08 AM
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Yeah. I build contemporary with a rustic tinge. Live edge, bark on and out of control grains.

Structural integrity is foremost, as is the design. I overbuild.
If I make a coffee table or kitchen table, I act as if it's going to be danced on.
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