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Peeled or skip peeled logs?

I received an email from Rita M. today who asked, “I was browsing your directory pricing log bedroom furniture and a couple sites talked about peeled and skip peeled logs. What do they mean by this?”

Great question, Rita and thanks for asking. “Peeling” refers to removing the bark from a log. This is usually done with a drawknife, a sharp blade with handles on both ends that is “drawn” (pulled) toward you and “peels” the bark from the log. This process is not unlike peeling a potato.

A clean peeled log has had all the outer and inner bark removed. What remains is a cleanly shaved log with traces of the drawknife’s flat path. A skip-peeled log shows patches of the inner bark (or darker surfaces) remaining.

A log that is completely round with no irregularities indicates that the piece was machined on a lathe. Speaking of peeling, there is one other method called “sap peeling” where the bark is pulled off while the wood is still green. There is no right or wrong method of peeling logs, the end result is purely a matter of individual taste.

All woods react to moisture and temperature changes. Soft woods like pine will pull away from their bark as they dry out, thus the need to remove (peel) the bark. Some log and rustic furniture is produced with logs that keep their bark intact such as hickory, and these varieties are not usually peeled.

Once again, great question and you have now graduated from Log Peeling 101. Hope this answered your question. If you want to peel your own logs and need a drawknife, check this out.

1 comment to Peeled or skip peeled logs?

  • Rita

    Hi, this is Rita again. Thanks for the explanation, now I feel like an educated consumer. It’s funny, but I like the look of peeled furniture most, but yet some pieces look better to me with the skip peeling. I guess thats why they give you a choice. Thanks again, great info you provide.


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