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  #1  
Old 11-08-2006, 07:26 PM
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Red face Preserving bark

I came across this link showing a very old preserved and mounted section of carved treebark

http://www.burnsscotland.com/databas...searchdb=scran

Please could anyone tell me how a similar piece of tree bark with a carving on it could be mounted and preserved today? (assuming the tree has been felled or came down in a storm).
I thought the bark would crumble but the piece in the picture seems to be pretty much intact.
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Old 11-08-2006, 08:34 PM
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Default Re: Preserving bark

This is just an educated guess, but from the date on the tree to 1802 is only 11 years. assuming this was actually carved on in the year indicated, it's quite possible that the inscribed bark would have been intact at the time of cutting. If the tree was still alive when cut, the bark could have been stripped off and then mounted on that flat board. The cracks would have then happened as the piece dried out.

If the tree was dead when cut, the bark may have cracked as it was removed. Either way, mounting on that board would have stabilized it and let it survive the centuries, as long as it was kept fairly dry.

I have a carving passed from my grandfather that is well over a hundred years old, and have done a few carvings in wood that is from trees over 200 years old......wood will last a long time if just kept dry and stabilized.

As far as removing that bark from a tree and keeping it intact, just make cuts around the area you want to remove and then slowly work a flat lever under the bark to pry it off. a lot of smooth barks (aspen, cherry, birch, ash, etc) can be slipped off quite easily in the spring or early summer.

Al
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Old 11-09-2006, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: Preserving bark

Thank you, Al. That's really helpful.
You mentioned it would need to be kept dry. Would central heating damage the mounted bark or be good for it? I'm wondering if a present-day bark carving mounted in a similar way to the old one could be displayed on a wall inside a centrally heated house without the heat drying the bark too much.

Last edited by Janet; 11-09-2006 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 11-09-2006, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: Preserving bark

Drying wood/bark, other organic material; Wood is dried to between 6% and 12% moisture depending on the process (kiln or air dried) No matter what process is used, the wood will stabilize at the ambient relative humidity of it's environment. In other words, wood that has been kiln dried to a, lets say 10% moisture content, and placed in a relatively humid environment, say 60% relative humidity, will stabilize somewhere above that original 10%, depending on the wood species' individual characteristics. And a similar piece of wood that has been air dried to a 15% moisture content that takes up residence in an environment of low humidity, say 10% will stabilize out at lower than 15% moisture.

There is no direct relationship between the wood's moisture content percentage and the "relative humidity" percentage of the room. Wood with a 10% moisture content has an actual 10% water by weight. A room with 10 % relative humidity has only 10% of the moisture that COULD be contained in the air at that particular temperature. I hope I'm right on this.....if not, somebody PLEASE HELP!

Generally speaking, once the wood/bark, has stabilized in it's environment, it will adjust it's moisture content slowly with changes in the ambient relative humidity. So basically, once you have that piece of bark dried and mounted, it should remain fairly stable inside with the heat on.....it will absorb and void itself of small humidity changes as the ambient humidity changes.

There is one precaution I would take. If you seal (varnish, wax, oil) the base wood you place the bark on, make sure you seal all sides, front, back, and all the sides. If you don't seal the back, the wood will absorb moisture through the unsealed side and will cup on the finished side. This may cause the mounted bark to crack and split.

Al

Last edited by AlArchie; 11-09-2006 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 11-10-2006, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: Preserving bark

Thank, you Al. Great information!
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Old 11-30-2006, 05:23 AM
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Default Re: Preserving bark

FYI... keeping bark on wood.. secrete is to harvest wood/sticks after thanksgiving when the sap is down already, according to a tenn. rustic furnature maker

last weekend
On one of them home shows, they were interviewing the maker of winsor chairs, out of twigs roots and vines, in tennesee i think...
his furnature mostly consisted of apple trees, killed in a heavy freeze, in a local orchard
by using root, saplings and vines he had made some beautiful chairs some with burrels arms and vine woven backs,

leaving the bark on apple plumb and cherri fruit trees mostly ... they were all beautiful..
the show i think was american woodworker?
maybe his web site may have a segment
or information
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Last edited by Thomp; 11-30-2006 at 05:25 AM.
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Old 12-08-2006, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: Preserving bark

FYI... keeping bark on wood.. secrete is to harvest wood/sticks after thanksgiving when the sap is down already, according to a tenn. rustic furnature maker

last weekend
On one of them home shows, they were interviewing the maker of winsor chairs, out of twigs roots and vines, in tennesee i think...
his furnature mostly consisted of apple trees, killed in a heavy freeze, in a local orchard
by using root, saplings and vines he had made some beautiful chairs some with burrels arms and vine woven backs,

leaving the bark on apple plumb and cherri fruit trees mostly ... they were all beautiful..

Thank you. His furniture sounds beautiful, especially those vine woven backs. How did he use the twigs, saplings and roots? More weaving?
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Old 12-08-2006, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: Preserving bark

the sapplings were the frame, roots made a fan shaped chair back and twigs were used for rungs in rocking chair and straight back kitchen chairs..

the seats were woven from cat tail and reeds...

very crafty and very few tools used but tools were very specialized tennon makers and spoon bits a level and mallet, and a bevel divider
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