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How to Debark Cedar

Justin Mikulka

Most building applications that use cedar logs require the logs have their bark removed prior to construction. Manually debarking cedar logs is simple but labor-intensive work.

Cedar logs usually have the bark removed for building purposes.

While it is possible to debark logs with any manner of woodworking tools, a peeling spud that has been designed specifically for this task is recommended.

  1. Place one end of the cedar log on the sawhorse and one end on the ground. Secure the log to the sawhorse by tightly wrapping the bungee cord around the log and the sawhorse.

  2. Use the saw to cut any remaining branches on the log as close to the surface of the log as possible.

  3. Stand over the log and grasp the spud handle with both hands. Use the edge of the spud to slice into a section of the bark. Insert the blade into the slice and work the blade underneath the cedar bark to the wood surface. Push forward along the length of the log in the direction of the sawhorse. Continue peeling until the bark tears free from the log. Insert the spud blade under the edge of the remaining bark and repeat this process until all of the bark has been removed from the cedar log.

  4. Tip

    It is much easier to debark log when they have just been harvested, ideally in the spring. Debarking a dry cedar log is much more difficult than debarking a log that was just cut and is still full of sap.