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How to Peel Cedar Posts

Kimberly Johnson

Cedar posts are used for a variety of projects including building furniture, outdoor pergolas or even fence posts. One important aspect of making cedar posts is to remove the outer bark, which is called peeling. This prevents the posts from rotting. Peeling cedar posts is performed with a specially designed knife that removes the bark. The knife leaves ridges in the wooden posts which give it a rustic appearance.

  1. Install the cedar post vertically. If the post is not installed, lay it on the ground in an area with plenty of space.

  2. Grasp the handles of the draw knife in both hands. The draw knife has a "u" shape, with the horizontal blade positioned between your hands.

  3. Place the edge of the knife blade against the top edge of the cedar post and angle it at a 45 degree angle to the tree.

  4. Apply firm, downward pressure as you move the blade from side to side. The blade will slice easily through the cedar tree bark. You should be able to remove the bark on one side in a single strip.

  5. When you reach the bottom, brush away the removed bark.

  6. Return to the top of the post and place the draw knife blade on an unpeeled section. Repeat the process to peel off additional bark.

  7. Continue peeling off the bark until all of it has been peeled off.