De-Barking Strategies and Rigs

Debarking a whole log just to make your first square cuts is a lot of extra labor. Here, sawyers discuss effective ways to work around the de-barking problem. September 6, 2010

I would like to build a debarker for my mill. Doing it by hand is not much fun. I built my mill about eight years ago and I average around 8,000 to 10,000 board feet per year and I work alone. I would like all of your thoughts on the best motor to use in a 12volt system. Any thoughts on design?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor P:
Have you tried a chainsaw mounted like the log wizard? They seem to do the job but I wonder if the blades will cut for long if used on muddy logs?

From the original questioner:
I have a log wizard. It works fine but it takes so long to debark all of the log. A debarker on the mill would save time.

From contributor P:
I was pretty sure that most debarkers dosn't debark the whole log so why would you debark the whole log with the wiz? I only debark the log where the blade is going into the log. I am certain this saves the blade as much as the auto debarker does. I simply wait to debark till the log is on the mill and then take off the strip where the cut will be. It works ok and doesn’t take too much time .

From contributor F:
I cannot afford to buy a debarker, for smaller posts and poles my friend says he uses a power vise, another friend uses a power washer for frozen mud. I like your idea Contributor P of only debarking the half and cutting the slab off. This would work for the storage of cants for future in that many insects will only burrow under the bark to lay their eggs.

From the original questioner:
I do not know where on the log the blade will enter until its up on the mill. I have tried to debark while on the mill but it is not safe. The metal is very slick - wet or dry. My mill is on two axles up about 30 inches off the ground. I debark the whole log before going on the mill.

From contributor C:
Get your log on the mill, and square it up using an old blade. If you leave a little wane, not a big deal. Then switch to a fresh blade and cut the cant as you normally would. It will save you a lot of time.

From contributor H:
I also debark a strip (with an ax) after the log is on the mill, but you can also debark a strip before loading the log. Just rotate the log so that the strip you debarked is in the right orientation for the first cut.

From the original questioner:
I have thought about using a router before but I would need to use a inverter for 110v. The starter motor will work much better.

From contributor O:
My mill has hydraulics. I mounted a motor vertical ahead of the blade and installed a piece of chainsaw chain on a 6" disc and machined a groove on its outer edge. The height is adjusted so that the disc is on the same plain as the band blade. It is spring loaded so it follows the log. It cuts a 1/4" grove ahead of the blade.