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On Making a Bark Spud (peeler)

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I am going to make a bark spud for a friend. I'm not certain if the handle socket is best welded on or forged out of the parent stock. I was thinking of using a spear type scoket but I'm not sure if the socket configuration will take the bending stresses. I have never made this type socket before. Anyone out there made one of these and have any input on the design?

The stock will be leaf spring. @ 5 in x 4 in x .25 in. Tapered to a single bevel and sligtly curved to get the mechanical advantage. Likely I will go with a 36 in handle. I planned to isolate the socket end by fullering the parent stock. Then spreading the ioslated section to an appropiate thickness. I dont make a lot spears or garden tooling so I'm not overly familiar with this handle design. Thanks for any thoughts or suggestions you can offer.

Peter

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Posted · Report post

If this is your first go at it and in leaf spring to boot you may have some difficulty getting the socket down.

Do you have a powerhammer or will you be doing multiples on your own?

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Posted · Report post

Thomas,

I have a tire hammer that works gret and a pile of spring stock. Effort nor supplies are an issue althoug the temps of the last few days have been off the chart even in Maine. I reverse engineered an old shovel and noted a taper of roughly .125 per linear inch of socket. Shovel handles run about 1.5 in dia, that seems stout enough and they are readily availble. Its the socket transition and prodcution method that I'm looking at.

Peter

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Posted · Report post

I have made a few of these (I do a bit of green-woodworking) for friends and have used both mild steel and tool steel, all had the spear type socket.

Your stock is pretty big, how big do you want to make it? See my pic. title for dimensions of that one. (An old one, not made by me)

The ones I have seen with the heads all round and of different diameters, ranging from 3/4" up to 2" - they were used to take the bark off the whole tree right down to pretty small twigs, money was money and tanners bought oak bark by weight / cord.

There are several old texts that mention the techniques used, but the bark on the main trunk seems to have always been started with an axe. Once opened it unzips easily with the barking iron.

As far as I know, mild steel ones that have been used for several years are still fine with no twisting or damage to the necks. Obviously a tool steel will keep a good edge for longer.

Barking iron L 20cm, 42mm diameter head, 35mm socket.bmp

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Posted · Report post

GNJC,

Thanks for the pic. the old gear that is still around surely testifies to a good design. I am thinking that I need to make a few spear sockets to get the hang of this thing.

Peter

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Posted · Report post

One thing that I have noted in my experience with socket forging is that the transition area between the socket and the tool head can be a weak point just where the stress is greatest. It seems to help to leave the socket about 5/8" diameter at the narrow end... of course the handle taper must match. I also try to keep the stock there as hefty as I can manage. I forge from solid stock and usually allow about 3 1/2" to 4" width for the wide end of the socket. This means that I need about 7/8" minimum diameter stock to start out with. Old bark spuds that I have seen are usually more of a chisel type head with three sides sharp. Bark has recently been revived as a siding material and at least one commercial harvester bought up all the antique spuds that he could find for his crews to use.

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Posted · Report post

Thank you Big foot. I'm researching the whole spear and socket thing to see what I can deduce from the earlier designs.

Peter

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Hello Peter,

One of those I made in mild steel started as 3/4" (18mm). Upset the end of the bar and forge a round end, slightly flattened to give a rough circle; leave 1/2" to 3/4" inch for the neck. Decide how long you want the socket (maybe 3 to 4 inches) and cut off a bit more. Upset the base of the socket into itself and draw the bar below the neck part down to met that upset. Flatten it out and roll it over. The advantage of leaving the clear neck then becomes obvious, you can grade the cutting head into the socket avoiding an potential weak-spot.

In re' head shape, hmm... I used a modern three-sided tool for a day and (having previously used old-style round ones) found it had the habits of 1) digging into the wood under the bark, and 2) cutting into the bark being lifted, meaning several long, thin pieces of bark rather than one wider piece. Not a problem for a small job, but very irritating if you are barking a large tree or trees.

Not surprisingly, the people who did it for a living found the answer to these problems... round heads and in a number of sizes.

One thing I have noted about the old tools I have seen: some have a double bevel and some just a single bevel. I have tried both and found an obtuse, 'blunt' double bevel best once it has worn to a very smooth, round edge - smoothness, a polished edge, is thought important by others too.

Hope this helps, ask if you want more info'.

G.

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Posted · Report post

I produced a quick prototype in the shop this afternoon. The socket is 3.5 in x 1in with a taper of .25 in over the run. Forged the piece out of ,25 in spring steel, upset the transition area to @ .375 and fullered . I tried to keep the transion thick. I wanted 1.25 in for the large OD but I wasent getting it, had to settle for 1 in. Heat treated with an oil finish.

The business end is a single bevel, curved to get the mechanical advantage. rounded the edges and polished the flats. Fitted a makeshift handle out of maple from the wood shed. I tried it out on some green wood wood in the yard and it worked slick. photos attached.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Peter

post-3252-0-59753900-1342299989_thumb.jp

post-3252-0-52636000-1342300032_thumb.jp

post-3252-0-56025700-1342300043_thumb.jp

post-3252-0-90017300-1342300064_thumb.jp

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Posted · Report post

boy if you could get hold of a wheel spindle,you could make that socket

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Posted · Report post

Egreen,

I'll bite, whats a wheel spindle?

Peter

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Posted · Report post

I believe he's referring to a tapered wheel spindle for a car.

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Posted · Report post

I'm sorry should have been more specific.yep wheel spindle.

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Posted · Report post

Thanks,

More scrounging at the dump is required.

Peter

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Posted · Report post

Peter,

If you have access to a tire hammer (or striker) you don't need to search for a spindle, just draw down some large stock - 1/2" bigger than your hardy hole - and make a small cone for use on your anvil.

Some smiths like a cone that lies parallel to the anvil face but an inch or so above it, that angle allowing for easier striking; I have used one of these but found it difficult to turn the tool at the end of the socket.

I use a vertical one, however I'm considering making one at a 30 or 45 degree angle to allow convenient striking and easy tool turning.

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