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Martin, Electrical Engineer
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 4944
Experience:  Design, construct, fix and grow stuff around and in the home.
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I am really searching for someone who is familiar with woodwork,

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I am really searching for someone who is familiar with woodwork, particularly aspens.
I want to make couple of lamps out of aspen wood, about 3-4" thick and 3 feet tall. Also, wish to make walking sticks out of aspen. I have several pieces of dead, dry aspen and want to know how to remove the bark and get down to the lighter-colored beautiful aspen wood. Then, what is the best material to finish the surface for preservation? Include the steps in stripping, sanding, finishing, etc. I am an experienced wood worker, but mostly in refinishing oak. Have done nothing with aspen. Thanks.
Hello and welcome.

As for the finishing, i always use bee wax for interior use and marine grade varnish for exterior.

I made 2 forestry pole saw (with Silky blade) mounted on aspen handle (Populus tremuloides to be precise). Mine come from my beaver dam. Beavers really remove just the right amount of sapwood and i like the teeth pattern in them. I even keep the V shaped cut because it fill well the palm of the hand when needing to reach very high place with just one arm.

Removing the bark when the tree is still just cut require a slit along the bark and something to grab the bark and pull to unroll. It is easier for old tree when the bark is lot thicker. You can also use a plane. Once the tree is dry it is almost impossible to remove without a plane.

I find the wood easy to sand, not much different than oak, you just can't get it as soft tat said.

If you want to see the masters of aspen wood working, look at old Russian architecture (especially the roofs):
When kept to the air, the wood take a nice silvery color and look metallic.
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