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Cypress knee too big to boil..

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  • Cypress knee too big to boil..

    Here is my problem. Before I begin, I want to apologize for the crummy picture. This is a picture of a Cypress knee that I got yesterday. Over all height is 59 &1/2" The base is basically a 30" x 30". The problem is not the main knee (there are 5 more that grew out of the main one) it is the smaller ones. The bark is very tough on these parts. From all the research that I have done it seems that boiling the bark for a while is a great method. But, I can't do that. The knee is too big. I was thinking of taking a garbage can can filling it with water just soaking the knee for a while. This leads me to why I am here. Does anyone know how long I should let it soak for? 24 hours, a week? How long is too long? I don't want to ruin the piece as I know there is a very good chance I will never see another one this size again. I wish you all could really see the color changes in this knee. it even has a spot I am going to put some Spanish moss in and a stuffed squirrel coming out of it. It really is just beautiful. Hence my worry about soaking it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank You in advance.
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    Last edited by dafunk01060; 04-09-2018, 11:19 AM.

  • #2
    Wow!... sorry I can't help you with your problem, but I'm amazed at how big those things get. I've carved a couple of much smaller ones, but they were already de-barked when I bought them.
    I'm sure someone on here will be able to help you.
    Wayne
    If you're looking for me, you'll find me in a pile of wood chips somewhere...

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    • #3
      In Carol Jean Boyd's book on "Carving Cypress Knees," the boiling process is done well before carving. After drying the debarked knee, the skin over the fibrous interior is the carving challenge. In your photo it appears the cypress knee is already debarked.

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      • #4
        What's the plan? Get the bark off it? The thing lived out in the swamp and the rain in the first place.
        Can you "borrow" the bath-tub for 2 days? Keep poking at it to see what comes loose?
        Probably need a couple of cement blocks or a sack of bricks to hold it under.
        Brian T

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        • #5
          Coming from Louisiana, which has an abundance of cypress, I have quite a few knees that one of my sons harvested for me. I have never boiled them to remove the bark. After they have dried out for a while the bark has easily peeled off without any treatment. Obviously I don't know how long it's been since your knee was harvested, but if it's fairly recently I'd let it sit outside for a while and see what happens...you may be pleasantly surprised...or not, your results may vary...I'm simply relating my personal experience.

          By the way, that's a beautiful knee.
          Last edited by Arthur C.; 04-10-2018, 09:50 AM. Reason: Correct typos.
          Arthur

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          • #6
            I would certainly listen to Arthur, experience goes a long way . If the barks give you a lot of trouble getting it off, which the experience would only add to the remembrance of your project, I would use a steel brush in a drill at lowest speed that strips the bark.
            . . .JoeB

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Arthur C. View Post
              Coming from Louisiana, which has an abundance of cypress, I have quite a few knees that one of my sons harvested for me. I have never boiled them to remove the bank. After they have dried out for a while the bark has easily pealed off without ant treatment. Obviously I don't know how long it's been since your knee was harvested, but if it's fairly recently I'd let it sit outside for a while and see what happens...you may be pleasantly surprised...or not, your results may vary...I'm simply relating my personal experience.

              By the way, that's a beautiful knee.
              This one is from Point Aux Chenes LA and I can't even give a time frame on how long ago it was harvested. I just know the area no longer exists because it has eroded away now. Thank You for taking the time to answer back Mr. Arthur.

              P.S. If you ever need cypress I know people with so much it is unreal. Just FYI if your ever down the bayou this far Sir.
              Last edited by dafunk01060; 04-09-2018, 05:36 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by joepaulbutler View Post
                I would certainly listen to Arthur, experience goes a long way . If the barks give you a lot of trouble getting it off, which the experience would only add to the remembrance of your project, I would use a steel brush in a drill at lowest speed that strips the bark.
                Good point! I am looking forward to taking the time to do it....

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dafunk01060 View Post

                  This one is from Point Aux Chenes LA and I can't even give a time frame on how long ago it was harvested. I just know the area no longer exists because it has eroded away now. Thank You for taking the time to answer back Mr. Arthur.

                  P.S. If you ever need cypress I know people with so much it is unreal. Just FYI if your ever down the bayou this far Sir.
                  Many thanks, I'll keep that in mind!
                  Arthur

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