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Peeling timber circa 1950s
Forestry Memories
No: 813   Contributor: Norman Davidson   Year: 1950
Peeling timber circa 1950s

Photographs courtesy of Abbie Gordon, Banchory.

Hand peeling Scots pine poles with one end of the pole sitting on a three legged trestle made for the job. The extra height saved bending the back too much and the slope may have helped with the forward strokes. When the sap was rising in the spring the bark peeled off very easily but at other times of the year more difficult and when the timber had dried in the sun almost impossible!

The peeling spade had a straight shaft and T handle with a small 5 inch sharpish blade on the end.

Fencing material and other timber products which were to be treated with preservative (creosote) required to have bark removed. This material looks too long for fencing but Abbie seems to remember that material going for ‘wood wool’ had to be peeled. Wood wool was timber shredded in long thin very thin strips like flat spaghetti which naturally curled and bent and was extensively used as packing material at one time.

The location and name of man peeling is unknown.
Picture added on 30 January 2011
This picture is in the following groups
Forestry in Action
Tools, equipment and clothing
add commentComments:
When I worked for Riddochs I helped Peel a trial load of Pine that was sent to Nottingham for Wood Wool.
I think it was in the Forgue area and probably in the Summer of 1963.

I did not have the luxury of a Trestle but I can see that it would have been a big help, it would have stopped the Tree from moving forward and also the Peeler would not have had to bend so far.

Added by Jimmy Thain on 09 August 2011.
This was usually a bad weather inside job for me on Lour estate in the 1960s, more than often it was eight foot larch strainer posts for fencing. Peeling was made much easier if the strainer posts were fresh cut with the bark nice and soft.

Added by Leslie Phillip on 31 March 2016.
As my father used to say what a way to go to your death, the name Cundy comes to mind.

Added by Leslie Phillip on 06 September 2017.
I found it was a mistake when peeling posts to sharpen the spade to much as it dug into the tougher part of the wood and made it hard going.

Added by Leslie Phillip on 06 September 2017.
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