Good Morning All,
Well, I spent some time this morning taking off the bark off of the tree trunk and smoothing the wooden surface. Here's were I am at the moment:
As the bark was very dry, it wasn't at all difficult to remove it. I used a flat broad carpenter's chisel to remove about 95% of it and a gouge to remove the bits that were stuck in the nooks and crannies in the trunk:
The removal left a lot of shaggy and torn areas and as I want a smooth surface to work with, these areas needed to be removed. So I got out my hand drill and a wire wheel and proceeded to remove the shagginess and smooth the underlying wooden surface:
And this is where I am right now. The wheel really does a nice job of removing any remaining bark and leaves a very smooth surface:
I'm stopping for lunch and then I'm going to go out and completely smooth down the sides of the trunk. Then I'm going to use some paint remover to remove the pain on the cut surfaces.