Walking Stick Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm working on a new staff and I'm thinking of doing some turquoise inlay with it. The staff is sugar maple and hard as can be. It is from the top of a twenty plus year old tree I had to take down along the tree line (I own two acres of mixed hardwood forest). It sat cut down in the woods for almost a year before I cut it and brought it in the house.

Anyway it has developed a small crack at the top which continues down the side just a bit. It is not wide and not too deep. I've seen some nice inlay sticks here and on the web and thought I'd try it with this stick. As you can see the inlay would start in the finger groove at the top then run the stick. I plan or actually hope to widen the crack a bit and lengthen it some down the stick.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Alan
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
497 Posts
The crack will widen when you least expect it. I have a persimmon stick that decided to start cracking at the end after two years because I brought it in by the heater. Winter time in the house when the air is dry will dry out sticks in the round.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The crack will widen when you least expect it. I have a persimmon stick that decided to start cracking at the end after two years because I brought it in by the heater. Winter time in the house when the air is dry will dry out sticks in the round.
That was one of my concerns. Thanks for the input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,854 Posts
You could try filling the crack with a thin wood wedge and epoxy. Then cutting a pug out on one side and drilling and putting in a wood screw that goes past the crack would stabilize it help to stop more cracking . But it would not be a guarantee It will not split if the wood has not dried or cured well. Then glue plug back on top of the screw.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
969 Posts
Looks like a standard curing problem. Generally, it takes about a year per inch of thickness for green wood to dry enough to be workable. Seeing the crack at the thick end makes me think that portion still has a fair amount of water in it. I'm guessing that the crack will grow bigger, or/and more cracks will develop.

One common practice is to paint the end w. CA glue. There are special "thin" formulas (I've only seen them at wood working shops) that will seep into cracks and pores. This prevents the penetrated wood from changing shape, and prevents more moisture escaping at the end. The remaining moisture must then evaporate thru the sides, a much slower process that limits more cracks.

My inclination would be to glue the ends, and continue working the side finish. But wait a few more months to finish the top to be sure the crack doesn't grow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,925 Posts
I'd let it cure inside for a few more months before I went any farther. Give the stick a chance to stabilize. Sitting outside as dead wood isn't the same as curing it in a climate controlled place. As long as the split doesn't grow you should be fine. The checks are right at the end where they don't matter as much. Enlarging the crack some like you're thinking about may actually help reduce the chances of it slitting more. I know drilling a hole at the end of a crack to stop it growing works on other materials. The turquoise inlay should be a pretty cool effect. I've seen it in things like turned bowls. I've used dried coffee grounds to fill voids in some of my projects, they dry a deep brown/black color.

I can see why you want to keep that end but you could probably cut a couple more inches off the stick and get past the checking too.

Rodney
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions. For now I'm going to let it dry a bit, work on sanding a bit and then decide where to go with it.

Alan
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top