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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for something else, this morning, I saw a branch that had apparently fallen from a rather large tree near a grade school by us. I got out, took a look, and decided it was worth bringing home. And along with it brought one of the many leaves, which were quite large, approximately saucer size and flat...see pic.

Doing some searching I think I've discovered its an American Sycamore tree - and this small (1 1/4" at the top and 3/4" at the end) branch is quite smooth and still quite green, so it has fallen rather recently.

I'm not certain if I should remove the bark now, while it's green (certainly the easiest) or let it sit for oh say 7-8 years until it's 100% dry.

Any suggestions?

Thank you again and again

-neb
 

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I got several sycamore sticks drying with the bark on them I decided to level the bark on and take it of later.
 
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A good rule of thumb for drying is 10 to 12 months per inch of diameter so that branch should dry in about 1year. Wood is classed as dry with about 14% moisture content. If you tend to cut thanks and store to season- dry out a moisture meter is a good investment and are not too expensive, they have 2 prongs you stick into the wood and a current from its battery is passed between the points using the wood as the connection wet wood passes the current easily and as it dries out resistance to current flow increases,when the reading drops to 14% it is classed as being dry.
The meter is also useful for assessing any areas of damp in buildings etc - hope this has not been too boring
 

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I have often thought about getting a moisture meter would be interesting to see how the moisture falls over time

Although it would be different for everybody due to drying conditions
 

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I'm always on the lookout for sycamore. Have used several sticks, and have more curing.

The 1st few layers of sycamore bark, the grey green and whitish green stuff , will not flake off. The orangish-brown will. None of it is very hard, even when well dried. With handling, some of the color will rub off, leaving a sort of olive or brown tone.

The problem may be the wood strength. Over-all, it is not a very hard wood. Fairly easy to cut. But most sycamore that is straight grained grew very quickly under moist conditions. Tends to be rather flexible, even when cured. Wood that grew in drier conditions tends to be rather twisty, but tougher.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I gave it my usual "neb-patented-strength-test" - I pound the narrow end into the ground while holding the top and if it wobbles I leave it there. This stick even though 40" long and green is SOLID.

Thanx everyone

-neb
 

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Around here it is unusual to find sycamore that is straight enough to use for stick making. Wood has unique color and carves nicely. I have made some Santa head ornaments from it from it. Neb apiece long enough for stick is a nice find :)
 

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Your stick will dye best with the bark on? It helps it dry slower and is less likely to check or crack along the body of the stick.
 
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sycamore is a nice wood makes some nice toppers.

Most sticks when green will wobble whilst drying its natural. a decent stick should have a certain amount of flex in it otherwise its to brittle and more likely to snap

Natural hazel always have a slight flex in them if a lot of weight is put on them

I don't think ramming a stick or hitting something with a stick is a good test for stick making and often it causes unnecessary damage to stick which otherwise is okay

you can tell with the weight and feel of it and inspection.
 

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I don't know about sycamore, but with a very few woods I've been extremely lucky to have some of the inner bark remain adhered to the sapwood after the wood has dried. As I carefully scraped and/or sanded away the loose bark, with many of my red cedar, honey locust, and bois d'Arc sticks, I was fortunate to have some great color contrast.

I have a beech stick that still has the bark on, I don't know how that happened. But it is remarkable, with that extremely hard yellowish white bark firmly attached. That's my "sum beech" shillelagh.
 
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