Walking Stick Forum banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,925 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I just signed on today. I've been reading on your site the last couple days and have been enjoying it.

My name is Rodney. I was diagnosed with Melanoma four years ago. It started on the bottom of my left foot of all places. I've been on and off crutches since my initial diagnosis. The latest thing is due to some open wounds refusing to heal and some new tumor growth in my left foot I just had my left leg amputated above the knee about 2 months ago. I'm happy to say things are healing up nicely. Not a big deal, but it did influence my decision to make myself a few walking sticks. :) I expect I'll be wanting some sort of walking aid and I really don't want to use an aluminum cane. I prefer something with a little more looks and personality.

I'm also an amatuer woodworker so I also have the equipment and the interest in making my own.

I cut a hazel blank a couple years ago and have started working on a cane using it. I'll post it after it's done. I'm not 100% certain I like the handle but I'm not changing it either. I also have a couple dried flowering plum sticks that are suitable. Right now my interests lie with more traditional formal styles of sticks for use around town though I'm sure I'll be making at least one or two hiking sticks as well.

Rodney
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
697 Posts
Hi Rodney, welcome to the walking stick forums. Here's hoping for a speedy recovery for you and looking forward to seeing your cane and sticks when you feel like posting some pictures. Did you cut your Hazel locally?

Sean
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Welcome Rodney!

You've come to the right place for inspiration and know-how.

I commend you for not letting life's challenges bring you down. Good luck in your continued recovery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,086 Posts
Welcome aboard Rodney. If your interest lies in canes and walking sticks this is the place. Many talented makers on here
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,925 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the warm welcome guys.

Sean I cut the stick while out picking chanterelles with a friend either 2 or 3 years ago. I already had cancer but my foot wasn't bad enough to prevent me going in the woods yet. Hazel does grow around here, usually in cleared off areas or around the edges of clear cuts. It's not overly common but not rare either. That particular branch came from some hazel growing next to an overgrown logging road we were walking down. There was a lot of vine maple in the area too. I'm hoping I'll be able to go picking again this fall, I haven't been out since then.

I did learn something new. We have ash here. Even after logging in my early years and having what I thought was a good grasp of the local woods that one surprised me. I guess I just never paid enough attention. Anyway I did get a couple halfway straight sticks from some growing right here in town. I didn't recognise the tree so I looked it up. Apparently it favors growing near rivers and this was at the edge of a park next to a river. The mature tree has bark similar to maple bark but the leaves look a lot like walnut leaves to me.

The ash sticks do lead to a question. It has bright green bark. Right now while it's fresh the bark strikes me as being very tender and I'm guessing it would be easy to peel.

What are your opinions on peeling ash? Is it better peeled or left to cure with the bark on?

Rodney
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
969 Posts
I think every bit of green bark I've peeled was pretty easy to remove. But that does mean the wood is very wet. 1st thing to do is stabilize the ends of the stick, because it will probably begin cracking apart, "checking" so called, pretty soon. Classically, thats done with a heavy coat of wax, but I've had good results by just smearing some white glue over the end.

I did peel a really green mulberry stick once. It was so wet that water droplets began oozing from the sides. Even had a small amount of cracking along the length as the stick dried.

Early on, I made a big mistake. Noticing that green bark was easier to remove, I took a few dried sticks and placed them on a soaker hose. Got all sides good and wet. Laid them on my bench in the sun to dry a little, and when I returned, found them split lengthwise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,925 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, I think I'll just leave the bark on. I cut them good and long and I'm not touching them for a year anyway.

Rodney
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,925 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Rad.

I just finished my first stick. Now I just have to find the patch cord for my camera. I'm already thinking about my next one.

Rodney
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top