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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Seems the forum is pretty quiet for the past few days. I'm not idle, don't suppose others are, either. Here's a tidbit.

I watched a couple of sycamores over the winter. They were starting to drop branches. As it happened, those that hit the ground were too rotted for use. Found one that was dead still on the tree, and not so high up I couldn't grab it. Curiously, the lower parts of the branch were larger than those farther up. I suppose the drought a couple of years ago pinched off the branch and so the extremity died.

Was able to cut off a couple of feet. I think the end might be thick enough for a handle grip, particularly if I insert a metal rod. The burls are extravagant. I have some other sycamore that is mostly straight, and hope to join it with this curious piece of wood.
 

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be interesting to see what you can do with it?

yup it has been quiet its the spring have to do jobs whilst the weather holds
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I wonder what kind of stress caused that? It should make an interesting topper!
AFAIK, what I show is just a more extreme example of a standard sycamore growth pattern. I don't know for sure what is happening, but I think what i'm carving around is a mass of bud-knots. Sycamores develop leaves in a very erratic pattern. Sometimes the leaf locations turn into a sub-branch. Many other times, the leaf buds persist for several years, producing more leaves close by each other, and then die off. The tree then swells around the bud-knot. These sometimes become infected, and a burl results. A side effect of this odd leaf forming and branching is that it is unusual to find straight branch sections longer than a few feet. Typically, only young trees or suckers forming at the base of old trees will be straight for 4 or more feet.

While sycamore wood is fairly good looking, it is comparatively soft. Because the grain can be so irregular, the wood is not easily split, and then, there are often only short lengths. Evidently, although they are fairly common where I live, mostly along water courses, and can reach great size, they were rarely used for building anything. I've only once seen a large amount of sycamore used, and that was in a 150 yr. old Amish built barn, where 3 inch thick slabs were used as flooring.
 

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sycamore makes good crook handles its a attractive wood as wood goes .but you do need a sizeable block of it and you would have to strenghen the crook with dowel
 
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