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This is, without a doubt, the most RUGGED cane I've made, thus far. After a light sanding to rid all the bark sharp edges I simply added three coats hand brushed polyurethane to the shank and added two additional dipped coats to the handle. It's one-of-a-kind.
 

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Looks like a good walking in the woods stick. I have had issues with leaving bark on oak sticks. Over time thicker barks trees the bark seem to start to detach and flake off in spots. I have tryied to thin the varnish so it would soak beeper in to to bark. That seem to help some. But it seems at some point I have to redo the stick by taking off the bark and refinishing the stick? Not as much a issue with the thinner bark trees.
 
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I can see issues with the bark , and suspect the same as CV3 . if you want to leave the bark on. i would suggest you try , hazel, ash, holly , chestnut , they all have a very fine bark on .Its standard practise here to leave it on those varieties There may be more spieces thats native to you there
 

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My very first walking stick was a red oak. I sanded the bark down and applied polyurethane. It was ok for about a year. As the bark dried it got brittle and cracked off. I have since de-barked and refinished the stick. I have found young maple saplings, ash and black cherry are candidates for bark left on. ( before the bark starts to furrow) Also hickory is a good wood with bark left intact and sanded smooth.

Great thing about stick making, if you don't like a finish usually all it takes is some sand paper to change it!
 
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