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The more I worked with the shank of this approx 40" long silver maple the more I wished I had not even bothered, for it really had almost nothing going for it. But, again, realizing that many times "beauty is in the eye of the beholder only" I continued.

Because the shank was rather bland, I decided to apply some maple stain and afterwards the usual three coats hand-brushed gloss polyurethane. That still didn't do much, so my wife recommended a fancy glass knob, already in the collection.

Now it's finished it certainly is not one of my favorites...by a long shot, but someone might. If they would offer me even $30 it would be gone and the $$ given to our church food pantry, per usual.

-neb
 

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The remaining cambium gives your stick some character. If the cambium is stripped all the way off, maple does have some subtle but beautiful grain and color, one has to study it to really appreciate it.

The first maple stick that I finished unstained (stripped down to the bare wood) was so starkly blonde that I didn't like it much until I put linseed oil on it and then got the poly on it. The beauty of the subtle grain in the white wood grew on me and I like it much more than I initially did.

One thing that I do, and it is easy to do, is use a woodburning pen to decorate some of my sticks. It's an easy way to add detail and character to one that is otherwise pretty plain. In the next week or so, I will put up a picture of one that I am in the process of decorating the shaft on now - it's kind'a loud. Also, see the snake can I recently put up - same thing, maple / carving / pyrography. Try it, you might like it.
 
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