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A few years ago I made a double-sided jig for holding sticks for carving and for shaving, tapering or de-barking them. It is made of some scrap 2x4 lumber and one pipe clamp. One side has two vee blocks to support the stick and another block with a vee grove in it mounted on the fixed jaw of a pipe clamp. The adjustable jaw of the clamp is mounted on the opposite side of the 2x4 jig frame. The two vee blocks are made of short sections of 2x4 with a vee sawn in one end and the other end is screwed to the frame 2x4. Both vise jaws have 2 holes drilled through, near the end of the jaw, for the screws that hold the 2x4 to the jaw. The frame piece has two places I can mount the movable jaw of the clamp, one on each side of the frame. Both places are at the same distance from the end of the frame.

I hold the frame 2x4 clamped in a bench-mounted swivel vise. That way I can swing (swivel) the vise so that the stick and jig are not above the bench and can slant downward, toward the floor, for easy carving access. It can even hold the stick in a nearly vertical position.

I padded the groove in the fixed-jaw clamp 2x4 block with a piece of old bicycle inner tube stapled on, but I'm not sure that is is very important. The jaws could be padded with old carpet instead. Since the jaws are pine, they may be soft enough already and not even need padding.'

I have pictures taken from several angles for each of the two configurations of the clamping jig. They should provide enough detail to duplicate the system. I no longer have the jig - I had to leave it behind when I moved. By measurements I took on the picture, I believe the 2x4 frame piece is about 20 inches long.

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I may give carving a try ... we have a lot of small growth hardwood here on our small (15 acre) farm. I should be able to find plenty of shanks to cut. We need to thin that anyway so the big stuff stays healthy.
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you will find by removing or should I say coppice a area the tree will benefit from it .

I know very little about hardwoods and over the pond you do have a good few varieties' which will make great sticks

I usually harvest all my own sticks which generally are fast growing like hazel .I like to keep about 30 + sticks in stock and cut each year sometime more so I always have seasoned shanks

It is difficult for people to get access to land for harvesting shanks if you cant get permission to harvest , but local stick clubs here always bring some sticks in for fellow stickmakers .so if possible join one

our local club just had there A.G.M and was given a bg full of horns ,rams and buffalo and cow horn which I use to make a variety of things from collars for stick dressing caving initials and horoscopes signs . In return I give about 20 shanks and drawings of water fowl etc.

More importantly I make new friends and get advice which improves my carving so any type of carving club is a good thing to go to if your lucky enough to have one.
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