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Cedar Sticks

10722 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  stixman
I cut about 400 sticks this past winter, which I plan to make walking sticks from once the sticks are dried.

Have you guys worked with cedar sticks before?

Is there anything special I need to do concerning cedar wood.

What about the finish?

WIll oil base polyurethane work ok?



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I'm new at this. Check my Gallery for images of three of my first sticks which are cedar. These were already dead, dried, and somewhat cracked when I cut them in east Texas. On one, I filled the larger cracks with heated (very fluid) epoxy. I'm not recommending that, just saying what I did.

All three were finished very simply with 100% Tung oil, so that when they get scratched and scuffed, touchup will be a snap.

I am not an expert on finishes either. My daughter and my wife are happy with their sticks, and I like mine. My own cedar stick is likely too heavy for the girls.
Wow! That's quite a pile.

Ceder will check (crack on the ends) but if they haven't by this fall they're not going to. It's also a fairly soft wood so should be relatively easy to work (compared to other woods). I would either put a very light oil finish, like Tung oil or boiled linseed oil, or maybe a danish oil, which is a mixture of oil and varnish and provides a bit more protection than just plain oil. Several light coats over a couple of heavy ones is always better.

One easy way if you're doing a bunch of sticks at a time, is to string up a taught line and put the small screw cup hooks into the bottom ends of your sticks. Apply finish then hang to dry. You could do this in the attic space you have there, as long as there's plenty of ventilation. To make sure the line doesn't sag, and the sticks all come crashing down together in the center, you can either support the line in several places, or use old fashioned clothes pins to clamp the cup hook to the line. I imagine you could also tightly twist together two strands of line and slip the cup hooks into the spaces between the two lines, and that should keep them separate.

I've also seen mass dipping done by filling a plastic pipe long enough for the whole stick and sealed at one end, with the oil. Then you just dip the stick, pull out, wipe down, hang up and move to the next.

Just some thoughts for some mass production finish techniques. Looks like you'll need it with 400 sticks.
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Great cache. I'm envious.

I'd be concerned that the sticks at the bottom of the pile would cure more slowly. But, if you just start working the outside of the pile, every one should be good and dry by the time you get to them.

Cedar dust, as a whole, may be irritating, likewise the resin. Some varieties are worse than others. I've cooked salmon on western red cedar planks, and had no problems, but read that eastern red cedar is likely to be toxic.

I have a friend who made an entire small house mostly from aromatic cedar. The area was thick w. ticks. As far as I know, there were no ill effects.
The cedar sticks are stored in the loft of our barn.

I expect by the end of the summer the sticks will be really quite dry.

The temp has been about 95 deg outside for several days, in the barn loft about 125 deg.

I checked the sticks last week and they do have a way to go.

I plan to use a dust mask when I work on the sticks.

I may sell quite a few sticks as "blank" sticks for other people to make their own walking sticks.

I sell quite a few "blank" sticks to other people.

We also have a tree called a wahoo and I've cut about 200 of these sticks, which like the cedar are nice and straight, not sure how the wahoo will work out.
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I stand corrected.

The tree is called Umbrella Magnolia, not wahoo.

In eastern KY we always called it a wahoo.
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