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(the two 5-minute sticks I made for my two grandkids don't count)

For my daughter:
http://walkingstickforum.com/uploads/gallery/album_18/gallery_11_18_99047.jpg

(Eastern Red Cedar, cut at my brother's place east of Fairfield, TX)

For my daughter-in-law:
http://walkingstickforum.com/uploads/gallery/album_18/gallery_11_18_881488.jpg

("Diamond" Willow, bought at a woodcarver's show from a guy from Minnesota)

For me, dubbed "Bilbo Baggins" by my wife:
http://walkingstickforum.com/uploads/gallery/album_18/gallery_11_18_3322743.jpg

(Honey Locust, cut south of Inola, OK)
 

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Look like nice sticks. Does your Bilbo Baggins stick hit your hand in the right place? I've tried a few sticks with curves in them towards the top, and it seems that I can't quite find the right spot consistently. When I made my main stick, a nice ash sapling, the stick was pretty consistent in weight so I had an option of which end to put up and which to go down. I chose to put the end with a curve in it at the bottom because I wanted a bit straighter at the top. But, in the end, it's what works for you.

Good job.
 

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I like how it feels when I grip it with the uppermost curve in my palm, and if I grip it a few inches lower on that curve. For me, I like a couple of good places to grasp, especially one the right height when ascending a steep incline, and one higher up for the descent. This stick is shorter than I like, probably good only for city streets and fairly level trails. I prefer my longer sticks with multiple places to grasp for rougher terrain. But that's the length I was able to cut.

I was thinking this one might look enough like a cane to pass muster at airline security. I'm not about to check a favorite as baggage and have it lost, damaged or swiped. I'm going to check into this. My Doc knows my knees are shot, and he uses walking sticks too. He might just write me a medical excuse to use a cane, even though I am far from disabled. Then I'd have to check with the local FAA, which is pretty stringent. I probably look pretty dangerous at the age of 66.

Thanks for the compliment, Andrew. I was surprised at the bright orange-brown color of the inner bark, and so I didn't sand it completely smooth in order to preserve that. We shall see whether it holds over time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice work CAS! I like the diamond willow.
Thanks Rad. About a month ago I attended a woodcarver's convention here, and one of the booths had several. This one was the only one I liked, and I'll ship it this week to surprise my daughter-in-law. I was disappointed that the "KK" initials I ordered from Chief were plastic, not brass. So I recessed them a tiny bit more than otherwise necessary, and left a thick coating of structural epoxy over the KK to prevent scratching. Lucky find. I'll have to figure out where to get more.

As an aside, I expect two UPS deliveries today. One is a kiln-dried Bois D'Arc (aka Hedge Apple, Osage Orange) stave. The other is a 27 oz. European style geologist's pick head, for installation on whatever I can find that is around 60" and suitable for attaching this. I'm not having luck finding 60" hickory suitable for that. If the Bois D'Arc stave is fairly straight in the uppermost two to three feet, and if once I shave it down to round or oval it's thick enough, then that's a possibility for my next project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Rad - BTW, your Alpenstock question was what stimulated my variation on that theme with the humongous geologist's pick.
 

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Nice work CAS! I like the diamond willow.
Thanks Rad. About a month ago I attended a woodcarver's convention here, and one of the booths had several. This one was the only one I liked, and I'll ship it this week to surprise my daughter-in-law. I was disappointed that the "KK" initials I ordered from Chief were plastic, not brass. So I recessed them a tiny bit more than otherwise necessary, and left a thick coating of structural epoxy over the KK to prevent scratching. Lucky find. I'll have to figure out where to get more.

As an aside, I expect two UPS deliveries today. One is a kiln-dried Bois D'Arc (aka Hedge Apple, Osage Orange) stave. The other is a 27 oz. European style geologist's pick head, for installation on whatever I can find that is around 60" and suitable for attaching this. I'm not having luck finding 60" hickory suitable for that. If the Bois D'Arc stave is fairly straight in the uppermost two to three feet, and if once I shave it down to round or oval it's thick enough, then that's a possibility for my next project.
Rad - BTW, your Alpenstock question was what stimulated my variation on that theme with the humongous geologist's pick.
I'm very interested on your experiance with the Osage Orange -- keep us updated!
 

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The geologist pick head, do you have pictures? Dimensions? Those are usually pretty heavy, are they not? 27 oz is not a light thing. I would imagine you'll need a pretty heavy stick to counter-balance that on the head. Is it a head with an eye, like an ax, or does it mount some other way?

Inquiring minds want to know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The geologist pick head, do you have pictures? Dimensions? Those are usually pretty heavy, are they not? 27 oz is not a light thing. I would imagine you'll need a pretty heavy stick to counter-balance that on the head. Is it a head with an eye, like an ax, or does it mount some other way?

Inquiring minds want to know.
I've bought hand lenses and other geological items from these guys for decades. They agreed to sell me just the head, at 2/3 the cost of the entire 30" hammer: http://minerox.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&product_ID=1072&ParentCat=5

When I get home this evening, I'll take a photo of the head (yes it has an eye), placed adjacent to my first little rock hammer.

Long, unrelated story - yes, size does matter! The summer before I graduated with my B.S., I had to take summer field camp. We had a field excursion to SW New Mexico, where we visited a number of locales including the Chino and Santa Rita open-pit copper mines. I think it was at Chino in the bottom of the pit (this was before attorneys took over the world, and liability was less of a concern) I found a boulder that had recently been blasted out, and it had a pure copper vein that was over 2" wide for a length of nearly two feet. I hammered on that with my puny little hammer for perhaps five minutes with no effect, when a classmate with a sledge hammer (he was a "hard rock" guy) sauntered up and got that out in a matter of a minute or less. I discovered that for hard rock, you need a big hammer. So when I go on field trips where hard limestone is to be studied, I've taken a mason's rock-breaking hammer which is hard to beat.

However this find will make a conversation piece. I'll need to make the stick shorter than I like, so that I can grasp it just beneath the hammer head to address the balance issue you cited. I have one more piece of honey locust that I think will work nicely, if I can saw a cut right down the center where it is to be mounted. I don't own or want a band saw, so this will be tricky.

Photos tonight!
 

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The geologist pick head, do you have pictures? Dimensions? Those are usually pretty heavy, are they not? 27 oz is not a light thing. I would imagine you'll need a pretty heavy stick to counter-balance that on the head. Is it a head with an eye, like an ax, or does it mount some other way?

Inquiring minds want to know.
Here is the new hammer head (oval eye axes are 1 1/8" x 1"), placed next to my 43 year old hammer head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just cut the slot and marked the approximate hammer head eye on the end of a honey locust stick. The crosscut saw worked fine, but I need to figure out how wide the slot should be for driving in a wedge.
 

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In regards to the airline I carved a cane for my neighbor's 75 year old father who was visiting from Australia. The cane had a bear handle and a wood spirit face on the shaft and the airlines wouldn't let him take it on the plane.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
In regards to the airline I carved a cane for my neighbor's 75 year old father who was visiting from Australia. The cane had a bear handle and a wood spirit face on the shaft and the airlines wouldn't let him take it on the plane.
Well then, at 66 years of age I must seem like a monstrous threat when carrying a cane. I would feel so bad should I intimidate all those security agents.
 
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