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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I've just cut a few nice pieces of American Hornbeam that I'm hoping to make in to walking sticks and or canes. A great deal of the information I'm finding on the Internet is that it checks badly. I love the muscle look of this wood and want to retain that look for the canes and walking sticks. It is extremely hard and strong.

Has anyone used and dried American Hornbeam with a minimal amount of checking? If so what was your process?

I have not removed the bark yet. Two of the pieces are cut from below ground level and still have the root ball attached. Another is a bit thicker and longer piece with no root ball.

I'm thinking of putting them in the unheated garage, maybe sealing the ends and letting nature take its course. I read a suggestion of wrapping them in paper shopping bags while in the garage.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Alan
 

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I always cut mine a little longer than what I need and seal the ends with anchor seal and leave the bark on and dry in a cool dry place like under my house and had little problem with checking. I like the look of the wood hornbeam has but sold more canes and walking sticks with the bark left on.
 

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Pretty much the same here, except that I like to coat the whole stick with a Vaseline type product. I've read that some people used to wrap sticks in butchers paper after they were oiled. Guess the shopping bags would be the same idea?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for both replies.

I have cut them longer than I need and will seal the ends today and just wait. Interesting idea of coating the sticks with something. I may experiment and do that with a few.
 

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Yeah, the "oil" gets absorbed and rep!aces some of the moisture. Old shillelagh making technique! By the way, ADShepard, x-files reference?
 

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I haven't worked with hornbeam. In general I cut my sticks long and let them cure. Sticks are more likely to check at the ends due to the ends dry out faster than the rest of the stick. Sealing the ends like the other do also helps.

Rodney
 

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I am not at all familiar with hornbeam please post a pic of the shank. Its good to see what they look like with the bark on and of.
 

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Leave the bark on to prevent quick drying and I usually seal the ends of cut shanks by dipping them in melted candle wax to slow down tip dryring running up the grain.
 

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Furniture Cabinetry Chair Wood Drawer Here's a piece of hornbeam that I recently completed for a friend. I cut it at the end of Feb, left the bark on and worked the shank in June. Within days of removing the bark from the handle the handle developed 2 small cracks for which I used walnut sawdust and wood glue to fill to provide a little contrast. I try and get some better pictures of the handle. For its size it is incredibly stout. Wood Art Rectangle Hardwood Paint View attachment 9521
 

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