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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All

I had a piece that I wanted to turn into a shillelagh, but when I started to clean it up, I found there was evidence of some pith that just wouldn't look right, so I thought about making it a knob end. As I cleaned it up further I discovered a network much like a series of caves - so I kept on removing the pith and ended up with something that could potentially look great if filled with resin. See the images - the largest gap across the face of the knob is about 1.5", and the longest depth is almost 3". It's a big series of holes to fill!

I've never used resin before, and apart from understanding that I'll need several pours, I'm not sure how to go about it. I want to be able to give the end result a smooth, sanded finish to give the knob some character.

Any suggestions? And if I'm dreaming and you don't think it will work, please tell me.

cheerz. Dave
 

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Dave, It looks like you have four openings in the head of the stick, judging by the pictures. You could do it in one pour by blocking up the lower three holes with plasticine modeling clay and pouring through the remaining hole. (You might want to wrap it in plastic wrap after blocking the holes to make sure the plugs stay in place. Or maybe a length of tape)

You could carefully cut out some plastic plugs and hot glue them into place instead of using clay.

The only other way I can think of would be to find a small container and encase the entire head of the stick with resin and carve off the extra afterwards. This would be a lot more work, of course.

Good luck,

Dana
 

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It looks like a nice piece of spalted wood . spalter wood is usually soft . i would just use the natural shape and carve it into a distorted face

you could use some wood hardener or even super glue on it . but I would use the natural holes and work with them it would look good when finished and polished with say a satin varnish . I don't like high gloss finish just a matter of taste. I find it detracts from the final piece

Be carful with spalted wood . it can cause lung problems wear a face mask
 

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I was going to comment on the spalted wood too. How punky is it? I can't tell from the picture if it's sound enough to use as a stick or not. Could be a good art piece but not really for use if you don't think you can trust it.

I like Cobalt's idea of leaving the holes but resin can be good too.

If you go the resin route I think the safest approach would be to fill one void at a time and figure on at least a couple pours. My first thought was to put tape over the bottom holes. The only problem with that is there might be a flat or depression left when you remove the tape. Maybe taping a somewhat stiff piece of plastic over the hole to better hold the shape of the wood then pouring the resin would work better instead.

Whether you use resin or not I know I want to see the finished results.

Keep us posted.

Rodney
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies, which have given me some serious reasons for thinking this some more. I had originally thought that it would make a striking art piece, but the edges are quite thin and I'm not yet confident enough to try too much carving on it. I'm thinking that I still want to make it a stick, but I take the point about whether the stick is sound enough, so it would only be a novelty stick. I guess 'stay tuned' is all I can say right not.

And, Cobalt, thanks for the warning about spalted wood dust.

Dave
 

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I don't see any reason why you couldn't use them for sticks if there treated correctly . Spalted wood has a natural beauty of its own, work with the shape once your treated it should be fine . A lot of stick makers use it just check its not rotten Some soak it in wood hardener as long as you evaluate it when dried .The holes for me add a different dimension like a abstract piece of sculpture .just my art training coming out . so why fill them in I have never seen a walking stick with holes right through it sounds challenging and unique to me . If you don't think you could use it as a walking stick later what have you lost use it as a decorative item .

As for resin well not everyone will agree with me but part of my training was mould making for reproduction casts and I don't like resin its cold soulless and heavy to touch. A lot of people wont agree with me on that

If you fill holes in, with other material sometimes it works. other times it looks what it is making do with what you have but its what you decide that important as long as your satisfied with it that's what matters

As long as you don't finish it with varnish and use a natural effect it should look good . varnish to me is someone trying to make it look bright and new and worse of all commercial and its a unique natural art

hope to get other peoples view points on it
 

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resin can look good but i dont like he feel of it and handles that are made from it mostly are heavy and makes the stick out of balance . its all down to its use.

Rodney right about the wood its not something you can judge from a picture
 

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It took a while, and there was lots to learn (never thought it would need three resin pours), but I'm happy with the finished product of my first attempt - even though a couple of faults are still clearly apparent.

Once I had cleaned out as much of the infected material as I could, I cleaned it up and gave it a good soaking in wood hardener. As there was no way I could fill it in one go, I had to rework the moulding and masking a couple of times to get the majority of the cavity filled. Then in was a final top up and finish. Rubbing back wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be, but still took plenty of time. The stick itself was finished with a couple of coats of Danish Oil.

With all the resin down through the inside of the stick, it's quite top heavy, so think this could be classed as a modern-look shillelagh - maybe I should add a paracord wrap near the bottom to finish the look.

 

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I'd say that the time it took you was well worth the result, because that is one cool looking stick! The color of the resin compliments the color of the wood very nicely. Almost looks like the tree root grew around some sort of polished stone.

Well done, pottingfield.
 
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