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After a bit of digging through the forum posts both new and old and finding a truly inspiring number great examples of excellant artwork, skill and applied knowledge.

It was truly mind blowing.....intimidating even lol

the wicked witch - self doubt raised her head (before the beer washed her away lol).

So, If you have any pics or some of your first examples of making sticks, wood carving and burning (which im clueless about) and your able to face your starting out past then please post away.

Ill start with the below,,,,,

Australian Golden Wattle, some oddball face carved with a stanley hobby knife = 2hrs and three stitches
 

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I do not know about any one els but I did not take many pictures of those early projects. I can say I made a lot of hand carved firewood.
 

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I agree on the "hand carved firewood", I still make lots of it!
 

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i dont think anybody took pics. of there 1st stick, pity as it shows your improvement over time. but as already said designer firewood is what some ended up as.

But myself , i had no idea it would become almost a obbsesion ,and take up a lot of time,books and tools. Still wonder why i like it but still draw items, them dump them as rubbish.

Most of my topper peices are carved from a 5x5x2 inch peices of lime wood some smaller. I dont go to the extent of some of the stickmakers here with the shanks. my interest is in the topper.

and dont have the variety of woods available to me that a lot of stickmakers have .

The finish of some of the shanks here are excellent and you have to congratulate the worker on the time and effort taken with the shank.

But to use a wine on the shank how dreadful i think it would have accidently got into my glasss and drunk it by mistake.but thats dedication for you
 

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This photo album has lots of photos of my first attempt, as well as a photo of an old friend who died several years ago. He is holding a "Jacob's staff", a measuring rod that I made and used in school some 44 years ago, and used on occasion until my replacement wooden staff replaced it.

http://walkingstickforum.com/gallery/album/16-my-first-almost-walking-stick-and-more-jacobs-staffs/

I have a number of toppers that screw on top, depending on the nature of the hike or trip, some military-related pins embedded, soft brass wire wrapped and epoxied in approx. 1/4" grooves at 1' intervals, and one foot has brass wood screws epoxied in at 0.1' intervals. With this I can measure rock outcrops one bed at a time, or quickly set an alidade to the dip of the beds to very rapidly measure a geologic section perpendicular to the inclination of the beds so as to measure the cumulative bed thickness. It works as well as the old aluminum pole but generates a lot more conversation.
 

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i to have just puchased some fitments for a interchangable toppers.There the same fitments that are used on a two piece snooker cue or pool cue as you would know them.

planning on doing a doormouse , mermaid and a seated naked lady just to have a change on the hiking pole .have made several attempts at drawing them all terrible but i will get there sometime

The doormouse is a protected species and was intorduced to the uk by the romans i belive and was considered a delicacy they used to roast them i belive ?
 

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Cobalt, I had to Google dormice. I had to see what the web said about eating mice!

It seems Britain has two dormice, the hazel dormouse which the nature website says is endangered and the edible dormouse which is an invasive species and appears to be running wild and displacing the native species.

It also said the Romans did indeed eat the dormouse and it was considered a delicacy. Got me to thinking, how many mice would it take to make a meal? How would you prepare them, mouse tartar or perhaps medium rare with grilled onions? Mouse over easy? :stuff:

The old cliche, "There is no accounting for taste", seems rather apropos.
 

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A partial pic of "Ol' # 1."

I keep it for mostly sentimental reasons. I think I posted some time ago about its origin. Walked to far, to fast, in a heat wave, wrenched a knee and twinged my bad back well of the trail as I was beinning to suffer from heat and dehydration. Found a downed beech sapling about 12' long, and smashed it against a tree to snap of a usable length. Got me back to my car.

Kept it, tried to refine it and patch it up. The split from whacking it began to open up, is smeared in carpenters glue and wrapped the end w. wire. Didn't really help. Varnished the whole, but the bark began to seperated from the wood, and split at the same time.
 

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It also said the Romans did indeed eat the dormouse and it was considered a delicacy. Got me to thinking, how many mice would it take to make a meal? How would you prepare them, mouse tartar or perhaps medium rare with grilled onions? Mouse over easy? :stuff:

The old cliche, "There is no accounting for taste", seems rather apropos.
I happen to have come across the Roman practice of eating dormouse some time ago. Evidently, they are easy to fatten in cages, and in a day when there was no refrigeration, having a bit of meat on hand in the kitchen was a treat. They stuffed them and roasted on a griddle.

If you like, look around for a film called "Never Cry Wolf," 1983 by Disney. An adaptation of the book of the same name by a guy named Farley Mowat, from Canada. He is assigned to study wolves in the arctic. He sees the wolves hunt rodents during the summer and wonders if it is possible for a large mammal to live on rodent alone. The sequence of him proving it is one of many great ones in the movie.
 

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Thanks! This gives me even more encouragement in my goal of nailing some of those tree rats (squirrels) that attack my garden each spring and summer with my trusty slingshot. I didn't really want to kill 'em until I found a good grilling recipe, but I can always put them in the smoker.
 

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The poor dormouse what would alice in wonderland say? she couldnt find them, hibernating for the winter i expect? but who would have thougt to look in a teapot

But i have seen reciepe for squirrels they are edible dont fancy it myself?

Speakin of which we now have a black squirrel cross between the red and grey quite rare.

The grey squirrel is a pest and it is a offence to release it if caught in a trap they should be dispatched by law another crazy law thats been passed but they do cause a lot of damage and quite a few house fires when they have chewed through electric cables

from doormice to the squirrel How did we get here? mad but funny
 

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have found a photo of my 1st topper pretty crude about the size of a large egg.They started out as finger puppets for the grandchildren As the saying goes "thats the way to do it"

also fun photo from a sand sculpture exhibition

Been carving for nearly 2 years now ,Still wonder if i can carve?[

Hair Nose Head Lip Cap Head Jaw Cap Headgear Art Forehead Nose Head Lip Chin Hand Photograph Sculpture Temple Statue
 

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Believe it or not, I not only have pics of my very first walking stick, I still have the actual stick. It is a hickory sapling with the root as top. It is a crude carving but a very usable stick. I used it for many years. It is about 40 years old and is still as strong as ever. By the way, the "stain" I used was instant coffee coated with spar varnish.
 

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My very first stick, I found in the Madison Campground at Yellowstone National park, someone had been using it as a poker in the fire pit. The "bear claw" is from a necklace somebody dropped in the parking lot of the Canyon Area gift shop, also in Yellowstone. When I got the stick back home I sanded and finished it. I don't know what kind of wood, but if I were to hazard a guess I would say Ponderosa pine as it is the predominate specie in the campground where I found it.
 

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These are among my very first sticks. The RecentCanes tag was given them when thry were....lol Vertebrate Wood Metal Trunk Natural material
 

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This is the first stick I ever tried to carve. While on a trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway last October, the wife and I stopped at a Visitor Center and there was a an older gentlemen carving Wood Spirits on walking sticks. The wife said, "you already make the hiking sticks, why don't you try to carve them?" When we got home I started whittling on this piece of white pine with a pocket knife a small chisel and a wood burning pen.

Since I finished this stick I have since ordered various gouges, v tools and "real carving knives". I hope the added expense for tools will pay off in improved work. Still there is nothing like your first attempts. Kinda like your first girlfriend!
 

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Since I finished this stick I have since ordered various gouges, v tools and "real carving knives". I hope the added expense for tools will pay off in improved work.
Good tools will at least make the work more pleasurable. Nothing like having a gouge that doesn't need to be re-sharpened every 5 minutes. And, very likely, will disclose new possibilities.

But, one must push oneself to get the most out of the tools. For most, it means practice, practice, and patience. Even when I'm dissatisfied by what I'm doing, the qualities of wood and a fine edge keep offering me some "sugar" to keep on.
 

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gdenby is right it is the sugar that keeps you going

but be clear what your goals are if its a shank decide what you wish to do with it 1st if its a topper do a few drawings then scale it ,at lest that will give you the size of the wood needed for carving

then the toolscome into there own where its a design on the shank or whatever a few practise goes with the tools will help, then just go for it . mistakes will happen its part of the learning curve but learn you will

but do get a leather apron and saftey stuff, a few pounds can save a lot of pain its money well spent, after all your own well being comes 1st
 

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My very first cane was made on the lathe in High School. It was turned from solid Walnut and was beautiful!! So beautiful that someone else like it too and stole it!

My second stick was far simpler and done by hand when I was a young man taking a hike in the Rocky Mountains I made this stick out of Ponderosa pine with a pocket knife.

Wood Twig Trunk Tree Terrestrial plant Water Liquid Wood Art Metal Plant Wood Natural material Terrestrial plant Twig
 

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