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Sorting out the shanks ,these are two years seasoned and had to straighten all four shanks with the heat gun

these is the pile I tried to sort out. just used 2nd quality as there gifts but the came out pretty straight

I put a 1meter level by there side to give an idea what they where like before I straightened them.

I just knocked a few pieces of off cuts together to make a simple jig dropped it into the vice and use a off cut of hazel to counteract the bend in the shank

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Nice bending jig. Simple, effective and easy to put away when you're done with it.

I've used steam to bend wood but not a heat gun. The gun looks safer and less messy to use.

Rodney
 

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Nice lot of wood. I like the simple jig as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
just messing fitting a ferule

I know you guys mainly use copper pipe but don't you find that copper is soft and quickly wears?

I use brass ferules there pretty cheap here pleased to say .

you do however make a good job of doing it

Also started to cap a natural thumb stick with rams horn needs a tad more work then a good polish

the shanks shown are a few I have fitted with ferules ist pic. just natural 2nd given 1 coat of Danish

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For me the copper is a matter of convenience. I would have to order ferrules online. I can go around the corner to my local hardware store for the copper. I actually prefer brass when I can get it. Copper always looks like what it is: Plumbing.

Money is extremely tight for us since I became disabled so I rarely have enough to buy large quantities of anything.

I just cut a hazel stick today. The big end is about 2" diameter. It tapers down to about 3/4" where I cut the top off and it's about 8 ft long. Unlike the hazel around your area ours can be a real challenge to get 3 ft of straight material. This one is no exception. There's limbs and knots every 8" or so and will need straightened to get a usable stick out of it.

I pick my sticks longer than necessary so I have some room to work with it. The scrap can always go on the barbeque.

Rodney
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I can uderstand the reason for buying cooper pipe , but ferules are a fair price here and there heavy duty so they last much longer

I also cut my shanks longer than i want and adjust them when i make a stick. The off cuts make simple whistles and people buy them like crazy if you attend craft markets there simple to make but you can make them as fancy as you like . You can make them in a few imns once set up and use all the off cuts you want.

The majority of shanks I cut are pretty young and as I like a 1 inch shank you will find you don't get many limbs growing out of them

But its a simple job to whip any small limbs of with a chisel.

I like to cut 1inch tapering down to 3/4 inch if I can.

But I have access to loads of hazel so I can be pretty picky in what I cut.

I always look for a limb with a 1.25 limb coming out of it so I cut the main stem to get it and can make a one piece crook from it but there difficult to find like a simple thumb stick they have to be just right
 

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If you planning on useing sticks on a hard surface concerete etc. I would fit a rubber ferule as well , the brass ones are better for of road walking .

I do ususally buy my ferules by the dozen its a lot cheaper same as the collars i use you can get mixed sizes but there not a bad price

The things which are expensive is the glass eyes and seasoned hazel shanks the postage is high .

five hazel shanks would cost around 50$ of you dollars and about 14$ in postage ,(I think the dollar has the same exchange for us as the euro) They are of a high quality and 2 year seasoned and straightened

I am fortunate to be able to harvest my own
 

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Great harvest of sticks cobalt! I wish we had access to something like that. I
 

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had a walk around 1 of the local woods to have a look at the hazel. Theresa loads ready for cutting so a few hours cutting to do . should easily get 60- 100 .there are another 3 areas to choose from soi can afford to be selective .All told there must be several hundred hazel trees in each area . At the moment its far to wet underfoot to cut so hoping for some dry weather

I still have quite a few shanks some 2 years old the others 1 year so plenty to go at .

It does the woods good to harvest these it will encourage future growth so maybe I will cut from a couple of the other woods even if I don't use them there easy enough to sell but I would rather spend my time carving

The hazel is planted to protect the other trees from the wind and gives shelter to a lot of wildlife so there is a lot of birch beech holly ash elm in there all local to the area

All the trees look healthy with no sign of any infestation or diseases

the pics are from 1 of the woods

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I too am very lucky in that the coppice that I cut from is very similar to yours, the Hazel is taken down about every 11 years so this leaves some great young,straight shoots trying to get their heads into the light!. Hazel is my favourite of all the British tree, probably because this is what I have access to. N.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
you only need to heat the shanks up so they get hot to touch .they only need 10 mins to cool.

One thing don't try to straighten them if they haven't been seasoned if you do they will revert back into the natural shape eventually

Some times I heat them up and just bend them on my knee, wear some thick gear tho its hot.

I havnt straightened anything above 1.25 inches but steaming is a better way you cant scotch them
 

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you only need to heat the shanks up so they get hot to touch .they only need 10 mins to cool.

One thing don't try to straighten them if they haven't been seasoned if you do they will revert back into the natural shape eventually

Some times I heat them up and just bend them on my knee, wear some thick gear tho its hot.

I havnt straightened anything above 1.25 inches but steaming is a better way you cant scotch them
Thank you. I've tried steaming using, once again, the excellent advice on the forum. It worked. But heat gun seems a little less labor intensive and a bit quicker. Is that the case? Will have to give it a go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The heat gun comes into its own if you only need to do 1 or two at once

Its quick and easy Just as long as you use a fan motion to heat the shank up.

I havnt triied heating up anything larger than a 1inch diameter but that is the average size of shank we use
 
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