Walking Stick Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello folks,

I just came across this forum while trying to gather some information on making walking sticks out of the local hazel wood. I am clearing out a few acres that are overgrown with hazel and thought what a shame it is to be chipping up long branches or using the small logs for firewood, when there may be craftsmen in need of stock for woodworking projects like making staffs and walking sticks. If there are any members looking for this type of wood, I have plenty to spare. I would just ask in return that you teach me the basics of preparing the stock for use, so that I could pass the skill on to others. I look forward to reading your replies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
907 Posts
Hi Robert and welcome to the forum.

Over here in the UK Hazel is the most common wood for stick shanks, the shanks used in uk are approx 1 inc to 1 1/4 inch in diameter and approx 60 inch long ( can always be cut to size later).

These cut shanks need to be seasoned ie left to dry naturally for approx 12 months per inch of Dia. ( I store in garage roof horizontaly).

we then straighten the shanks using a heat gun (paint strip one) .

Then they are ready to use. In the UK we tend to make more formal sticks and Crooks , whereas over the pond you predominantly make hiking poles as you will see from this forum, so go the way you fancy its an enjoyable hobby.

Hazel is a goodfor coppicing i.e.

Coppicing is an English term for a traditional [vague] method of woodland management which takes advantage of the fact that many trees make new growth from the stump or roots if cut down. In a coppiced wood, young tree stems are repeatedly cut down to near ground level.

Doing this will give you a sustainable and plentiful supply of shanks, and you never know, a buisiness opportunity see the web for use of coppiced hazel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,170 Posts
welcome to the site

lots of people will envy the fact that you have a great source of raw material .

Everything gloops has said is true , you shouldn't have any trouble finding a home for the shanks you cut.

if you can try to save a straight shank coming out from the base of the tree and cut some of the main branch of with it. It will enable people to carve a one piece hiking pole/walking stick. This type of shank is always sought after and the English stick maker he will go well out of his way to get them..

You can always look for a natural thumb stick ,that's a shank with a y branch coming out at the top of the shank. Very popular here again you wouldn't have any trouble selling them on .

Apparently if hazel isn't coppiced regularly the tree will die off . Hazel will also make good hurdles ( fence panels ) its easy to weave just like basket work. There often used as a screen or fences .There strong and flexible and last a good few years without treatment.

Pity you the wrong side of the pond for me.

Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
969 Posts
Dang! Wish I'd known this just a few days ago. I was visiting my son, DIL & grandson (and possibly the next on the way) in Portland just a few days ago. Traveling by rail, and could easily have carried a few pieces back here to Indiana, land of no hazel I've seen. We'll likely be back next spring. Perhaps we can link up then.

In the meantime, the sticks can cure. Depending on how wet they were when cut, and where you store them, the wood needs 6 - 12 months drying per inch of thikness. The cut ends should be sealed to prevent checking as the wood dries and shrinks. Wax, thin coats of glue, sometimes paint will work. Likely to be a little checking anyway, but not really long enough to make the stick too short.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,170 Posts
I cut hazel in the winter on a regular basis have some 150+ seasoning now , but I have never sealed them with anything and never had a problem . just store them in a cool airy place and leave them. Some people do seal them but I don't. just cut them a little longer than needed they should be fine .As long as there not thick over 1.5 inches they should be good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,929 Posts
The other guys have given you some good information. Wood turners might be interested in some of the wood as well. I've only made one hazel stick but found the wood to be quite nice to work with.

StickswithDave here on the site has some really good Youtube videos under the name "Woodlandsticks" on harvesting and making hazel walking sticks. They're well worth watching.

Near as I can tell the hazel in the UK tends to grow a bit differently than the stuff we have here. Could just be because of cultivation methods or the lack thereof too though.

As already mentioned sticks with a section of larger branch or root attached that are suitable for one piece cardigan or crook handles are more desirable.

Even though I haven't made many yet i do admire the British style of stickmaking.

One of my favorite books on the subject:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stickmaking-andrew-jones/1119822895?ean=9781861085221&st=PLA&sid=BNB_DRS_Core+Shopping+Books_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP362&k_clickid=3x362

Your local library might have it.

Rodney
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
480 Posts
Welcome to the forum! You can give sticks away if you like but all the tips, advice and other information is given simply out of the joy of sharing what we love! Knowledge is one of those rare gifts that benefit those who give it as much as those who receive it!
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top