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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone! I am new to this forum and am fairly new to this hobby. What a fantastic hobby to have. I started about six months ago while during a kidney stone altercation. I get at least two a year. Not fun, but it got me started and helped me not think about the pain. Okay lets get to my question. I live in Lancaster, Ohio just a half hour south of Columbus. Ohio has many great trees to make into walking sticks, staffs, canes. The images below I have not been able to identify. this stick has just freshly been cut with wood glue to seal the ends until it cures. Hopefully the picture quality is good enough to determine the species. This tree/shrub that this stick was cut from grows as a cluster ranging from 5 to 8 feet high. The branches do grow off of one small trunk. Most branches extend out and then droop to the ground. Hard to find a really straight stick. At first glace reminds me of a younger osage orange tree without the thorns. The osage orange is pretty abundant in this are as well. I noticed this species about a month ago and after four tries this was the first one that didn't check or crack five minutes after cutting. The other three were very delicate to work with. The split would just get worse. Normally I would just say okay not a good choice and quit cutting them. But for some reason this one intrigues me. The Bark has a grayish, light greenish color with long vertical shallow furrows. It seems very hard and sturdy, heavier than it looks. I know curing will help with that but if anyone has any ideas I would really appreciate it. Thank You!

Hand Plant Wood Terrestrial plant Gesture

Hand Outerwear Arm Wood Sleeve
 

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Sorry, I'm not familiar w. that one. Tho' I don't live terribly far away, maybe 250 miles north west, the description and pix don't resemble anything common around here.

From the description of the cracking problem, I'm inclined to think the plant is fairly fast growing, which typically means very porous water filled wood. Perhaps if you started curing it in a rather damp area, like a basement, it might dry slowly enough to not cause rapid shrinkage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Rodney and gdenby. I appreciate the comments. Makes sense I will let cure in basement setting. Thanks again.
 

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Were there any leaves from the tree that the stick was harvested from? Doubtful there will be any now but in future, species I.D. is much easier from a leaf than from bark.

By the by welcome to the forum.
 

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I'm sorry I can't help either. I'd like to see the cut wood if possible. Thanks for the puzzle!
 

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From what research I've done it looks like honeysuckle. I've had a love/hate relationship with this wood for years. I've done six sticks and each one had a completely different beautiful look after de barking and without fail each one developed splits within hours. One started to split as I was working on it! I'm not giving up on it. I'll try different seasoning methods until I get right.
 

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I will second the honeysuckle assessment given the bark and the growth size and form. I have several drying now but haven't done one yet. I am now testing the method of soaking in dish soap and water mix before curing. I will post more about it after I see how it works (or doesn't)
 

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Never heard of the soap and water technique, what does it do? There is an old irish processes for blackthorn that I've been wanting to try. They would wrap the stick in lard soaked Brown paper and shove it in a manure pile. The heat would dry out the water and allow the lard to soak into the stick. Apparently it got hot enough to straighten the stick. I'm hoping my compost pile will do as a substitute!
 

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Boiling has been known to help with crack prone woods. I've just begun to use the method so don't have first hand knowledge yet.

I'll know more in about a year when my first pieces are dry.

So far I'm just boiling blocks. I don't have a good way of boiling a 4 ft long stick.

Rodney
 

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I have never heard of this method ,

interesting to see how it works

I would just seal the ends of the shank and leave it to season

I just cut the shanks from the tree/bush mostly hazel and just leave them to season, never had a problem with cracking , but probably hazel is easier to do than the types of wood you have

The use of a moisture meter as gloops has commented on would help its something I will get .I don't know what the moisture content of fresh wood cut is so would be interested to see both before and after seasoning is.

Like mark has said you would get a better idea if you could see the leaf
 

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Jh1980 I just realized that you said you are a new member! Welcome aboard! As you can see everyone is very willing to help out!
 

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There is an old irish processes for blackthorn that I've been wanting to try. They would wrap the stick in lard soaked Brown paper and shove it in a manure pile.
Gives new meaning to the expression "getting the dirty end of the stick"...............
Getting the dirty end of the stick" this side of the pond we replace dirty with "shitty" excuse the language but the saying goes back in our history when outside ash toilets were in use and to prevent excessive build up you used the long stick in the corner to rearrange, now if in the dark someone had put the stick back upside down that's when you got the "Sh****y end of the stick".

These toilets had to be emptied manually when full and the men who came round to do the job were known a Middin Men which was the name given to a outside toilet : definition of Middin = dunghill or refuse heap.
 

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I have never heard of this method ,

interesting to see how it works

I would just seal the ends of the shank and leave it to season

I just cut the shanks from the tree/bush mostly hazel and just leave them to season, never had a problem with cracking , but probably hazel is easier to do than the types of wood you have

The use of a moisture meter as gloops has commented on would help its something I will get .I don't know what the moisture content of fresh wood cut is so would be interested to see both before and after seasoning is.

Like mark has said you would get a better idea if you could see the leaf
fresh wood gives a 100% reading (14% classed as dry). use mine all the time,got it from Maplin's.
 

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There's enough humidity here I'm not sure I can get 14% just air drying. It's the Sh**** end here too. I think it was cleaned up a bit to keep things family friendly.

I never knew how the expression came about. Outhouses are pretty much before my time (replaced by the portapotty) other than a few I vaguely remember in fields working as a kid. I think it was common here to move the outhouse over a new hole when the old one was full then bury the old hole.

Rodney
 

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I love these forums!! From tree identification to outhouses, something for everyone.
Thank you Gloops for enlightening me as to how the expression Sh**ty end of the stick got started!!
Today the guy that cleans the porta jons is called the "honey sucker" and his truck is the "honey wagon".
 
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