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Hello from Brisbane in Queensland, Australia.

I've just discovered this website while searching the internet trying to find a source of wood shanks with which I can build some hiking sticks to take bushwalking.

Can't seem to find anyone in Australia who has even heard about using hiking sticks, other than the aluminium poles to be bought in expensive camping stores.

I've tried emailing some sites in USA to buy raw sticks - no reply. I contacted a Hazel Nut farm in Victoria, Australia to try to get some cuttings and they told me to go ask at a pharmacy! What??? When I contact stores in the UK, they tell me that they don't ship to Australia. I understand that our Customs Dept. isn't a problem, so I don't know why this simple purchase is proving so difficult.

Can anybody point me in the right direction in buying some suitable nice, straight sticks here in Australia? I'd be happy to obtain any of the usual woods commonly used the the UK or any suitable Australian timber.

It would make my day if anyone can assist. Thanks for reading this post so far.

Regards

Rossco

Brisbane, Australia
 

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Hi, Rossco, and welcome. There are a few members from Oz here, so hopefully they have an answer for you. There appear to be a number of very nice Australian woods available.

There are many prohibitions on shipping wood across international boundaries. The wood must come certified as being heat treated and parasite free.

FWIW, the 1st carved hiking stick I ever saw was when I was a kid. There were some guys working on the municipal water system, and a shovel had broken at the very end of the handle. The guys spent his lunch hours using a craft knife carving it to show the outlines of turtles and fish and such that he saw when in the woods. Not the cheapest way to go, but I suppose you could find ready made shovel or post hole digger handles to carve down into a good hiking stick.
 

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I think it's a case of the grass is always greener. I would love to have access to some of the woods down there.

Pretty much any strong, reasonably straight piece of wood will do.

It sounds like you're more interested in the British style of stick if you're looking for hazel. Just find a good straight stick about 1" (2.5-3 cm) diameter without a lot of taper and a little longer than you want.

Rodney
 

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I have visited a Australian stickmaking web site quite a long time ago very good work on there .I cant remember what its called sure you could find it if you do a search and it should give you some info on suppliers..

Other than that try the" woodworkers forum" its a very good site amazing what goes on there its a busy site full of all sorts of different woodcrafts and I do know that there is a few stickmakers on there
 

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Welcome Rossco, there is no better feeling of satisfaction after you have found, cut, seasoned, straightened an crafted your first stick irrespective of style. A goo start stick for hiking is a Thumb stick.

Take a look at the the video's posted by Stickwithdave
 

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Welcome aboard Rossco. As previously stated with all the insect problems such as Emerald Ash Borer or Long horned beetle that can hitch a ride with untreated wood the Dept. of Agriculture (Here) or their equivalent in other countries are being much more vigilant on raw wood products entering the country. As I watch are ash trees dying off from imported Emerald Ash Borer ( arrived in untreated wood packing crates from China) I wish they had been on the ball much sooner
 

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G'day Rossco. Great to see another Aussie on the forum.

I had a similar problem to you. I sourced some sticks from a hazel nut farm in NSW but that source dried up. I have even planted my own hazel out the back as a long term experiment.

I have found that poplar makes excellent sticks. I cut some recently from the side of the road on the Hume Highway between

Goulburn and Yass. Roadside poplar is easily accessible and free. I also have access to Forest Oak up Mudgee way which make fantastic shanks. Most of my sticks are FO.

FO and poplar bark come up beautifully with marine varnish. Silver wattle also grows straight and makes good shanks. Both FO and SW send out suckers which grow reasonably straight.You won't get the perfect straightness achieved by the European timbers but I reckon a slight kink here and there gives each stick an added individuality. I can send you up some FO shanks if you like to get you started. Have a sticky at my album for examples.

Let me know.

Cheers

****
 

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Forgot to mention also that I have found it impossible to buy stick making accessories here in OZ eg buffalo horn, collars and ferrules. I buy them form UK - which can be expensive. I make my own collars and ferrules from brass threaded pipe and plugs.

Cheers
 
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