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Hi everyone,

What a cool forum!!!!

Firstly my name is John from Ireland and I recently decided to make me a few sticks for the long days rambling in the countryside. A few weeks back I harvested some Blackthorn sticks and I need some help with what to do now with them before they get damaged and become unusable.

I know that I will probably have to wait for almost a year before working on them but I want to look after them until then and have a few questions for you experts out there.

-each stick I have cut a little longer than required and can see some of them splitting already. Do I need to oil the ends of them periodically while they are drying? If so what do I use and is it only the ends that I oil or do I oil the whole stick?

-also, do I start shaping them right away or do I let them dry out completely before I start shaping, especially for knob sticks?

Thanks for your help.

John
 

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Hi John! And welcome! I envy your access to "Blacktorn" -- there are several things you can do, like immersing the sticks in a wood stabalizer, and there are several different methods and materials for doing that (several of which are discussed WSF). Another is to coat the cut ends with wax or anchor seal to slow down the drying which helps to prevent splitting. They need to dry for 1 year for each inch in diameter.

I'm sure the others will chime in with all the good ways!

Can you tell us generally where in Ireland? My family tree has deep roots in Ireland.
 

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It may be that some cracking is not always a disaster. I am new at this, but I cut a few dead and already dried and cracked red cedar several months ago. I have been working on one, and so far it seems to be solid despite the long cracks. Time will tell.
 

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Hello, John!

I hope you come to enjoy stick carving as much as I do.

The traditional method was to coat the ends w. wax. More modern preparations use a paraffin mixture. Some people say several coats of common latex paint will work, while others say that isn't so good. The general aim is to limit the moisture rapidly drying from the open grain. I've taken a few green sticks that have cracked even before I got them home. Good that you cut them longer. I assume I will lose a few inches.

I haven't been able to submerge any of my sticks in a stabilizing bath. I made the mistake of placing a green stick in a tube that only covered 1/2 the length. That had worked for dried sticks, but the water was displaced so rapidly in the immersed area, that the upper length split almost the whole way to the end. I've yet to get around to making a deeper tube, or long trough, but do suppose that is the way to go to speed the drying process.
 

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The two PVC tubes are my "dip tubes" and also storage for my huge investment in Pentacryl.

gallery_11_22_44823.jpg


One is telescoped to accommodate sticks that aren't perfectly straight. If the grip includes a right angle turn at a fork in the branch, then I can't immerse that part. For such things I just use a plastic pail.
 

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Welcome to this killer forum...

I`ve done the wax on the ends too and it works great...I`ve also tried just smearing some wood glue/super glue over the ends and and open wounds on the stick with good results...And if you do find a crack starting I automatically fill it with super glue and usually is stops the splitting...

I actually bought a Blackthorne walking stick from Ireland just so I`d have one...Thats some great wood for sure...Mine still had the bark on it with a good root ball handle to it...

Good luck with your`s....

Paul...
 
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