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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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