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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an approx 44" long SOLID-as-a-rock hickory branch that will probably be my next hand-made cane project. I began the sanding process last evening and cut away some of the limb knobs. Prediction: It's going to make someone a FAB cane some day.

I have a question. I need to cut it to length, approx 36", and therefore can make one or more cuts anywhere long its length. This morning I "discovered" three knots - two of them approx the same size and that has created the following dilemma.

a) Shall I cut straight across the stick perhaps an inch or so above the knots?

b) OR cut closer to the knots thinking they might provide a nice looking "larger diameter" handle?

c) Or cut a bit above the knots at approx 45 degrees?

d) Or cut through those knots . . . hoping they'd provide a nice handle.

Regardless of the cut I will round off the edges for a smooth palm fit.

Suggestions?

Ideas?

Thanx
-norson
 

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My quick take. Don't see a reason to cut at a 45 angle unless the edge will be softened. I can't imagine putting my hand on top of a piece of wood w. an angle like that.

I am very attracted to leaving knots near or in a handle are because the grain and color can look so nice. Down side, a couple of times the exposed knots split. Haven't learned yet how to avoid that except using glues to harden and fill, and those done't take stain or other colorings.
 

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I'm thinking along the same lines as gdenby. If I was going with one of the options provided I'd cut above the knots and round over. Those knots should make the stick look good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If I cut at approx <<< KEY WORD 45 degree, it would look similar to this OAK walking stick completed earlier this month (and on it's way to my brother-in-law in Ark)

ALL sharp edges would be 100% smooth - easy on the hand (and eye)

:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Change-o-plans - this a.m. I cut it just above the knots...and have begun the rounding-off process first with wood chisels, will follow up with sanding my eyes out.

Stay tuned.
 

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Think you would find a chisel difficult to use rounding off a knot, mayby you should use a rasp. A chisel may cause a split or chip in the wood
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Using two sharp wood chisels (1/2 and 1/4") and by continually turning the shank and taking very small cuts I was able yesterday to remove that "edge" - I then sanded it so it's now quite smooth and fits into my palm quite nicely. It's going to take another week or so - evening sanding time (that's when I do the sanding during TV commercials) - before this is ready for finish and I can hardly wait to see it.

How do you spell SPECTACULAR?
 

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Coming along well.

Here's something I came across yesterday. There's a site called hobbithouse that has a great store of wood and wood working info. The link goes to an illustrated article where the fellow shows how much better endgrain looks when sanded down to 1200 grit. And yeah, its time consuming. Even w. a power sander, it takes him up to 40 min. to do a 3" x 8" area.
 

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Your solution looks very nice!

Because I like a shorter hiking staff, carbine if you will, I like to leave a little extra wood on the top so as to allow palming the staff when walking down hill...extending the functional length.

I also keep the bulge of the whorls towards the top end of the staff, about 41 inches from the bottom, to allow a light fingertip grip for pushing and pulling the stick, ala Nordic walking or pole walking. So my emphasis is always on function, and if pretty comes along with it that's a nice bonus.

The line on the right hand stick is the mistake I almost made in cutting off the top whorl. And the rubber boots on the top of the other two shorter sticks is just to allow palming the top if necessary.

My sticks are of a soft wood, Douglasfir, and this allows pretty quick drying time and finishing with just hand tools. I enjoy the stick making process, but I like to spend more time walking in the forest, testing my designs!

Best regards,
Rustic Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You three sticks, Rustic Dave, look a lot like my one and only hickory stick.

Thanx

-neb
 
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