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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have never heard of the "Knob" type walking stick before. I really like the look. How do harvest the stick with the knob. Do you cut the knob out of the tree?
 

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Hey big-o! You can use a branch but the traditional way is to use the root "knob" . It's usually a sucker root growing off the main mass which then grew out a sapling. Just find a nice looking sapling and dig it up!
 

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This video shows a knob stick being made. One of the first pictures shows the raw branch.


If you're interested in British style stick making StickswithDave here on the site has a very good series of videos on Youtube under the name "woodlandsticks".

Rodney
 

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You have to consider what method you'll be useing. Meaning hand or power tools. A bandsaw and sander are going to cut your time and effort down to nothing. Hand tools means a few hours of cutting and shaping. Mainly you're going from the raw root mass down to a cube and then rounding it down further from there.
 

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You really need to seaon the shank before you do anything with it its not advisable to use green wood for any type of shank.

As for rasps its personnel preference I favour the Japanese saw rasps. The are double sided they don't get clogged up .one side has a coarse cut the other a fine cut there a bit more expensive than say a Stanley rasp but they are double sided where as Stanley are single sided .

There a good tool and will rip through unwanted wood quickly .with a finer cut for a smother finish
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You really need to seaon the shank before you do anything with it its not advisable to use green wood for any type of shank.

As for rasps its personnel preference I favour the Japanese saw rasps. The are double sided they don't get clogged up .one side has a coarse cut the other a fine cut there a bit more expensive than say a Stanley rasp but they are double sided where as Stanley are single sided .

There a good tool and will rip through unwanted wood quickly .with a finer cut for a smother finish
Thanks. Ill give it a few months hanging and the debark and hang some more.
 

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I personally wouldn't debark until it's completely seasoned, which depending on the size of the knob and shank and even time of year when harvested could be a year or more! For example, the shillelaghs I'm working on now were harvested last winter. As for tools.. I use all hand tools myself, and as cobalt recommended, I swear by my Japanese saw rasp, the brand name is Shinto. You can find them on Amazon.
 

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generally a lot of people season 1 inch per year , personally i season mine for two years .i usually harvest anything up to about 70 shanks within a week bundle and date then and store them.

The best time to do this is when the sap has fallen or before it rises

i do have the third year in storage with about 30-40 shanks left over 2years old.

approx. 50-60 over 1 year old with about 40-50 harvested in January

so I always have a shank to use

once seasoned I will straighten them as I need them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the input for this project. I will hang the saplings that I dug up today. I will continue to look for some more. Looks like I have plenty of time for these.
 

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Here's a few pictures showing some steps 1. The "raw" stick how looks right out of the ground. 2. Blocking or cubing, cutting off all the excess bits and bringing it down to size. 3. Rough shaping this is for me, the most tedious part. A lot of rasping, first coarse then fine to get the end shape and most importantly, to see how it feels in the hand. 4 and 5. Final sanding and a bit of polishing. This took a couple of hours, after a few coffee breaks which then led to a few bathroom breaks! Anyway.. I hope this gives you some idea of the process. Just please remember that I'm in no way an expert but I'd be more than happy to answer any questions that I can or at least try to recommend someone who can. Have fun!
 

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I prefer to leave bark on for a knob stick, the transition area from bark to knob is more attractive and natural. I use a moisture meter for checking if the shank is seasoned, this is a double pronged tool you stick in the shank (or anything you want to asses the moisture content of) and the battery passes a current between the prongs and gives a percentage moisture content 100% wet - 14% classed as dry, takes guess work out especially if the shank is of differing diameters. These are readily available at hardware stores and online and are reasonably priced.
 

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"Thanks. Ill give it a few months hanging and the debark and hang some more."

The root knobs can have some crazy grain patterns and I've had a few develop cracks. If you put a lot of work in prematurely, it may be a waste of time.
 

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Brush the dirt away from the exposed root ends, and hip some glue over them. Supper glue, gorilla glue, even white glue. Its just something to keep moisture from coming out the cut ends to fast, which is what promotes cracking.

Personally, I can't get enough carving files, rasps and rifflers. I have ones big enough and coarse enough that they almost can be used as saws, and tiny diamond coated rasps for detail work.

If you don't want to spend a huge amount, Nicholson makes good rasps and files, some under $10. Stanley Subform blades are decent. But by the best you can afford. I had a Nicholson that I bought for around $8, and it is still usable after 30 years. I do have much better ones now, and I suppose that they will eventually belong to someone else after I'm not using them anymore. In the long run, they are cheaper and less of a mess than sand paper. I had one carbide rasp, very aggressive cutter, about 60 grit, and I used it a lot for at least 8 years before it dulled down. Wish I had bought a handful, as the line was discontinued and was on clearance.
 

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I'm another fan of rasps and files. I have an old Nicholson 4-in-1 rasp that I use a lot. I like it because all I have to do is turn it around when I want to switch from fine or coarse instead of reaching for another tool. I use it for more aggressive stock removal then switch to a half round file for finer cuts.

I have a fairly well equipped shop. For fast stock removal I use a 12" shopsmith sanding disk with (I think) a 60 grit disk. The only issue is it's easy to take too much off. Shopsmith accessories mount on a 5/8" arbor. The disks can be had fairly cheaply used then just mount it to a 1/2 hp or larger motor with a 5/8" shaft for a cheap disk sander.

Rodney
 
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