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Hello,
My name is Jim. I make hand carved,hardwood, walking sticks. Because Of my Scottish heritage I have become interested in
kebbie sticks. Can anyone tell me what woods were used in making them & if the traditional methods of making them differed from the making of a shillelagh? Beyond the hooked handle of course.
 

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Jim - have you looked to see what kind of hardwood trees are in Scotland ? that should be your first step.
I noticed that your first two replies about finishing the shillelagh were to a 5 year old thread.
It would be to your advantage to post your own threads to keep the topics and information current.
 

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Jim, you'd probably want to go with oak, blackthorn, or hawthorn. Cultural similarities would make me think the making of the sticks would be similar.

You going with a year in a manure pile or bog then hanging it in the chimney?
 

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Like the shillelagh they would be the wood that was avalible. The black thorn stick with the ball type top became the accepted shillelagh mostly because it is a stong heave wood that made a good fighting stick the name comes because at first the woods used mostly came from the Shillelagh Forrest. I look though the web and some books I have and the only discrition of a kebbie stick is " kebbie in British English. (ˈkɛbɪ). noun. Scottish archaic. a walking stick with a hooked end; shepherd's crook. " Collins English Dictionary. In Britain there are many woods that are used for a sheherds hook stick.
A book you may fine helpful is"Stick Making a Complete Course" by Andrew Jones and Clive George.
Head Human body Jaw Neck Sleeve


One of the traditional ways they made a crook or shepherds hook.
 

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I hate to disagree with you Randy, but I think the author of that definition is conflating the kebbie and the cromach because of the idea that the end is hooked. The stick I use has a hook to it but wouldn't be considered a crook.I really can't imagine trying to use a shepherd's crook in a fight.
Wood Building Art House Thigh
 

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ya'll lost me at the cow poo - then the lard wrap - then smoking it in the chimney.
I've never heard of such a thing - I would be interested in following this one.
 

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The first time I remember reading about it was in a book called "Irish Country Ways." I don't recall the author's name but I think it was from the 1930s. I don't remember the mention of butter or lard, but the manure pile reference was there. Donkey poo, though, not cow. What difference it would make would be a question for someone who really knows their sh...uh, I mean poo. Maybe the pile creates an anaerobic atmosphere which affects the way the wood decays (or doesn't as the case may be)
Submersion in a bog would make sense, too, based on what little I know about bog oak.
Fire hardening the stick in the chimney makes sense. You always see survivalists fire-hardening a sharpened bit of wood for a spear or arrow.
 

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According to John Hurley's book on shillelagh making, the stick was rubbed with butter or lard and put into a chimney to dry. The manure pile was soft moist heat used in the straightening process, like a steam box, This was a finishing step.
 

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According to John Hurley's book on shillelagh making, the stick was rubbed with butter or lard and put into a chimney to dry. The manure pile was soft moist heat used in the straightening process, like a steam box, This was a finishing step.
I have not read that book. Looked it up and orderd it. I looks like a good book to have. I want to do more natural sticks and cane. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Its not a great book for makers, IMO. Hurley does do history very well though.
For traditional Irish shillelagh making this guy is probaly the best source of info.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxeulsH4ncnnH4Roc4gfPDw
One more thing, there is wild black thorn in the USA, back East and in Western Oregon, not my area, but that's what I've read. Wicked thorns and not superior to others woods used in fighting sticks but good, has interesting features, and has nostalgia valve.
 

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"ya'll lost me at the cow poo - then the lard wrap - then smoking it in the chimney.
I've never heard of such a thing - I would be interested in following this one. "

I believe this was done due to the Irish climate being usually cold and very humid.
Modern Irish makers don't do this, But the drying period is at least 2-3 years there as opposed to 18-24 months in Conus.
And less in the arid West.
 

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I hate to disagree with you Randy, but I think the author of that definition is conflating the kebbie and the cromach because of the idea that the end is hooked. The stick I use has a hook to it but wouldn't be considered a crook.I really can't imagine trying to use a shepherd's crook in a fight.
View attachment 28140
I don't know about that fighting part, the last time I got in a fight, all the crying and begging and whimpering, the guy finally just told me to shut up. Heck, they had to set my shirt tail on fire just to smoke me out from under him. lol

OK I'm done now. lol
 
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