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kebbie stick

2074 Views 22 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  valky307
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.
Thanks for the tip about using current threads. I will try. I'm not very familiar with forums. re: native woods of scotland. I have done googling, & they do have the likely candidates ( blackthorn, hawthorn, oak, crab apple, ash, holly, hazel). I have particular questions re: hawthorn and hazel. Most info I dug up equates the shillelagh to the Kebbie Stick. no doubt they are similar. Some specify the kebbie has a cromachs, some don't. I am especially interested in whether hawthorn and hazel were ever used. I understand Oak, and later Blackthorn were preferred.
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?
In the Irish tradition I'm told blackthorn is used and NEVER white thorn (aka hawthorn), as traditionally hawthorn is the home of fairy creatures, they want to keep on the good side of. I have also heard it said that black thorn is associated with witches ( tradition- I'm not a believer), and white thorn is preferred. These seem irreconcilable. ( Sometimes traditions change).
I have also heard hazel is used, it is certainly a common wood for sticks, but I would think it too light and soft for a weapon.
RE: manure piles chimneys. While I grew up in farm country where these were both common. I live in a suburb of Portland Or, and have access to neither, If I did I might try them ONCE for tradition shake, only. I season my sticks under a tarp for a year or so after straightening them with a heat gun or recently I made my 1st steam box. While manure is pretty gross stuff, I grew up on a farm and have dealt with my share of the stuff. I'm also a gardener and use it and/or compost on my garden every spring.
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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?
I'm sorry. I'm kinda new to forums It appears I sent my reply to you about manure/chimneys to John Smith_inFL .
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.
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One of the traditional ways they made a crook or shepherds hook.
I hope that the hook (cormach) is not required for a kebbie stick. ( As I don't yet have the necessary skills/tools to make one) I see lots of examples with them. I also hope the Scotts were more open to using hawthorn ( hawthorn is abundant here, but blackthorn is either rare or nonexistent near me).
For traditional Irish shillelagh making this guy is probaly the best source of info.
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.
I watch Mr. McCaffery on you tube a lot. I have even emailed him a few questions. He was polite and gracious enough to answer some, but had to reply to others on his podcasts that are behind a paywall. I don't blame him, he does this for a living.
"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.
well the manure and chimney were Traditional methods. (They used what they had.:LOL:) Personally I use a steam box and heat gun then dry them in a pile raised off the ground and covered in tarps.
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