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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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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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