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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! Just wanted all to know that I will be reading along and learning for a while. I own some individual handcrafted canes & sticks that I have collected in recent years, and have harvested some hickory now curing out but have never actually made a stick yet. I'm looking forward to retirement in the next year or two and would like to be well along my learning curve by then and acquired the necessary tools. And besides, it sounds like more fun then making pens!
 

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Welcome to the new Walking Stick Forum, Chirracahua Jack! We all learn from each other, sometimes from the mistakes that we inevitably make.
 

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As you will find, once you retire, the carving gets to be a lot more enjoyable. The lack of a less defined schedule is great. I find myself spending more and more hours, engrossed while working on sticks. On occasion, my wife will interrupt me to ask about starting dinner, or on days when that's my job, asking when I might be thinking of coming up w. dinner. Eating sawdust and shavings can even distract from chow.
 

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As you will find, once you retire, the carving gets to be a lot more enjoyable. The lack of a less defined schedule is great. I find myself spending more and more hours, engrossed while working on sticks. On occasion, my wife will interrupt me to ask about starting dinner, or on days when that's my job, asking when I might be thinking of coming up w. dinner. Eating sawdust and shavings can even distract from chow.
At 66, I could retire, and you've made me think it wouldn't be so bad. But so long as they'll pay me to sit around and think about rocks, I'll probably keep on working. It helps me fund these evening and weekend projects. Maybe I'll just tire of the daily grind and go full-time whittling away my time. ;-)
 

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As you will find, once you retire, the carving gets to be a lot more enjoyable. The lack of a less defined schedule is great. I find myself spending more and more hours, engrossed while working on sticks. On occasion, my wife will interrupt me to ask about starting dinner, or on days when that's my job, asking when I might be thinking of coming up w. dinner. Eating sawdust and shavings can even distract from chow.
At 66, I could retire, and you've made me think it wouldn't be so bad. But so long as they'll pay me to sit around and think about rocks, I'll probably keep on working. It helps me fund these evening and weekend projects. Maybe I'll just tire of the daily grind and go full-time whittling away my time. ;-)
I'd been in the same job for 37 yrs. full time, and 5 years part time before that. I was pretty burnt out, but was still kind of freaked-out by the thought of not going to work. Spent many months trying to figure out if I should take the offer. A week after I decided to take the offer, I was diagnosed w. congestive heart failure. Guess leaving the job was in the cards.

The thing is, I had at one painted for a living, mostly portraits. I had been an avid amateur pianist. Did some wood sculpture. Adapted to modern tools, and did 3-d modeling for a number of years, and wrote some code for image processing. All that had stopped. Having 2 - 4 hours a days to just be absorbed by carving has returned at least some of my creativity. And, having to go out once every 7 - 10 days to hunt up stick candidates, wow, what a chore. :)
 

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Best wishes gdenby, for the wonders of modern medicine to keep your ticker ticking as it should. Like you, just wandering through the woods is a joy, when the weather is nice. A good stick/staff makes that easier, and you can poke in the leaves for snakes. The remaining pest here is the ticks when in season. Now that Lyme disease is a big concern, I just have to not worry about that and spray some repellent around my ankles and arms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
As you will find, once you retire, the carving gets to be a lot more enjoyable. The lack of a less defined schedule is great. I find myself spending more and more hours, engrossed while working on sticks. On occasion, my wife will interrupt me to ask about starting dinner, or on days when that's my job, asking when I might be thinking of coming up w. dinner. Eating sawdust and shavings can even distract from chow.
As far as artistic talent goes I probably don't have much. So I'm not sure how much carving I will be doing, from the truest meaning of the word. I do have a lot of material from which to make handles, rings, spacers from and I would very much like to try my hand at doing some inlays down the trail a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
As you will find, once you retire, the carving gets to be a lot more enjoyable. The lack of a less defined schedule is great. I find myself spending more and more hours, engrossed while working on sticks. On occasion, my wife will interrupt me to ask about starting dinner, or on days when that's my job, asking when I might be thinking of coming up w. dinner. Eating sawdust and shavings can even distract from chow.
At 66, I could retire, and you've made me think it wouldn't be so bad. But so long as they'll pay me to sit around and think about rocks, I'll probably keep on working. It helps me fund these evening and weekend projects. Maybe I'll just tire of the daily grind and go full-time whittling away my time. ;-)
I'd been in the same job for 37 yrs. full time, and 5 years part time before that. I was pretty burnt out, but was still kind of freaked-out by the thought of not going to work. Spent many months trying to figure out if I should take the offer. A week after I decided to take the offer, I was diagnosed w. congestive heart failure. Guess leaving the job was in the cards.

The thing is, I had at one painted for a living, mostly portraits. I had been an avid amateur pianist. Did some wood sculpture. Adapted to modern tools, and did 3-d modeling for a number of years, and wrote some code for image processing. All that had stopped. Having 2 - 4 hours a days to just be absorbed by carving has returned at least some of my creativity. And, having to go out once every 7 - 10 days to hunt up stick candidates, wow, what a chore. :)
Similarly, I will soon begin my 38th yr in the industry I'm in. I really wanted to work a couple more but due to reasons I won't go into here, that won't happen. Once I made that decision in my mind and was happy with it, I can't wait!

And I wish you good heart health as well!
 

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"and have harvested some hickory now curing"

I have a couple of hickories waiting too. My understanding is that the wood is really tough. As far as I can tell, when I get to them, patience and a sharp blade must precede any attempts at artistry. Not including the patience waiting for them to dry. But having to sit down, sit still, and stare intently, and only having to break away when the sun is getting too low is not so hard.

Yer goin to like the off time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hickory is pretty common where I live and so it is easy to find areas from which to harvest it. I have put some up that has been aging for close to a yr now, to as recent as this spring. I don't have them clamped down or anything so I hope it will not all be for naught. I have them laid out horizontal on sheets of plywood up in the rafters of my shop bldg, which is only heated in winter by a wood stove and no AC in the summer. I turn them every 3 months and so far everything seems to be working. I have each sheet of plywood dated so I know when the hickory went down. If you see a fallacy in my method please point it out to me as I want to learn.

For handles and trim material I probably have a pickup bed load of walnut cut to 3"x3"x12" blocks (gun stock forearm rejects); some Macassar Ebony & some Malachite. In potential non-wood trim items I have some real ivory; some old phenolic resin; several old swirly resin bowling balls; and odds & ends in gem stones such as red jasper, white buffalo, and turquoise. I am looking forward to coming up with some ideas to use some of that!

I failed to mention in my intro that I have been trying my hand at flint knapping for a couple of years now and am an avid metal detectorist.
 
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