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I am new to making walking sticks. I do a lot of back country hiking so one of my patients at work brought me 6 Crape Myrdle sticks varying diameters 1 inch to 3 inch. Not sure proper way and amount of time to dry them? Would also love to hear advise on options on treating/finishing. This walking stick will need to take abuse:) I am excited about customizing a walking stick. After a few days hike, you learn everything you hate about your trekking pole:) Ha Ha
 

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I am unfamiliar with crape myrtle as it not grown in the great lakes region.

As with most woods, I suspect it would require at a minimum of 6 months, probably closer to a year if the wood was recently cut and is still green to properly season before making a stick.

Drying (seasoning) the stick at is simplest is accomplished by storing the pieces in a warm dry environment. I keep a fiber barrel in my garage full of sticks. If I want them to dry faster I put them in the corner of my utility room behind my furnace.

I don't do anything else to sticks as I leave mine long. By leaving them longer than I need I can cut off the ends if they crack. Some folks coat the ends with wax or latex paint to minimize cracking. The open ends of the stick will dry faster than the middle and cracking is a possibility.

Oh and welcome to the site!
 

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Welcome to the site .

lots of info on here.

They rule of thumb is to dry the sticks naturally is 1 inch thickness per year.

I know nothing about the type of wood you have but if you dry it to fast it will be more of a chance it will crack you could seal the ends with something paint or wax will help but i never do.

As for the diameter of the shank I think 3 inches is far to big for a stick .I work mainly with a 1 inch diameter or just over , if the stick is sound it is more than capable of giving support.

I mainly work with hazel shanks there light strong next have a degree of flexibilty.and mainly make hiking poles. which is something you would want for that type of walking.

Hill walkers generally go for either thumb sticks or the hiking pole..

A thumb stick should be about the hieght of the elbow jiont give or take this is personal taste. A hiking pole should come to about the hieght of your armpit.

The american market however is different to the standards i would work to, you tend to go for the larger diameter and slight taller , its just a matter of taste.

Personnally i wouldnt use a shank above 1.5 inches in diameter.and definatly wouldnt use it if i couldnt straighten it .A shank thats not straight tends to be weaker.but no doubt some will disagree with this.and if it has a knot on a slight bend you wouldnt be able to straighten it. i would ditch it. this is one area the amercans wouldnt agree with.

I do work to the british stickmaker guild standards it would be interesting to see what the american guild standards are.

But mainly and this is important its a fun thing and thats all even though i do sell my sticks.
 

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Good advice given.

Welcome to the forum Charles.
 
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