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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a new stick I started a week or so ago and have made a bit of progress, though the weather doesn't seem to want me to work on it. (My "shop" is the bay of our garage where my car would sit if the place wasn't so full of stuff. Not heated, so our recent return to winter weather, including the 14 +/- inches of snow Tuesday into Wednesday, hasn't helped progress.)

The blank was a couple of suckers which had grown from the stump of a small tree cut many years before; one large and just opposite it a smaller one. I thought it would make a cool handle, so I cut it. Only problem is, as you can see from the photos, the center had rotted away, which makes it rather uncomfortable to hold. I thought about carving a piece of wood to fill it, but unless I got it just right, it would look like crap. Figured that wood putty wouldn't look great either.

Had another idea which might work, though: epoxy resin. I've seen it used to fill voids in numerous woodturning videos, so I think I might give it a try once the weather warms up a bit. Maybe mix in some sawdust and shavings to keep it looking like wood. Or maybe a carving of some sort suspended in the resin...
 

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That looks a large void.. You may be able to fill it using a epoxy putty stick. If it is a fairly even half circle you might consider rounding it out as even as you can and looking for a piece of tree limb that you could fit and glue in. Then shape with a file or sander and fill any remaining void with a two part epoxy putty stick.
 
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You might take a look at the casting resin available in craft stores. I think it's a polyester resin instead of epoxy but cures clear.

Pen turners get some interesting effects with colored resins too.

Rodney
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Randy and Rodney! The more I thought about it while working today, the more I liked the clear resin idea with maybe something suspended in it. The space kind of reminds me of a river bottom, so I was thinking maybe a small carved fish suspended in the resin with some sand or pebbles at the bottom to look like river rocks.

Did some more whittling on it after work today. (Kind of a lousy day so I needed some sawdust therapy) It was pretty heavy so I'm reducing the weight a bit by shaving the handle down with my spoke shave. It also has a slight S curve to it which I'm reducing by shaving away the outsides of the S.

More pics when I remember to buy new batteries for the camera. The thing just devours them...
 

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You might want to fill it with resin before you continue shaping. I think it will be easier to shape the wood and resin together instead of trying to get a perfect joint around the edges after the wood is shaped.

Rodney
 

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Try using wood glue its cheap and cheerful mixed with sawdust

have used it to repair toppers people have dropped and damaged . even use it to re-drill holes to insert glass eyes when I made a mistake in drilling in the wrong place its easy to shape on a rasp
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Cobalt and again Rodney. I've done the sawdust and glue trick on bowls before. (Although, it was CA glue--super glue-- that I used) Worked great to fill the checks in a cherry burl bowl. You couldn't even see them when I was done with it.

I'm thinking more along the lines of treating the hole in the handle as less of a flaw to be covered and more as a feature to be accentuated. An opportunity to give the stick an extra something. Like Cindy Crawford's mole. Whatever I decide it will have to wait for warmer weather. A balmy 37 degrees out there right now.
 

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I keep a cottage cheese container full of saw dust just for things like Cobalt and others have said. Elmer's Wood Glue Max and sawdust with a bit of water based gel stain in the color I am trying to match have saved more than a few of my pieces.
 

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Shaved quite a bit off the stick but still needs to be thinned down more since it is still rather heavy. Shaped the head some too. Looking a bit like a nose in market stick. I thought it would look cool for it to flare out a little at the bottom of the gripping area, and then taper down again along the length.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That, Cobalt, is a fantastic idea!! With what I think I've decided on for the other side (how to fill the large void and what to fill it with) I'm thinking maybe a shallow relief carving of an osprey's head. The hooked nose of the stick will accommodate the osprey's bill perfectly, I believe, and the stick head thickens just behind where the bill would end giving it more depth.

For the other side, I think I'm going to try a small carving of a fish suspended in the clear resin, maybe with a bit of coloring to make it look like it is an underwater photo. I'll probably paint the back wall very pale blue/green and leave the gnarly bark growth as is to simulate rocks. Maybe chuck in a few slivers of green paper or pine needles to simulate pond grass.

I picked up some clear casting resin and casting putty to make a form for it. Now I just need warm weather.
 

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Got the osprey head roughed in the other day during a decent bit of weather. Couldn't find a good pattern, so just sketched it from a google image I liked. I think I made the beak a little long, but I might be able to fix it. Took quite a bit off the shank with my spoke shave, too. It was just too heavy the way it was.
 

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Nearly got the lines of a bald eagle to me, take some photo copies of the profile (enlarge if poss) and do some sketching out of eagles, hawks buzzards etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I might have to do that, Gloops, but I really had my mind set on an osprey. Partly because everyone does eagles and an osprey would be different. Mainly because I've always loved ospreys. They remind me of the days spent at my family's camp in a nearby town called Smithfield. There is an island in the pond on which the camp is located, and at one end is a tall, weather-beaten pine tree in which a pair of ospreys always make a nest. Every now and then one of the pair would swoop down to the pond and snag a fish for the little ones. We kept a pair of binoculars by the window on the porch for watching them.

When I was quite young (8 or 9, I think) my Dad brought home an osprey which had touched a couple of power lines. (He worked for the local power company for nearly 40 years) One of his men had retrieved the body and planned to take it to a taxidermist, but let Dad bring it home to show us first. Gorgeous bird.
 
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