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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had a bear of a day at work Saturday so I really needed some sawdust therapy Sunday. Finally fitted together the pieces to a new stick that I had started a while ago. The shank was one that I'd done years ago out of yellow birch, but the handle was nothing to write home about, so I decided to take it off and fit a new one. Had an ash root with a nice 90 degree turn in it which looked like it would suit.

A few pictures of the dry fit and post glue-up shaping. Coming along nicely.

Something odd about it though...
 

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Nicely done ddw2. It will be a good looking contrast when you put the finish on it.
 

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Good looking stick ddw2. Is yellow birch common in your area?
 

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Fairly common here in Maine, yes. I don't have the exact figures, but at a guess I'd say that it made up around 1/4 to 1/3 of the total amount of birch we have here (and we have a lot of birch).

The more I use it, the more it has become a favorite. It is really tough across the grain, not to the level of elm, but much more so than maple, ash, or oak.

The range of colors it comes in is pretty wild, too. The two outer pieces in the first picture, both shanks in the second and third pictures, and the one in the center in the fourth picture are all yellow birch. The last picture is the current shank before the handle replacement.
 

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Our native birch in this area of NW Indiana is the river birch and to a lesser extent the paper or white birch. We have several of the river birch growing on our property. The peeling bark and golden yellow leaves in fall make for a pretty tree in the landscape.

I have made 2 sticks with river birch. Makes a decent stick, sands, stains and finishes well, though it is a bit hard to carve as the wood has a tendency to chip much like white pine as it is a bit brittle.

One of these years we need to take the RV up to New England for the fall colors and maybe I can snag a piece or two of your yellow birch!
 

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Closest I've come to trying to carve yellow birch was when I tried to make a tenon for a cane. I'd cut around the shank about 3/8 to 1/4 inch deep with a saw to make a stop cut and then tried to pry/slice off the wood with 3 different knives with no luck. Had to use a rasp in the end. Tough stuff.

Looking at a map from the US Forest service, it supposedly grows down to about the South Bend area, but is all over the place in Michigan, especially the UP. (picture) The range is everything inside the red line. Colored dots I guess show commercial viability based on availability.

If you can't wait that long, PM me your address and I'll send you a couple of pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The idea for this one came from a Youtube video. The guy was doing a timber framing joint called a scissor joint and I thought to myself "That would look cool on a stick." I think if I try it again I'll make the angle more acute giving it a lot more surface area for glue. It's roughly a 45 degree cut but I think a 30 degree would be better. Cutting it in a miter box instead of eye-balling it might help too. To reinforce it a bit more, I epoxied in a couple of cut-off 16d nails.

The short version of the You tube video:

 

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Lovely looking stick and I really like the sloping cut joint. That's on the list to try but I better get straight joints down first!
 
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