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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I've long had in an interest in woodworking, and just dabbled here and there. Part of the problem is I have such a tiny workshop - it will never be feasible to have a table saw, jointer, planer, and all the other fun stuff of modern furniture making. Not to mention the other part of my hobby time is spent with electronics, so soldering and sawdust don't always mix.

A couple of weeks ago during Fall cleanup, I noticed a small maple tree growing too close to another treem and my shed. It was about 10' tall and 3" wide at the base. I cut it down and trimmed off the top - and noticed it was pretty straight. It dawned on me that it might make a good staff (not that I fight anything, other than the random spider!) or walking stick.

I'm gradually working on it, but so far it's a lot of fun! I'm now thinking that that carving could satisfy my desire for woodworking. It takes up a lot less space and I can buy tools here and there one-at-a-time, and not need any new electrical work!

Wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience!
 

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I think quite a few people have similar problems with the size of there workshops , I have my shop small is crammed full of stuff . I make good use of wall space to leave as much space as [possible for a workbench ,The more room you have the more room you want ,So its a constant battle to keep the place clean and tidy which I might add is a losing battle .There is a article somewhere on here about workshops sure if you did a search you would find it
 

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It doesn't take a lot of space or hardware, tho' I'm a sucker for new tools. Also, as my arthritis increases, some power tools are beginning to look attractive.

I started out making sticks as a pastime. I'd just sit on my garden bench, w. a small rug in my lap, a knife, and a 4-in-1 rasp. I found my basement was too cramped, and other than applying stain and varnish, was not a good work space. I now use one end of an enclosed porch,which has sufficient room, and decent illumination. Still use almost all hand tools, so the dust and chips I make don't scatter very far. Most of the time, a broom and a bench brush are sufficient to keep the mess under control.

For awhile I went on a binge of stick collecting, and I have ,maybe a hundred and fifty curing around the walls of my garage. As slowly as I work, I figure I really don't need any more. Only added 4 more in the past 2 months!
 

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Hi dugbee, I thing many of us started that way. I started carving sticks in a studio apartment with a pocket knife. You do not need a lot of tools. I grew in to doing woodcarving of all types. But with sticks I still do mosu of the work with 4 Palm tool and couple of carving knives.
 

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Hello dugby. I basically started out like the other fella's. I work in my garage on a bench I made that is always "too" small as Cobalt says. Pretty much use a couple of carving knives and a few palm gouges like CV3. I do use a small inexpensive battery dremel with a couple sanding drums now and then. But as Gdenby says most of my clean up is with a broom and maybe a shop vac. Great thing about our hobby is it doesn't take a lot of expensive equipment.
 

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Unless you're turning them on a lathe most of the work done on sticks is with hand tools anyway.

If you want to do other types of woodworking I recommend handtools. You can do a lot with a couple sharp hand saws and planes and a well stocked tool chest doesn't take much room. A sturdy bench is a must but it doesn't need to be big either.

Rodney
 

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Welcome. This hobby doesn't nessecarily require a big shop. I'm lucky I have a shop it's not big but cozy. It's addictive as stated. I'm sure you'll enjoy it as you move forth. Great group of people on here always helpful.

Sean
 

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all the stickmakers are right about room , my trouble is I am addicted to stickmaking and have a small workshop. I have shown these before but as you mentioned you don't have much room I thought I would show them again

Some of the stickmakers have some good ideas here for space saving always worth looking at even adapting them to suit your ideas.

I have to make as much space as pos hence the reason for the French cleat system

Building Wood Toolroom Engineering Shelf Wood Interior design Shelving Shelf Retail Wood Gas Hardwood Art Machine Bird Beak Wood Bottle Feather
 

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Nice looking shop. You still have room for more tools. I saw at least 2 or 3 square inches of bare wall. :)

I saw a pipe in one picture. I smoke one too. That's another area of woodworking that doesn't take much room.

I've made a couple. It's very challenging to produce a good pipe (for me anyway).

Rodney
 

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those photo's are quite old as I have stopped smoking never did smoke much anyway but that's my brothers pipe

all the room is filled in now
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone for the welcome and great insights! I've built CV3's carving jig. I just need to stain/finish it and make the handle for the vise. Then I can get back to my first stick. I've also put a couple of knives on my Xmas wish list. Cobalt, that's a cozy looking shop! Wish I had a window.

In my suburban neighborhood I don't have any private woods where I can (ethically) get raw materials, but I have some friends with bigger yards. I'll have to ask them to look around for me.
 

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I keep a set of loppers in the car. Sometimes I might vary my route a little to swing by areas where I can harvest a stick without invading someone's yard. There are usually areas that aren't maintained in parks and other public areas where taking a stick or two won't do any damage. There are also public forests on state and federal land where harvesting a couple sticks won't raise any eyebrows. Just don't load up a pickup full. Road right-of-ways are another good public area. Occasionally they have to trim the brush back from the road edges anyway.

Rodney
 

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you will be doing the plants good to harvest some of them ,It will make the plant stronger in the long run

Its a good idea carrying loppers around .

I just have a couple of days havesting shanks should easily get a 100 if i want be i can afford to be selective and hoping to get a few pieces so i can carve a single market stick .Its a long job seasoning the shanks but worth it.
 

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CV3 carving jig looks handy , sure you will find it useful , and if its tried and tested by some its always a good sign
 

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Glad the jig is a good project for you dugbee. But it is not my jig. I got it from a watching carving video on doing wood spirits on a walking stick. It has served me well for years.
 

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Hello dugbee, I imagined space is a problem for many carvers. My interest began while I was travelling in a RV. A fellow I met showed me how to carve a wood spirit on a stick and I was hooked. It took up so little space and required only a knife to begin with. Of course, with all hobbies, space will become a problem as your hobby grows.

BTW, Cobalt, that is a great shop.
 

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In my suburban neighborhood I don't have any private woods where I can (ethically) get raw materials, but I have some friends with bigger yards. I'll have to ask them to look around for me.
Finding suitable sticks for carving may seem like a sizable problem for city dwellers. However, I live in a condominium in Los Angeles and I was able to find more sticks than I could ever carve. In fact, now that I no longer carve, I am pondering what to do with my remaining sticky inventory.

There are lots of trees in my community and, every couple of years, the city sends out maintenance crews to trim them. Whenever I was able to act quickly enough, I could easily pick up 1/2 dozen to a dozen sticks. And, don't forget your friends and neighbors. One of my neighbors would keep me informed whenever she saw the maintenance crew on her walks. I also was able to pick up special sticks like aspen and diamond willow at the carving shows. While my wife was visiting her sister, she noticed the neighbor trimming his trees and was able to get four very nice sticks from him. They turned out to be paulownia which is a very light weight but sturdy stick. FYI, President Jimmy Carter planted paulownia trees on his farm. He made a display cabinet from the wood which sold at his fundraising auction for $230,000.
 

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I am lucky i have permission to cut what i like in 3 woods in the area.At the moment its just to wet to cut anythibg hope it wil dry up a bit after the new year
 

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G'day and welcome from Australia!

Sometime ago we had a "Show us your shed" thread.

It will give you a good look at where we work.

I find that poplar is a great medium for shanks.

Poplars seem to be a ubiquitous plant and easy for most to find. I also carry a bush saw in my car.

Cheers

****
 
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