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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did some pruning on the giant plum tree in my backyard. I came away with a couple of really nice sticks. Anyone ever used plum before?
 

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@boxwoodruler

Great to know about fruit wood. We have oodles and gobs of almond, peach, apricot, and plum in this area, and orchards are constantly being taken out and replanted. And here I've been thinking I have very little access to decent wood. What about grape?
 

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I'm assuming you're talking about grape vines. I've not tried any vines. It would be work an experiment if you could find the right piece.

As for fruit wood, yeah, as boxwoodruler said, very nice stuff. Highly figured "fruitwood" tables and furniture used to be the biggest trend hundreds of years ago. It tends to be very dense, works well, but with a tricky grain. Apple wood was the favorite for saw handles because of its hardness that is balanced by its ability to be worked well, and take a smooth finish. (when you're sawing by hand all day, you want a handle that is sculpted, and incredibly smooth to avoid blisters!)

The trick will be finding a piece that works well and that dries without too much cracking. Depending on the types of trees (dwarf variety or large) you may have to consider taking a chuck of the connecting trunk along with the branch, if possible. Use the mass of the trunk to sculpt a larger, round handle and give you the little bit extra length.

Now I'm jealous of your "No good wood around here" location.
 

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I just didn't realize! (-:

I guess I'm very fortunate to live in an area that produces so much fruit and nuts. Gallo Winery is the biggest employer in my area. I've seen some very big grape vines. I looked around on the net, and found one grape walking stick for sale. It was very nice. It was made from the trunk of the vine.

I don't know very nuch about grapes, but I think the vine part is actually somewhat tubular and small, but is attached to the part they call the 'cane', which is in turn attached to the trunk. Now the trunks actually get quite thick with older plants, so I'm guessing the cane part would be better, since the size might be more appropriate, and is usually trained to grow straight on a trellis.

I'll need to keep my eyes and ears open for a farmer removing grapes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, the big stick I cut back in May has been sitting in my hot garage all summer. No checking has happened but the bark is still on and doesn't want to come off. The wood has stiffened up substantially. Any ideas on the best way to get the bark off?
 

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littleknife posted some links to Victorian era stick making in the thread "The walking sticks of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson" One that i read mentioned the sticks were packed in wet sand to make them more workable.

Early on, I tried soaking old found sticks in the spray from a yard sprinkler. The bark did become very soft, and I peeled it away. And then, about a day later, the stick split along the length. I'm pretty sure getting the bark damp will make it easier to remove, but it I'm sure caution is required.

I have a Mora batoning/farrier knife that is very good at letting me hack away thick bark. Cost about $12, not including shipping. Even after 4 hours of turning bark to mulch, it doesn't need sharpening. Also a good way of working off steam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the info. I'll try getting the bark wet on a section I plan to cut off.
 
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