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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A large branch has blown down in the wind opposite my daughter's house. None of it is suitable for stick shafts but my thinking is this:

the large main branch, when seasoned properly after at least a couple of years would make some fine handles.

Am I right in thinking this?
 

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i have made ash hiking poles they do make good shanks so no reason why it wouldnt be handy

have a look around your area for hazel theres a suprising amount about

I havest mine locally most are good enough for working shanks but its sprising difficult to get a grade ones which i am after to try to make some compertition pieces

out of the amount i have very few would make show ones
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A friend has some hazel she wants removing and there look to be some good shanks in there, on my way up later so hopefully there'll be a good haul. Unfortunately it won't wait until Autumn as she wants them gone so I have to make the best of it.
 

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I cut them today and got 6 good looking shanks, all 6 feet or thereabouts, now safely stashed in my shed. I also happened upon something else climbing her house wall and slowly choking it. I think I know what it is, and it was uber thorny and "ate" two of my sabre saw blades getting it down. Pictures to follow, let me know what you think it is:

gallery_801_113_976752.jpg
 

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Looks like pyracantha. Store in airy dry position wouldn't recommend your workshop in case infected with wood worm. Keep for year straighten using steam (also kills worm). Pyracantha make nice shank will try & find some photos
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ah, no shanks unfortunatley it was all over the place but I did get a piece with some 90-ish degree bends which I hope will make a couple of nice handles in a year or so when it has been de-barked and carved.
 

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Ideally you cut sticks in the winter but ideal doesn't always happen. Cut sticks when you can. A safe rule of thumb is to dry a year per inch of thickness. Individual sticks vary and sometimes you can get by with less time drying.

Rodney
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was hoping it would be black thorn but I'm just not that lucky :)

@ Rodney - I'm just cutting them when I see them, allowing extra on the length for any splitting and trusting it all comes good!
 

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A friend has some hazel she wants removing and there look to be some good shanks in there, on my way up later so hopefully there'll be a good haul. Unfortunately it won't wait until Autumn as she wants them gone so I have to make the best of it.
If you can get a few straight pieces out of it try to cut some including the main stem it may be good enough to make a one piece crook or suitable for a single piece carved topper
 

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Cut it when you see it, if you don't someone else will, cut down trees are a good source of handles an 'V's for thumb sticks, also look at where side branches come from the main stem, ther can be swans, ducks., snakes hidin in there e.g.

Jaw Natural material Gesture Plant Font Human body Jaw Gesture Rectangle Font

Human body Musical instrument Font Picture frame Electric blue
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Cut it when you see it, if you don't someone else will, cut down trees are a good source of handles an 'V's for thumb sticks, also look at where side branches come from the main stem, ther can be swans, ducks., snakes hidin in there e.g.

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I just need to develop both my visualisation and my carving skills! As someone who flopped disastrously at art and technical drawing I'm "challenged" shall we say, however, learning new skills is all part of the fun!
 

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Gloops is right cut it when you see it .

I always draw my own patterns and get several from images of the net then change them to suit my need . But you can down lad images and modify the size easily enough. .Alternatively just take a picture f the subject matter and modify that .

There are some good pattern books about

I bought a couple of amazon called "decorative decoy carvers patterns /The ultimate painting & pattern portfolio" by Bruce burk

there's about 12 different species of wild fowl including both duck and drakes .The patterns are ideal for wild fowl toppers and need very little modification and that's just the neck to fit the shank. I wouldn't recommend the painting advice its mostly for American brands of paint and I found the English paint didn't work as well

There isn't any carving instructions just patterns but for a total od about 24 patterns its a good price
 

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I was hoping it would be black thorn but I'm just not that lucky :)

@ Rodney - I'm just cutting them when I see them, allowing extra on the length for any splitting and trusting it all comes good!
well at least you have a chance of finding blackthorn it's not allowed in my neck of the woods. I don't know if you have any interest in knob sticks but I always try to go for the root first. If it doesn't workout I still have a shaft to work on.
 
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