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Cobalt, the third picture with the crabapple shanks there are wispy looking sticks in the background. What are they? They don't look like shanks but maybe something decorative.
Rodney
 

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No where around here to gather that kind of collection of sticks. I can only dream of gathering a years worth of sticks at one time.
 

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Very impressive collection of shank material. Those blackthorn look even more dangerous to collect than the hawthorn I got last summer. And I looked like I'd been in a knife fight after getting those!
 

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Around our area we don't have access to that kind of quantity, I am jealous.

We do have a couple of species here that coppicing would benefit. The eastern cotton wood and trembling aspen both would be good candidates for coppicing if I could find a property landowner that would let me have at them. Also black willow would be another.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am not familiar with your woods would be interesting to work a few .

a lot of woods here are small in comparison with yours. also a good amount are ancient woodlands growing only native species of wood. and a good deal of time and effort by people keep it this way to encourage natural wild life .In areas deer re causing a problem as a few species are not natural to the Uk and damaging the woodland and will have to be culled

By working with local people it does produce benefits for all gives a good supply of shanks and help the wild life

Locally the woodland trust here are developing new woods growing native species and although not large improve the local area . there intention is to surround the town with woodland a bit ambitious i think but have a far size woods now
 

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Very nice looking sticks. Something you just don't see in the hazel around here. Ours is a different variety and isn't coppiced so straight clear shanks like yours are rare.
 

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Some very nice shanks there, gents. Been cutting quite a few myself of late: blackthorn, hazel, lots of ash, birch, holly, hawthorn and cherry. I have to say that the blackthorn although a real shredder of skin and clothing has to be my favourite. Dense and strong with lovely dark brown bark.They're all bound with baler twine and stacked in the garage rafters till winter 2019. I do love those crab apple shanks pictured earlier.
 

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The red kite would make a nice carved topper for my collection of interchangeable ones

will have to get the pencil sharpened . A fair while since i did any drawings for a project

You can get some very nice coloured hazel shanks in your part of the world some appear to be like crackle glaze .A friend of mine has a few. tried to get some myself but no luck

You should have access to rams horn up there which is on my wants list a good rams horn crook with a crackle glaze hazel shank
 

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The Red Kite username comes from a canoeing trip back in '08 to Loch Ken. We were paddling along and a friend of mine shouted over to me that three of the majestic creatures were soaring and circling overhead. I was so entranced by the spectacle that before I knew it, I'd crashed into a reed bed and had some difficulty extracting myself! It's an inspirational story too as twenty to thirty years ago, Red Kites were reduced to a small group in the mountains of Wales but thanks to many reintroduction programs around the country, the breed is flourishing once again. A modern day Phoenix if you like. Plus, I just love that forked tail!

Working horn seems like voodoo magic to me at this very early stage, so it'll be stag antler and wood handles first then I hope to make a basic steamer to bend ash shanks for one piece crooks. I did harvest a lovely hawthorn shank with a large piece of trunk almost parallel to it so in a couple of years, I'm hoping it'll making an attractive Price of Wales or Grafton knob stick. I'm not sire it's quite big enough for a leg cleek and it certainly won't do for a one piece crook but a cracking knob stick for sure.

Once again chaps, thanks again for the inspiration!

Graeme
 

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I have to say that the blackthorn although a real shredder of skin and clothing has to be my favourite.
The blackthorn shilaghlehs (sp) that I have seen are import items and they are always painted with black paint. I'm guessing that is not the best way to do it.
 

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I wouldn't think so. After straightening then shaping and polishing the knob part, oiling would be for me, the proper way to go.
 

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I have to say that the blackthorn although a real shredder of skin and clothing has to be my favourite.
The blackthorn shilaghlehs (sp) that I have seen are import items and they are always painted with black paint. I'm guessing that is not the best way to do it.
Somewhere on this forum there was a discussion regarding the making of a true blackthorn shillelagh. Someone said they had read the shillelagh was sometimes seasoned in a manure pile. Also I read somewhere on here that a shillelagh is sometimes seasoned in the chimney. The former method, seasoning in a pile of sheite, would not be my number one choice. Might give it the black color, but I draw the line at walking with a sheiety stick..

The latter seasoning in a chimney would probably give the wood the black appearance and be a bit less aromatic
 

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Reminds me of an old joke: What's brown and sticky?

A stick...

I've read and seen things about making makeshift spears in survival situations where they recommended fire-hardening the wood by heating it over a campfire. I suppose putting it up the chimney for a while would do the same thing as well as giving it a darker appearance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
the shillelagh was mainly used as a club lots of people like them. myself i prefer something more individual with a carved topper or better still rams horn crook

I have been looking through my shanks must have 70 to 100 kicking about the wife said do something with them and get rid of a few . there ll over 2 years old so i will pick the best out for myself .just gave 10 away last week to friend . but they are untidy as there just left in the garage untied and all over the place .

I only probable use 1- 2 a month so plenty to go at anyway its croquet season so to busy to carve any at the moment
 
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