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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to this walking stick making thing. I am having problems with the staves splitting. I am cutting the stave, stripping the bark, and coating the ends 1-2 inches in wax. They are sitting in my garage at about 45 degrees. I am a little leary to cut anymore staves until I get it figured out why they are splitting. Any ideas would be appreciated.
 

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It might be from stripping the bark. Some types of wood are more prone to this than others. If you strip them just after cutting only because they are easier to peel when green, you can try wrapping them in a few sheets of newspaper to slow the drying process. Otherwise, I'd leave the bark on and just seal the ends.
 

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Welcome Ed, I haven't had much of a problem with it but then I live on the wet side of Washington too. The only thing I can add is cut them longer than you need. That will give you some room to trim them to length when they're dry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the help, they have been splitting almost the entire length. They are anywhere form 2-3" in diameter. The smaller ones don't seem to cause a problem. When leaving the bark on, how long roughly does one need to wait for it to be dry enough to not worry about it splitting? I have been using amur maple and lilac, as that is what I have in my yard.
 

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A good rule of thumb is 8-10 months of drying time per inch of thickness. I usually give them at least a year. So something 2-3 inches should need a good couple of years to be on the safe side. Maybe 3.

The time of year when you harvest them can make a difference, too. Best time is in autumn/winter when they have gone dormant.
 

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I've also cut some lilac branches from my yard, and though I kept some intact, a lot of them split. That wood just is really prone to split and I have to be extra careful with it. Sometimes it splits no matter what I do.
 
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