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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got home from work fairly early yesterday and the weather was decent, so I decided to take a walk down behind my folks' place to the old disused cow pasture to look for stick blanks. Couldn't believe how much it had changed down there; I used to know every tree and rock there but after 15-20 years almost nothing was familiar. I really wanted to check out an old apple tree I remembered to see if it had anything usable, but when I found it, it was half dead and everything on it branch-wise was too big or too small.

I did manage to come away with 5 blanks, though. One ash, one apple (from a different tree) and three maple, one of which is almost identical to a cane I finished a while ago (pic below). Same size and very similar root handle.

Also spotted a few thorn bushes of the same type as another cane I did (The one that had kind of an antler/rhino horn look to it) so I will have to go back for those.

Something else to go back and check out was a maple tree which had fallen over but not died. From the horizontal trunk, several branches had sprouted and grown straight upwards.
 

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Sounds like you had a good day anyway.

Bring a saw when you go back and see if you can get some of the trunk on that maple too. You might be able to get some good one piece sticks.

Rodney
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had my small blank-collecting saw with me but the tree was just too big. It would need the bow saw or a chain saw. Or an axe.

Went out again today and got two more ash sticks, three thorn bush sticks, and a nice straight bit of chestnut which had been on my folks lawn until Dad clipped it with the snowplow this winter. (I don't think Ma has noticed it is gone yet)

The thorn bush is amazingly dense wood. Probably close to twice the weight of ash or maple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, I think it is a species of hawthorn. A shrub variety, perhaps, since it only gets to be about 10-12 feet tall. Once it leaves out, I'll have to check it in my tree identifier book to try and pin down the variety.

Growing up, we (my brother, cousins, and I) always referred to them as just "thorn bushes." ( Well, actually, it was usually "Those f***ing thorn bushes" since they hurt like crazy when you ran into one by accident.)

The cut surface is smooth as glass. Makes me wonder how a piece of it would do on the lathe? Wikipedia says folks used to make tool handles from it, so I bet it turns nicely.
 

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Pictures?

I cut a couple pieces of hawthorn this winter. It's heavy compared to other woods and resists steaming. It seems to be tough solid stuff. I was leaning into those sticks pretty good and not getting far with them.

Rodney
 

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Pictures of the haul. Four thorn bush blanks, three maple and a chestnut, then two ash and an apple. The apple and the small maple cane blank are clamped to boards to hopefully straighten them a bit.

Oops! Meant to turn the photos the right way up but...oh well.
 

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Got a few more yesterday while walking the dogs and again this morning before the rain is supposed to hit.

Three dogwood, a nice oak with knob stick potential, and a really cool cherry root cane in first pic. Four nice maples in second pic. Two ash and a two-for-one yellow birch in the last pic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ah yeah, I see it now. You're right , it does! I was looking more at the roots than the shank. It even has a good spot for a couple of tusks to be added where the branches were.

Wouldn't be the first time I made a set of fake elephant tusks, either. When I was in college, one of my roommates, a guy from Viet Nam named Hiep Tran, had a carved wooden elephant amongst the things on his desk. I saw that it had lost its tusks somewhere along the way so I found a piece of scrap pine board and whittled it a new set. The college's only pachyderm denturist, I was. LOL
 

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Pictures of the haul. Four thorn bush blanks, three maple and a chestnut, then two ash and an apple. The apple and the small maple cane blank are clamped to boards to hopefully straighten them a bit.

Oops! Meant to turn the photos the right way up but...oh well.
you would be better of straightening them after there seasoned with a heat gun its not a long job as long as you don't scorch them got to admit steam is better
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'll have to try that. It'll mean building a steambox first, but that was on my list of things I ought to buy/build to do proper straight sticks.

I'd be nervous using a heat gun, though. The area where I work on sticks is quite close to where we store the horse's hay. At least with the steamer, there's a source of water handy.
 

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i see your problem but for a one off is it worth building a steamer . i mostly use the heat gun but perfer steaming . jsut heat the shank up a little at a time and just bend it till straight working your way along the shank . with steaming you can leave it till its well hot without scotching and you can bend it into a crook shape quite easily. i oftern bend them on my knee but its better to use a very simple jig you don't have to leave it till its cold just bend it then do the next bit.

Its useful to use a bit of chalk to mark where it needs bending for a marker
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I might actually have all the bits and pieces I'd need to build a steambox, now that I think about it. The gf has an old Shark (brand) floor cleaning rig which works with steam which she doesn't use anymore. Some scrap lumber, a piece of PVC pipe, and some insulation board. Hmmm. And vacation week after next.

I wonder how yellow birch would bend?
 

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you may also consider a wall[paper stripper connected up to the box they work well

cant comment on yellow bitch not used it butany wood will bend if steamed and pressure applied some better than others

after all a boat builders bend there wood
 

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It takes longer but for just one or two sticks you can get by just by laying the stick across a boiling pot of water and covering it with a towel. If you're going to make a habit of it a steam box is the way to go-especially for multiple sticks.

Rodney
 
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