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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well a new year is on the horizon. I have been thinking about what I would like to do with my stick making in the New Year and was wondering what thought some of you may have about where you want to take stick you're making this year. I want to improve my skills to do the type of sticks and the quality work done in the UK and shared by a number of you on this site. And I would like to start a cane and stick making group here in our area. We have a few stick makers around but there is no organized group. I think it would offer a place for us to all improve and grow our skills with all types of stick making. But getting a group of us southern Red Necks organize may be wishful thinking.
 

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From what I've seen of carvers in my area, having a organized group has kind of burned out. There is a lot of work to organize a club; obtain a meeting place, collect dues, send out notices, arrange for speakers, have a semi-annual show, etc., and usually a few people do the majority of the work.

What you may prefer is to simply have a place to gather on a regular basis to socialize as you work. Nothing organized, no expectations. Just friends hanging out.
 

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I've enjoyed more sales than I originally anticipated since I opened my Etsy store last November. My goals for my store for 2018 are to try to get my sales up to an average of 1 sale a week. I'm not that far from it. I'm also working on leather wraps and leather wrist straps. I don't see a lot of people offering them so it might be a good niche for me to explore. I also want to offer more handle designs and more turned shanks in different woods.

I'm also working to improve my skills and methods. I'm not as precise as I want or need to be yet. There's a lot of room for improvement on the fit and finish of my canes.

First though, I need to get more shanks. I want enough for this coming year and well into 2019 so I'm not caught short at the end of the year yet again.

Rodney
 

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Got a few things I'd like to try next year as far as sticks are concerned. Adding more carving is one. Apparently, there is (or at least was) a carving group in the town next to mine the: Carver Street Carvers, in Waterville, ME. Need to check them out sometime.

The past several months, I've definitely branched into new territory from strictly root sticks into multi-piece sticks. Got a wallpaper steamer and a heat gun a while back to try to start straightening sticks. I've started the process of making my own twisties by taking some wire into the woods with me when I search for blanks and wrapping some small saplings. I've also turned my old pumpkin patch into a walking stick patch into which I transplant tiny saplings which have potential for stick blanks and will probably plant some walnuts, chestnuts, etc.

I ended up starting an Etsy site back in August. Only two sales so far (and almost a 3rd, but I guess the cost of shipping to Singapore was too prohibitive) but lots of views and quite a few favorited items.

One thing I've been wanting to try and finally got it cut was a curved joint on a stick. The curve didn't come out as nice as I'd hoped, but for a first try it'll do. Probably won't finish it until next year since my "shop" isn't heated and weather guy is saying single digit highs for the foreseeable future. (-10 tonight into Saturday)
 

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That's a tough joint to get right but worth the effort to try. It's a nice detail for those who appreciate it. I still find myself struggling with straight lines at times.

What's the name of your shop? I'd be happy to take a look and see what can be improved-at least as much as I know.

Rodney
 

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FOBGWABWoodenStuff. The first part stands for Fat Old Bald Guy With A Beard. I tried all sorts of combinations using my name but they were either taken or had similar sounding ones listed, so I went for a sort of general description. LOL. Thought I might list some of my turned bowls and vases at some point, too, so I didn't emphasize the stick making aspect in the name.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/FOBGWABWoodenStuff?ref=profile_shopname
 

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Good looking shop and good looking stuff. A few of your sticks look familiar. :) I love the name of your shop.

You might want to work on your tags a little more. A few suggestions: walking sticks canes, walking cane (a lot of people search that one), wooden cane. I also use hand crafted and hand made. OTOH I'm thinking about adding Senior Selections to mine.

I like clean titles like yours but Etsy's search engine likes to see titles that have tags in them too. For example: Beech Handled Cane, walking stick, walking cane.

It might help you get more exposure.

You're doing well so far and you already have a great review. Keep it up, the sales will come.

Rodney
 

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Thanks for the advice, Rodney. With the weather the way it is, I'll have an excuse to stay in and do some editing.

The guy who bought the apple cane is a collector, apparently, and has a rather extensive collection. We had a very interesting conversation regarding canes. He made some good suggestions, too.

I actually stole "Senior selections" from our local (well, Maine New Hampshire and parts of Mass) swap and sell it guide called Uncle Henry's.
 

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One thing I've been wanting to try and finally got it cut was a curved joint on a stick. The curve didn't come out as nice as I'd hoped, but for a first try it'll do
If you put graphite on one part of the joint and put it together and take it back apart; you will see were it is touching. file off the graphite transfered and repeat. Soon you will have a perfect fit.
 

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If you can get enough interest there's no reason why it shouldn't work

several groups here have quite large groups thers around 50 people in the group i belong to

they have guest speakers and demonstrations but it is hard work and it is usually left to few people

i run the local croquet group and its usually left to a couple of us to do the work which can be frustrating and does cause time pressures but i enjoy it overall so will carry on doing it , so good luck with it .The main thing is getting a message to the right people at the right time

In Australia they run groups called men in sheds and it seems popular some tend to work in wood others in metal some do both but they meet up in the members workshops .It seems to be so popular in places that they have there own workshop set up with people coming and going as they please .But once its going people will meet up regularly and become friends often dropping in just for a coffee

there are several health benefits for people to meet up men in particular don't meet up regularly like women , but its healthy to keep the mind active share ideas and has been proven to have health benefits for people to meet and share activities
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think it will start as a good old boy group . We will see if it grows any.
 

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LilysDad, I'll have to try that for the final fitting. I usually put them together and scribe a line where I need to trim, but I'll give your idea a try.

The way I cut the pieces in the pictures was to tape them together with the shank sitting atop the handle and cut them at the same time on my jigsaw (with the thinnest blade I have). They did shift a bit because of the torque I was putting on the shank as it moved through the turn. I am thinking a bit more overlap and a few more turns of tape will help next time.
 

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I go to a group with about 30 members with a regular 15+ attending the weekly meets , other groups may meet once a month but there is alot of interest once the group stars.
 
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