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Hello Everyone,

Since beginning to harvest diamond willow around the first of the year, I have now collected about 250 sticks. I have finished about 14 of them, and here are a few pics. I'm learning a lot, and one thing I've discovered is that diamond willow can have many looks beyond the traditional reddish diamonds on light wood. If I find a piece that's dead or dying, but hasn't yet started to decay, I find many pleasant surprises under the bark. The wood becomes stained in amazing ways. Here are just a few samples!

The big stick is about seven feet long and I can't decide where to cut it. I suppose it depends on who is going to use it.

I put three coats of polyurethane on these. Are there other varnishes that some of you prefer?

I've put rubber tips on some of my sticks. I don't care of the look of the cane ferrule, so I went with the rubber tip suggested here:

http://www.bilagaana.com/rubbertip/rubbertip01.html

Has anyone tried using a plain old felt pad like those you put on chair legs? I suppose they wouldn't last a real long time. I like tip ideas that don't cover the wood too much.

Oh, also - I have found that after a couple months, the sticks stop losing weight, so I consider them dry. I have read in numerous places that they should dry for a year. I suppose that depends on the condition of the stick when it's harvested, as well as the environment in which it dries. But so far, I'm having good success finishing sticks that were harvested a few months ago. Of the 250 or so sticks that I've harvested, I've only noticed checking on the thick end of a couple sticks. I haven't treated the ends with wax or anything like that.

Thanks for looking and for your feedback!
 

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All are good looking sticks.

Good idea on the cane tips. I'll probably stick with what I'm doing though. I like the extra protection against splitting at the bottom.

Rodney
 
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