Thanks. Good suggestions.Here are some tips I've found that will prevent cracking at least in most of the woods I have access too.
1. Cutting in the "off season", eg: when the sap has stopped running will help. This also is handy as you
can see the wood, as leaves are off trees.
2. Cut your sticks longer than you will need, as wood tends to "check/crack" on the ends.
3. Sealing the ends is good, as you suggested, using wax.
4. When you bring your sticks home, try putting them under cover, or in the garage, somewhere cooler
and where they will dry out slowly.
5. And my favorite suggestion is... don't be in too much of a hurry to strip the bark off your walking sticks.
The bark will act as aid and keep the stick from cracking as not only does it help in holding it together but
it also slows the drying time down for more even drying. One of the other reasons I like bark so much is
you can sand it off down the road when dry and you can play with the rustic colors and texture and make
a very nice looking stick.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for that idea. I'll give it a try. I've been waiting to cut off the last inch or so on both ends and limbs that I want to remove. That seems to help, too.Yeah, wood checking is a common problem because wood dries something like 10x faster on the ends. I read somewhere that you should coat the ends in a 50% de-natured alcohol and 50% white shellac mix, and let it dry. Wax isnt good enough at stabilizing the wood. That coating supposedly doesn't damage the wood, and leaves it in a state that you can still carve it and work on it later.
Thanks for the tip! I have to wonder though, if you seal the moisture in too tightly or encapsulate it with the moisture in it, isn't that moisture going to rot the wood or damage it in some way? sooner or later it either escapes or goes sour, right?Yeah, wood checking is a common problem because wood dries something like 10x faster on the ends. I read somewhere that you should coat the ends in a 50% de-natured alcohol and 50% white shellac mix, and let it dry. Wax isnt good enough at stabilizing the wood. That coating supposedly doesn't damage the wood, and leaves it in a state that you can still carve it and work on it later.
Yeah, I like to do that, too. That also lets you adjust the length to fit someone else if you want to give it away or sell it.i cut my walking sticks a few inches longer than i need and i debark them and put hose clamps on both ends and let the sticks dry .tighten clamps every 2-3 days to keep pressure on the ends of the stick. the clamps might leave marks but you can cut off an inch or two on each end. seems to work pretty good on willow.
That is the product I used but I might have done something wrong. My problem was that it wouldn't migrate very far up the stick through capilary action and when I left it in the acrylic a long time it must have gotten mold spores from the air because it started turning black. Either way there was darkening of the white wood. I was stuck with either beige or black stains and the acrylic only traveled 3 inches or so up each end of the stick. The cracking sometimes happens the length of the stick, like with Ratan vine.The product Pentacryl (thru Woodcraft) is very good to use in regards to cellular replacement. Also, once dry, it allows for the use of finishing products afterwards. It was originally used for bowl turners using green wood to prevent checking and splitting.