Walking Stick Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a dwarf apple tree that caught fire blight. Instead of burning it thought I might try making my first walking stick. The trunk is about 2in thick and very straight. This was a grafted tree, thought the graft might look interesting sanded and finished. Branches we're an inch or less in diameter. I dug it out in Jan. and left about 6in. length on branches. I'm not sure how long it needs to cure. Anyone ever work with green apple?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,954 Posts
Hi Griff and welcome aboard. What CV3 said. Just put it somewhere out of the way and forget about it for a while. I haven't done a lot with apple but my understanding is it likes to move as it dries, at least apple boards do.

Rodney
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
Be sure to seal the cut ends with something to avoid checking. Lots of stuff will work: wax, paint, oil, etc. Fruitwood is notorious for checking. For something the size you describe, I'd give it a good year and a half to two years, depending on your location.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,954 Posts
I only tried the lashing a stick to something as it dries method once. It didn't work and took up a lot of space for me. You can trim the longer stubs down to an inch or so with no worries. Might make the stick more manageable as it cures. Less stuff poking out and hanging up on things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,954 Posts
I've used some Howards products. They're generally more for restoration/refinishing than they are for new work. I might be wrong (it's been a while since I looked) but I believe the feed & wax is more for polishing antiques that only need some minor touching up or a little wax to look good again.

It might work well as a top coat but I would still use a regular finish on your sticks first. I prefer oil finishes like boiled linseed oil or tung oil. Maybe a little more work due to needing multiple coats but the results are worth it and oil finishes are easy to touch up if needed. I currently use Minwax Tung Oil, mainly because the hardware store around the corner from me carries it. It's a good product. Randy started a thread not too long ago about 100% Tung Oil. It might be worth checking out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,086 Posts
Welcome aboard Griff.

Working any wood green is usually not a good idea. As CV3 said 6-8 months per inch of diameter is a good rule of thumb. Some woods dry a little quicker than others depends a lot on when you harvested the piece. Winter is a good time to harvest as most of the sap has left the tree and concentrated in the roots. Mid Winter harvested wood will dry quicker than wood taken in say spring or summer.

If the wait is getting hard to take. Walk in your nearest woods (National Forests allow harvest of dead and downed timber) and look for dead standing or FOG wood (found on ground) that has already dried. May not be the best option but it will give you something to play with.

I have also found much wood to work with in newly developed subdivisions. Developers of wooded lots in my area bulldoze the understory into large piles for later disposal by wood-chippers. This understory is usually the sapling sized trees we stick-makers use. Beat the chippers to the piles and one can usually find some usable pieces.

Finally think outside the box a bit when looking for stick making materials. I have used the 1" and 1 1/4" red oak dowels found at lumber stores to make cane shanks. I have also used pine closet pole rods found at the same stores as stick shanks and I have several 60" ash pitch fork handles that I intend to turn into some sort of stick, either cane shanks or hiking staffs.

I believe CV3 found a teak flag pole off an old speed boat and used it for a stick!

Lots of options while you wait for that apple to dry

Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Not sure how to navigate these forums. I'm replying to my own post back in Feb. with another question. It's been about 7 months that it's been curing, the root ball split but the rest of the trunk looks fine. The bark is all wrinkled. The diameter goes from about 2 inches to 1 inch, about 6 feet long. Should I wait another 3 months or so?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,954 Posts
The little bit of apple I have moved a lot while it dried. The two inch part on your stick probably isn't fully dry yet. You run the risk of it splitting on the end if you don't wait. If you just must start now (I'm impatient too so I understand) you can try coating the cut ends with whatever finish you're using while you're working on it to help slow down the drying process. There's no guarantee that it'll work though.

I have a stick sitting here unfinished that I started working on while the wood was wet (like i said, I'm impatient). In this case it's a holly handle. Holly is another wood that likes to move a lot as it dries. A crack formed on the small end of the handle after the stick was almost done because it dried out that much quicker than the rest of it. I ruined an otherwise really nice stick because of my impatience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks Rodney, I've waited this long might as well wait awhile longer. The root ball is split almost clear through but not up through the graft. I'm hoping the graft has some interesting grain structure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Finally finished my first walking stick. Put 2 coats of golden pecan minwax stain on it followed by 2 coats of True oil. Had a few small cracks where I removed some branch stubs but I think it will hold up.
Not sure how to add a picture.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,954 Posts
If you're not using an image hosting site, use the "More Reply Options" button instead of the reply button. It will give you an "Attach Files" option below to load directly from your computer and pretty well walks you through the process.

After Photobucket dropped their free option and decimated a lot of internet pictures on forums like this one due to it, it's what I prefer. I don't trust the other free hosting sites not to follow their lead at some point.

It's been a couple years since they made that move and I'm still grumpy.

I know I'd love to see your stick.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top