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dtalbot

Stick Making

Hi all,
Doing a bit of tidying up in the garden today and one yew branch I cut strikes me as just about perfect to make a thumb stick, about 1.5"x 1.25" oval at the cut tapering to 1" circle at a nice natural fork 4ft along it.
Have never made a stick before so any suggestions are welcome, so far I've just cleaned off the twigs and plan on letting it season till next Christmas (is the warm dry kitchen or cold dry cellar the best place for that?). Should I sand down the twig stumps now or leave it till it is dry?
There is a bit of a bend in it which I'll try and straighten once it has seasoned as I guess if I do it now it will just re-bend as it dries.
confused

Any stick that feels good in your hand is the stick you want ,I try and dry mine in a straight position , cable ties are great things nowadays  but you can just tie it maybe along a beam in your shed/garage , I have made a couple of bits of wood like a + sign about 5ft long and I can get 4 drying at the one time , but generally I just tie them to the beams in my shed and forget about them , some have been there for years , but it never stops me cutting another  !
dtalbot

Yep, feels just right as a thumb stick, good idea on the cable ties though, will have to have a think if I have a suitable beam anywhere.
confused

Anything will do ive had them tied at most things , water pipes , bits of scaffold tubes , anything , then just fold a bit cardboard or something similar to bend the stick back to the straight ,
I'm pretty well ordanized now and have lots of wee packers wedges etc to help me on the way , but you can always fine tune the shape when its dried .
dtalbot

Great thanks, I'm sure I have something suitable to cable tie the yew stick to. More gardening today and have another half a dozen sticks cut, these are some sort of thorn, suckers that have come up from the rootstock of a grafted plum tree but have the advantage of being dead straight.
maltoid

Angle iron works well for straightening too, be aware also that Yew is toxic and care should be taken when working with it.
confused

maltoid wrote:
Angle iron works well for straightening too, be aware also that Yew is toxic and care should be taken when working with it.

Yep I made a 4 way from an old bed frame I found .
dtalbot

Thanks must get something sorted to fasten it too. won't be much working on this, mostly it will be a few twig scars to smooth off then varnish.
confused

dtalbot wrote:
Thanks must get something sorted to fasten it too. won't be much working on this, mostly it will be a few twig scars to smooth off then varnish.

I think you would be better pleased with an oil finish , a wee bit more rubbing , but it wont crack like varnish .
dtalbot

Good idea, will do.
soayguy

Stick making

I use a hot air gun and run it along the bit I need to straighten .
Get it hot then use your knee to bend it back hold for 15 to 20 sec.
I also get a blow lamp to burn the stick then rub it down to the shade I want, then varnish.

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