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Thread: Wood for making walking sticks

  1. #1
    Goon Billy Casper's Avatar
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    I'm hope I'm not stepping too far out of the 'outdoor' borders here, but I'm going to make a walking stick and was wondering if anyone could offer advice on a good wood to use, and more importantly, where to find it. Woods and forests, obviously, but which type? Am I likely to find the kind of wood I need in someone's back garden, for instance? Down by my local river? I know that must sound like a daft question. When all said and done, how can anyone here possibly know what type of trees are growing in my area? But there must be a general kind of rule when looking for hardwoods.

    Also, does the 'piece' you use have to come off a living tree or will fallen branches do?

    I'd also love to hear from anyone that's made their own walking/hiking staff/stick. What wooddid you use? Where did you find it?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Ultra King G wumpy's Avatar
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    Hazel is the best without a doubt. straight, tough and can flex.

  3. #3
    Goon Billy Casper's Avatar
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    Thanks, G reat.

  4. #4
    Ultra King G wumpy's Avatar
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    Hedge rows and woods. It's fairly common.

  5. #5
    Ultra King Frum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G reat View Post
    Hazel is the best without a doubt. straight, tough and can flex.
    Ash runs it close, and might be easier to find..

  6. #6
    Goon Billy Casper's Avatar
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    Does it have to come off a live tree?

  7. #7
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    Hickory's not bad either, but you may have to travel to find some.

  8. #8
    Ultra King G wumpy's Avatar
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    Yes all of em.

    Hazel look for a branch growing from just above grown level and cut it close to the trunk, will give you a good broad handle.

  9. #9
    Goon Billy Casper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G reat View Post
    Hazel look for a branch growing from just above grown level and cut it close to the trunk, will give you a good broad handle.

    Good tip, G reat. I plan to make a stick with a knobbed end - *great for thwacking anyone I take a dislike to

    * Before he gets his throat jumped down, Billy would like to make it clear that this line was intended as a joke

  10. #10
    Ultra King G wumpy's Avatar
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  11. #11
    Ultra King G wumpy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G reat View Post

    Yes all of em.

    Hazel look for a branch growing from just above grown level and cut it close to the trunk, will give you a good broad handle.
    That is the classic knob stick.

  12. #12
    Goon Billy Casper's Avatar
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    So it's best to cut from live trees then? Am I to understand that deadwood will be too weak to use?

  13. #13
    Ultra King G wumpy's Avatar
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    yes you are right in your thinking, Billy

  14. #14
    Ultra King Parky Again's Avatar
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    encouraging to people to go out desecrating our beloved countrysi..(OUCH! was that hazel or ash?)

  15. #15
    ‹bermensch Mick w.'s Avatar
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    This is the right time of year to cut walking stick poles, but it's best to leave them to dry out for a few months. If you don't there is a slight risk that they will twist or bend as they dry, meaning your stick will change shape.

    I got meself a thumbstick hazel one. Use it quite a lot.

  16. #16
    ‹bermensch Chris OutdoorsGrubcouk's Avatar
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    Blackthorn I believe used to be popular?

  17. #17
    Ultra King Martin Carpenter's Avatar
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    An awful lot of useful looking information including a dedicated and seemingly quite active forum at - http://www.thestickman.co.uk/hobby.htm.

    The main UK woods are apparently Hazel, Ash, Blackthorn and Holly with others possible. Not sure what mine are made of but they certainly work nicely (my father made them from wood from the garden.).

  18. #18
    ‹bermensch Mick w.'s Avatar
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    I'm going to get a couple of holly staves, I like the idea of carving little 'tree spirit' faces into them! I've tried on a couple of old bits of wood, and they came out ok. Silly I know, but everyone needs a hobby!

  19. #19
    Ultra King Trevor D Gamble's Avatar
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    I'm a bit late to this thread but wanted to say that there was a very good little inexpensive Shire Books book on this subject, still available to order through bookshops.

  20. #20
    Ultra King Trevor D Gamble's Avatar
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    I just looked and cannot find that book now on the Shire website, so it might well sadly have been one of the titles dropped in last years takeover of the company by a bigger publishing group. They still have copies at Attleborough Accessories online though I'm sure, along with their diy walking stick supplies they sell.

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