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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 22-Aug-2008, 05:32 PM
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Well, my partner and I just got back from Timberfell, a male-only, gay, clothing optional campground in Tennessee. We have a camper there and go every other weekend. Had a really good time. I need to find directions on how to make a staff. I found a piece of oak I wanted to make a staff out of. The campground is expanding, and I found an oak on a piece of land that was slated to be cleared. It had a very nice, straight branch which would serve my purposes perfectly. I spent some time with the tree and asked if it would like to be used by me for this purpose and it did. I gave it some water I had which came from a natural spring near my home and also poured some honey mead a friend made and gave me around its roots. Then I cut the branch I needed. Now I don't know what to do with it. It looks as though the wood is starting to crack on the inside. Anyone know where I can find some directions?

Well, anyway, I hope everyone has a bright and blessed weekend.

Blessings!

Allen


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stoirmeil 
Posted: 22-Aug-2008, 05:43 PM
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Hi, Wiz --

I have gotten a lot out of Marian Green's "A Witch Alone;" she has a lot to say about making your own tools, and I remember some simple advice about cutting and curing a staff.

Probably you know the book or even have it -- here's a review:
http://www.ecauldron.com/bkawa.php

You seem happy, friend. I am very happy for you -- it was rough there for a while, I know.
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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 22-Aug-2008, 05:48 PM
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Yeah it was pretty rough... Now I'm wondering how things will go here... With this one post, I have come out twice - firstly as being gay, and secondly as a pagan. I hope I don't lose any of old friends over this. For a while I hid under a new account - I called myself Herne. But now, I've decided I'm tired of hiding. If people accept the new me, that's great. If not, I'm truly sorry but I've grown tired of masks.

Blessings to you dear friend!
Allen
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 22-Aug-2008, 06:02 PM
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You won't lose anyone of your great flock of friends here. You have been too great a pillar of warmth, wisdom and welcome here for too long -- that is your fire at core, and nothing of change at the other levels of your being is ever going to touch that.
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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 22-Aug-2008, 06:05 PM
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You have humbled me and moved me to tears. thank you for that..

I love you guys!
Allen
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Rindy 
Posted: 22-Aug-2008, 06:47 PM
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Allen I am so very happy to see you. I am glad your not hiding anymore and are here amongst us once again! You've been a part of Celtic Radio from early on and you've helped me and so many folks in so many ways. Hey, I'm your friend through what ever-if folks don't understand then they aren't your friends are they?

I am relieved to know your happy and are still here. We've shared many things together through the years. This news on this day couldn't of made me happier. Thanks for being my friend Allen.


Sorry kind of got off topic. I am sure there's lots of folks here knowing about info on the staff.

Slainte
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Patch 
Posted: 22-Aug-2008, 06:50 PM
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Life is far too short to be miserable for any part of it.

My father made a lot of staff's and walking sticks. He always removed the bark and dried them out of the sunlight. As his mobility diminished I went with him to cut the "blanks" and saw to it we all made it back to the house.

If you enjoy making them, there is a suprising demand. When Dad died we kids each took two and the rest were offered on a first come basis. They were gone (about 25 of them) in no time.

I have ordered a bent/twisted walking stick from a lady in Kentucky. The more "character" the stick has, the higher the price.

Slàinte,   

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Aaediwen 
Posted: 22-Aug-2008, 06:54 PM
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Glad to see you here again, my friend smile.gif Sounds like you are truely happy with your new life, and I'm glad for you smile.gif



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stoirmeil 
Posted: 22-Aug-2008, 07:21 PM
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http://books.google.com/books?id=pEuO61ikmi0C

This book looks very promising, as to actually crafting a range of sticks from very finished to "rustic" -- Your local library can probably get it for you on interlibrary loan. You will have to find out from another source what kind of procedures need to be done to make it a ritual tool as well as a walking stick. If it were me, I'd ask Shadows.

I found an interesting little bit on shillelaghs -- apparently they were rubbed many times in butter between being stuck up the chimney to be smoked and heat cured. Sound like, if times got really hard, you could eat the thing, or at least boil it to make soup. smile.gif
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Shadows 
Posted: 23-Aug-2008, 05:18 AM
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Allen, sexual orientation of one's self has no bearing on friendships...
once a friend always a friend!

As for the oaken staff, your problem lies in the fact you did not wax seal the ends at the first... this helps prevent the checking that is happening to your staff. It still will make a fine staff even though there is checking in the wood. Now you just need to sse in your minds eye how you want to carve it...

The woods I have used for staffs has varied and I always allow it to mellow atleast a year before carving. Go back to the tree and ask what should this branch of yours be....


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Dogshirt 
Posted: 23-Aug-2008, 12:27 PM
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Good to see you're back Wiz! As Shadows said, so say I! We all have to walk the path before us.

As for your staff, it would also help if it had been cut during the winter when the sap was down, as the wood has less moisture to lose, thus less shrinkage which is the cause of the checks. And capping the ends with the wax allows it to cure slowly.
It's rather like mud that dries under hot sun and cracks into "puzzle pieces".
But that is all knowledge to take to your next staff. With this one, I would let it finish curing and when it is done shrinking, look at it from ALL angles, hold it, feel it, and then see how to work the checks into any carvings or other decorations. They are part of the character of your piece and should be used to enhance it and not be viewed as a detriment. A word of caution. If you DO carve it too soon, they will get bigger and the end result may not turn out as you envisioned it.
As with many things in life, patience my friend, do not rush.

And again, welcome back!


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Ross 
Posted: 19-Sep-2008, 06:08 PM
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I’m jumping into this discussion a bit late, but I only recently realized that the Grove was here. I’ve been a maker of implements for many years.

Allen, have you pealed the bark off the staff yet? The bark will control the rate and nature of its drying. With the bark on it will dry at the ends first and will result in an uneven distribution of moisture and sap. While it’s bound to do some cracking, you can manage the degree somewhat. If possible, let it soak in clean water for several days (a stream, pond or even a swamp is perfect). This will slow the uneven shrinkage and loosen the bark and cambrium layer from the wood. The sap will collect around the wood as a thin slimy film that will make it possible to remove the bark with very little effort. You shouldn’t need to do any scraping that would ruin the natural beauty of the staff.

I take a baby food jar and place it on an electric coffee cup warmer (yard sale fodder) and melt 2 parts bees wax (hardware store) and one part light Old English furniture oil. When it cools, it’s about the consistency of Vaseline. Once the staff is peeled and dried, I spend time working the mix into staff with my hands… a little at a time over several days. This develops a more intimate connection with the staff… it’s texture, contour and soul. I wipe any extra mix off with cloth.

As Dogshirt mentioned, sealing the end is very important… most cracking will begin there. I’ve prepared many staffs in this fashion from several types of wood. Oak will dry slowly, but is incredibly tough when dried and oiled. Regrettably, it’s not known for its carving quality… the grain is quite open and striated which means a Dremel will be a better carving tool than knife.

I never go walking without my Hickory staff and have made several for fellow walkers and seakers. I view mine as a link, a point of kinship with the natural world. I hope you achieve the same enjoyment.

Ross
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stevenpd 
Posted: 19-Sep-2008, 08:00 PM
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QUOTE (WizardofOwls @ 22-Aug-2008, 03:48 PM)
Yeah it was pretty rough... Now I'm wondering how things will go here... With this one post, I have come out twice - firstly as being gay, and secondly as a pagan. I hope I don't lose any of old friends over this. For a while I hid under a new account - I called myself Herne. But now, I've decided I'm tired of hiding. If people accept the new me, that's great. If not, I'm truly sorry but I've grown tired of masks.

Blessings to you dear friend!
Allen

Allen, I always wondered where you wondered off to. Glad to see you're alive and well!

If no one can accept you for who you are, then they were not your friends to begin with.

Peace be with you.


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-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)
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gaberlunzie 
Posted: 20-Sep-2008, 06:39 AM
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QUOTE (WizardofOwls @ 23-Aug-2008, 12:48 AM)
Yeah it was pretty rough... Now I'm wondering how things will go here... With this one post, I have come out twice - firstly as being gay, and secondly as a pagan. I hope I don't lose any of old friends over this. For a while I hid under a new account - I called myself Herne. But now, I've decided I'm tired of hiding. If people accept the new me, that's great. If not, I'm truly sorry but I've grown tired of masks.

Blessings to you dear friend!
Allen

Allen, I'm very happy to hear from you and also proud of you for your coming out.
Finally. It has been a rough journey to finally be yourself. There is no reason to "hide" for what you are. You have always been a friend and you always will. Friendship doesn't depend on sexual preferences or religion/belief...Shadows said it so well. Friendship is a matter of heart. I always loved you for the warmhearted and loving person you are.

And as for those who may step away from you - they have never been real friends, so it doesn't matter because you can't loose what you never had.

May you always walk in peace, my friend and many blessings heading your way!




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jayhenson 
Posted: 20-Sep-2008, 09:31 PM
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I originally came to this thread to read about making a staff, something I have never done but would be interested in. Then Wizard opened up and stepped out of the closet into the sunshine that he bathes himself in on the weekends (I was a nudist for many years). The instant and unwavering support by his friends, most he has probably never met and, unfortunately, probably won't meet, has really shown why this is such a good group. There is such a diversity of people here. Christians to Pagan, Gay to straight, Columbia to Canada, All different except for a love of a Celtic connection. And everyone is very mature, supportive and friendly. I suspect that to be interested in Celtic Lore a person needs to be on a slightly higher plane of thinking. This type of thinking supports a certain level of introspection resulting in the person becoming more concerned with real issues, not superficial ones like race, creed, religion, sexual orientation, etc.... Just my opinion, what do ya'll think?

Wizard, I hid for many years as well (many years in the Navy) and am done with it too.

So, what woods make for the best staffs, or does the end application limit the choices?

peace

Jay
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