Time to stop cutting sticks?

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Time to stop cutting sticks?

Post  thestickman on Sun Apr 27, 2008 3:59 pm

It's generally agreed that in the UK we only cut sticks in the winter - I've even seen it written that we can ONLY cut sticks in December, January and February! Quite what will happen to us or the sticks if we cut outside these months is never actually stated.
I normally cut a few in October and finish in early April, with the bulk cut in February and March. Mine are mostly cut in woods managed for gamebirds and the shooting season finishes on February 1st so I can cut more freely after that.
Countries with warmer/drier climates will presumably have different cutting times - anyone had experiences of these?

Keith.

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South Michigan

Post  John Ellison on Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:34 pm

Here I can cut from late Nov - Mar, the SAP is down most of this time unless we get a freeky hot spell in Mar.

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Stick cutting in Virginia

Post  Jeffrey Pitts on Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:39 pm

I generally wait until all the leaves are off the trees and we have had several good hard frost to insure that the sap is down. This can be from mid Nov to early Dec. Our deer hunting season runs from 1st Nov. until the 1st week of Jan., so I limit my wandering of the woods until that is over. I don't cut any after the 1st week of March because things are starting to bud out by then, unless I stumble onto the perfect twistie then I have to take a chance on it drying without splitting.

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Cutting shanks reply

Post  viktur melldruw on Sun Apr 27, 2008 10:26 pm

Hi Guys

An old stick maker that I once knew told me "cut the b*gger when yon sees it, or else some other b*gger will"

Good sound advice I believe, because how many times have you said I come back when the saps down and cut that. Not a chance in hell will you find that straight mottled perfectly formed hazel shank again. Or has other some b*gger already had it. Dam their eyes.
If you have a babbling brooke gently meandering thru your estate you can cut when you please. Take the cut shanks and place them in the brooke or if your posh the river. Ensuring the flow of water matches the flow of sap, leave for a period of time and then remove to dry.
I cannot tell you how long you should leave the shanks in the water, because the only running water I have here is running down the walls, not that Im complaining, its just a fact of life.
I did try the method once, with shanks nailed to the wettest wall, but it just was not the same as having a babbling brooke.
Of course the other course of action, which applies doubly if you have read the " stickmaking for money" post, is to buy your shanks in. If you make walking sticks for money then you cannot afford the time to go off wandering some wood, dodging mantraps and trying to spot the lurking tic.
Buying in, allows you to get started on a stick as soon as the posty has dropped of your parcel of shanks. Granted you cannot select the shanks beforehand, as you could in your neighbours wood, but then if you have not asked permission to cut you would not be hanging about writing a review on the shank you were about to pilfer.
So forget about what season to cut in. Buy ready cut, seasoned, and straightened shanks.
Reminds me of a great man from the past. A shank for all seasons.

All the above was written tongue in cheek, and not a single shank was harmed in the process.

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No time to make money?

Post  thestickman on Mon Apr 28, 2008 1:02 am

I make my living from sticks and have plenty of time to cut over 1000 sticks each season. If you can't be bothered Viktur then I have loads to sell on the website!

Keith

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cutting sticks

Post  viktur melldruw on Mon Apr 28, 2008 2:09 am

Hi Keith

Viktur here.

Exactly what I am saying. Guys buy your shanks from Keith.

Cheers Viktur.

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Re: Time to stop cutting sticks?

Post  Pellcity2003 on Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:19 am

I too cut most of my stick blanks in the winter, but only because I can see them better and I do not have to worry about ticks and rattle snakes. I will cut a nice shank anytime that I see one and have experienced very little problem with splitting.
I have cut very little this winter because I overdid it last year and I have to use up what I have before I cut again. I have limited storage space in the drying shed.

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Reply to Viktur

Post  thestickman on Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:08 pm

Thanks for the blatant advert! I promise everyone that I did not pay him to say that, nor is Victur just me in disguise!

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Re: Time to stop cutting sticks?

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