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  #1  
Old 02-07-2011, 10:01 PM
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Default Spoke Shave or Draw Knife for roughing out canes/sticks...

I'm just starting my first attempt at carving a cane and hiking stick. I purchased several diamond willow sticks that have been drying for a year or so and now have to remove the bark and rough out the final shape... My question is...what tool would be best for removing the outer bark...I have been told a 'linoleum knife' would be best for that and I thought either a spoke shave or a draw knife would be best for roughing out the final shape. Am I on the right track, or...??? Any/all advice from the 'experts' here on the forum will be greatly appreciated!
Kenn
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: Spoke Shave or Draw Knife for roughing out canes/sticks...

Hi Kenn,

I sent you a private message since I'm not sure how to answer you.
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:42 AM
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Default Re: Spoke Shave or Draw Knife for roughing out canes/sticks...

I mostly use a potato peeler.
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:59 AM
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Default Re: Spoke Shave or Draw Knife for roughing out canes/sticks...

For dry bark I find a rasp works well or even a carpenters chisel. For final shaping I prefer a drawknife. The trick is to clamp the stick securely so that you, not the stick are in control.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:21 AM
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Default Re: Spoke Shave or Draw Knife for roughing out canes/sticks...

Hi Kenn, The Bark on Diamond Willow is thick so I would use a Draw Nnife. I think I read on here that someone uses a High Pressure Washer, worth a try. Merle
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:17 AM
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Default Re: Spoke Shave or Draw Knife for roughing out canes/sticks...

Kenn, I do not remove the bark unless it is loose or damaged. When I do remove the bark or more often only the outer rough bark I scrape it off with a heavy knife like the "Old Hickory" type of knives. I clamp it in the vice attached to my bench with a piece of carpet as a pad and use a scraping action. I like the appearance of the sanded bark more than I do the raw wood.

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Old 02-08-2011, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Spoke Shave or Draw Knife for roughing out canes/sticks...

For what its worth...here's my two cents.

If the wood is relatively soft (like willow) I use a draw knife to remove the bark and shape the stick prior to carving. I some times even use one to lay the foundations of the carving itself, such as the facial planes of a 'spirit face'.

However I also carve a lot of eucalypt which is VERY hard. I origially shaped these with a draw knife but its a lot like hard work! The grain is often very wavey too and sometimes chunks of the stick would break out, even with the sharpest of drawknives. Eventually I was introduced to the Arbortec Pro wheel on an angle grinder... Just the ticket, but you do have to be careful with them cause they can take an awful lot of wood awfully fast. There are other similar devices too, large carbide toothed wheels that I'm told work well, though I have no experience with them. As with any power equipment, remember the extra safety measures when you use it.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Spoke Shave or Draw Knife for roughing out canes/sticks...

Wow Guys!!! Thanks for all the great information and advice!!! I'll certainly put it to use and keep everyone posted once I start working on the D.W. sticks... A couple of carvers from my carving group brought in some of their 'sticks' today and wow'd me this morning! Such beautiful work...their's and your advice/stick cane carvings certainly will keep me awake at nights thinking about D.W. sticks/canes until I can actually get to work on them.
Thanks so much for your advice and photos of your work! Even using a 'Potato Peeler'...would never have thought about that, but sounds like it would work perfectly in some circumstances and I'm sure I'll try it if I can 'sneak' it out of my wife's kitchen! Ha! Again...thanks gang...love WCI and it's forum members!!!
Kenn
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:51 PM
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Default Re: Spoke Shave or Draw Knife for roughing out canes/sticks...

I use a draw knife on all my sticks; D.W. included. Works will! The diamonds can be dug out with a gouge. A spoke shave works well for finishing and smothing.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: Spoke Shave or Draw Knife for roughing out canes/sticks...

I use a large hunting knife sharpened for carving to remove "stuff" from the outside of my yucca and sotol walking sticks. Quick and easy,

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