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Hey Gang, So, what do you see?

I just cut up a stick. It was just another stick, like so many others.  It is a handle now. Its not perfect. Its not anywhere near "perfect". But it is actually, a very exquisitely perfect representative,  if you can see it.

So, did you ever wonder, how does a standard get to be a standard?   Sometimes it was there all along and you just didn't see.

I heard about this once. Old guys who would cut a tiny pattern and take it out into the woods and hold it up, squinting  against the skyline.  Hunting among the trees for the part they need.

Here is part of the maple tree just outside my front door.  Its an ordinary tree. What do you see there?

Here is the other side of the trunk

Normal tree like any other, right? 

These are big limbs. One a foot wide and the other about 9". But the geometry relates to even tiny twigs in many cases.  Finding the size and proportion is the challenge. Here is another stick I grabbed from under my bench where I pile such things.

This one is dinky,  but it has at least most of the classic shape.

I didn't get a picture of the stick in question beforehand. It was very standard ordinary though.  Looked like the last picture except a little fatter (about 3" diameter at the butt)  and more of the swell end was still left on it where it had once joined the trunk, or the stump left of a trunk it had re-sprouted from.  I don't remember which, but they are similar in shape anyway.

It is a kind of oak we grow here. I call it pin oak, since I don't have a proper name for it. Its an odd tree and not too common.  Definitely in the oak family, but much finer grained. It is tough and springy wood.

I like it because it is one wood that does not want to crack easily, drying out in the woodpile. [You can almost get a fabled "commander" head from it.  In case you weren't sure, trying to cut a section of log to make a giant mallet from, without cracking,  is not an easy ask!! Try it sometime.]

In a few minutes with drawknife and a couple spoke shaves, it now looks like this.  Roughed out.


 
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