Ash wood has a distinctive open grain which provides excellent shock absorption and, because of this, is often used in handles for spades, brooms, axes and workshop tools. Timber from the root section of mature trees is used to make hurleys (or camáns) which are used in one of the best field games in the world, i.e. hurling.
Because the outer bark of Ash is generally uninteresting, I carefully shave it down to reveal a mixture of the underbark and the actual wood. The combination of these colours and the rings left after flattening bud knots results in some of the nicest sticks I make. The grain in the fully stripped handle is always attractive.
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