Sycamore is a member of the Maple (Acer) family. It is widespread across Ireland and can grow to heights in excess of 100 feet. The wood is creamy white, is easy to work with and is not prone to warping or splitting. It is much used for furniture making and household utensils. It is the chosen wood species for commercial stick-making factories. It grows quickly and, when coppiced, produces suckers that are ideal for one piece walking sticks.
Sycamore, like Alder, Ash and Hawthorn, has an uninteresting outer bark which I always remove. The debarking is done slowly and carefully and reveals a warm light brown underbark which has a very fine grain running through it. Nice strong light walking sticks can be made from Sycamore. It is relatively easy to source suitable shanks with ends that can be shaped into good looking comfortable handles.
I feel Sycamore deserves a much higher ranking among walking stick ‘aficiondas’.
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