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Etienne Hamel




Location: Granby (QC) canada
Joined: 09 Sep 2006

Posts: 428

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jul, 2018 6:08 pm    Post subject: Ball warclub project         Reply with quote

Hello folks! been a while since i posted anything, thought i'd share the ball warclub i finished recently Happy it's made out of a maple tree i cut almost a year ago (11 months or so). i followed the instructions of corey boise from woodland warclubs on this one and i'm pretty happy with the result Happy

here are the stats for those interested:
lenght: 24 7/8''
ball size:3 inches
material: maple

the ball is the root of the maple tree. it is finished with tung oil based dark walnut stain but it doesn'T show much the stain on the handle, only the ball looks stained... (didn'T have any pure oil at hand)

the design is pretty much vines and leaves even though it'S not perfect and burnt into the wood with pyrography tools. had to do some stippling as an accent and to hide some saw marks that i had a rough time removing...

it actually feels pretty heavy so i have no doubt that this warclub could crack a skull or break some bones pretty easily. i don'T have the scale to weight it unfortunately Blush

i was told that it looks pretty much like a pawnee style warclub and wanted to base it on one so yeah mission accomplished Big Grin

thanks for looking ^^



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Last edited by Etienne Hamel on Thu 19 Jul, 2018 1:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,256

PostPosted: Thu 19 Jul, 2018 9:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That looks great! I bet you could make one heck of an Irish Shilel....Shalaigh..Shill...You know! An Irish head-knocker. Laughing Out Loud ...McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Etienne Hamel




Location: Granby (QC) canada
Joined: 09 Sep 2006

Posts: 428

PostPosted: Thu 19 Jul, 2018 10:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Moore wrote:
That looks great! I bet you could make one heck of an Irish Shilel....Shalaigh..Shill...You know! An Irish head-knocker. Laughing Out Loud ...McM


with more research on them maybe, i'm pretty much in a rush of anicinabe stuff at the moment Happy
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Carl W.




Location: usa
Joined: 07 Aug 2008

Posts: 158

PostPosted: Thu 19 Jul, 2018 7:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well done. Thank you for sharing this (including the before picture).
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,177

PostPosted: Fri 20 Jul, 2018 6:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very good job, looks very attractive and functional. The wood burning decoration is really well done without being overdone.

Since I like to be able to make actual use of something like this I would personally really like a walking stick length version of the same thing, but I can see that at this length it's much more an accurate representation of the length of historical original pieces.

Would make a very good shillelagh or rather a shillelagh " Interpretation " if one uses different woods than the traditional blackthorn

Etienne, if you can find some Lilac branches I've had some good success working with Lilac, and I have a Lilac tree in my backyard that I have to trim off branches once every few years when rogue branches end up touching a bedroom window, so I have my own source of Lilac that isn't a wood harvested as lumber because it grows too small and with often crooked branches that it's not a wood attractive for commercial exploitation.

On the other hand Lilac is about twice as hard as Oak or Ash, but drying it can be tricky because it can almost explode with big cracks at the cut ends unless sealed with wax or vaseline so that the ends dry at the same rate as the rest of a branch with the bark left on it.

One work around if one hasn't the patience to wait a year for the wood to dry is to quickly remove all bark and keep rubbing in boiled linseed oil into the wood and add oil as soon as the wood has soaked in all of the oil.

With a recent project using Lilac I must have rubbed in a total of 12 applications of BLO, each application soaked into the wood like magic inside an hour, I did this every day for about a week. ( Oh, I carved the stick before applying most of the oil but I did rub some oil into the wood after removing the bark and doing some initial rough carving, the first few applications of oil was to protect the wood from drying over night before I continued refining the carving and sanding ).

After carving a walking stick from that branch, and sanding and burnishing the wood with a hard piece of steel I gave the wood a " SUPER GLUE " finish that is water proof, sealing in the oil and the moisture already in the Lilac .... so far I haven't seen any cracking or checking on the wood. ( Crossed fingers, waiting a year for the wood to dry is still a better idea ).

A good source of information about woods: http://www.wood-database.com/

Lilac: http://www.wood-database.com/lilac/

For comparison Hard Maple: http://www.wood-database.com/hard-maple/

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Gregg Sobocinski




Location: Michigan
Joined: 21 Sep 2007
Likes: 4 pages
Reading list: 12 books

Posts: 129

PostPosted: Sat 21 Jul, 2018 8:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I concur with the other commenters. That decoration is well done, and I appreciate seeing your starting material. I just developed an appreciation for these clubs after handling one at Historic Jamestown this summer. It’s amazing how cultures were able to learn the properties of trees to the point of exploiting the dense, hard wood of root balls and limb joints.

A lot of people think of the sheleleigh as a pinnacle of “head knockers”, but I find these clubs to be more elegant.

Thanks for sharing.
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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 132

PostPosted: Sat 21 Jul, 2018 9:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wonderful work, and great use of the opportunity. Maple has such a nice grain with the right kind of stain.
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Etienne Hamel




Location: Granby (QC) canada
Joined: 09 Sep 2006

Posts: 428

PostPosted: Sat 21 Jul, 2018 12:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Very good job, looks very attractive and functional. The wood burning decoration is really well done without being overdone.

Since I like to be able to make actual use of something like this I would personally really like a walking stick length version of the same thing, but I can see that at this length it's much more an accurate representation of the length of historical original pieces.

Would make a very good shillelagh or rather a shillelagh " Interpretation " if one uses different woods than the traditional blackthorn

Etienne, if you can find some Lilac branches I've had some good success working with Lilac, and I have a Lilac tree in my backyard that I have to trim off branches once every few years when rogue branches end up touching a bedroom window, so I have my own source of Lilac that isn't a wood harvested as lumber because it grows too small and with often crooked branches that it's not a wood attractive for commercial exploitation.

On the other hand Lilac is about twice as hard as Oak or Ash, but drying it can be tricky because it can almost explode with big cracks at the cut ends unless sealed with wax or vaseline so that the ends dry at the same rate as the rest of a branch with the bark left on it.

One work around if one hasn't the patience to wait a year for the wood to dry is to quickly remove all bark and keep rubbing in boiled linseed oil into the wood and add oil as soon as the wood has soaked in all of the oil.

With a recent project using Lilac I must have rubbed in a total of 12 applications of BLO, each application soaked into the wood like magic inside an hour, I did this every day for about a week. ( Oh, I carved the stick before applying most of the oil but I did rub some oil into the wood after removing the bark and doing some initial rough carving, the first few applications of oil was to protect the wood from drying over night before I continued refining the carving and sanding ).

After carving a walking stick from that branch, and sanding and burnishing the wood with a hard piece of steel I gave the wood a " SUPER GLUE " finish that is water proof, sealing in the oil and the moisture already in the Lilac .... so far I haven't seen any cracking or checking on the wood. ( Crossed fingers, waiting a year for the wood to dry is still a better idea ).

A good source of information about woods: http://www.wood-database.com/

Lilac: http://www.wood-database.com/lilac/

For comparison Hard Maple: http://www.wood-database.com/hard-maple/


thanks jean! well normally (from what i've been told) those clubs are oiled even as green... i guess the oil makes it easier to dry in a sense because moisture isn't removed as quickly. at least the person guiding me along this project said that it doesn'T change anything to oil before or after it is dried. so i would guess that it could be an idea to control the moisture in lilac wood. tung oil has water proof ability too so it might be a good idea, since i moved i don'T have lilac anymore, i only have a maple tree and flowers in the backyard... tung oil seem to be better for some stuff like poping out the grain of the wood and protecting against water. what i hate about tung oil though is that it doesn'T yellow like BLO... it would be interesting to try lilac though.

the stain wasn't that good though... untill i started wet sanding the wood with some oil on it, it looked horrible! glad i found that video on youtube talking about finishing with tung oil...
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