This one is apparently the claw. Please note it is a large staff. This Red Maple sapling led a tortured existence its entire life. Not only is it girdled for about 32", but the scarring over the girdled area shows it happened many times over and healed in layers. In addition to the dead girdled area it also had a large truncated dead branch. When I stripped the bark with a drawknife I brought the branch to a point, hence the claw. The claw is extremely hard and spalted. It'll have a beautiful array of rich colors when it is finished with an oil based sealer. BTW this staff is too large to hold comfortably. I was tempted to pierce an elongated hole at the gripping height but I didn't want to limit someone else's vision. This staff weighs 9# 6 ozs. currently but it'll lose substantial weight over the next many months. The tip is only 1-1/4" in diameter, but towards the top it increases to 3". The girdled area creates a funny flat profile and at the widest it is 3-1/4". The large diameter and curve means most of the roots had to be cut short to fit in an 8" square box profile. The roots are sparse but the staff is amazing. What you see is what you get, a really large claw and a lot of girdled wood. The massive top would be ideal for carving, but being maple with wild grain it would be a challenge when compared to poplar (ufws111)
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