While on a morning walk today, I spied a bird in this big branch crook. The whole upper section of the branch above the crook had already died, so it was a good choice to collect. Smaller crooks will usually pop open with a fro, but larger ones like this often demand some wedges and tenacity.
To drive the wedges, I like to prop the crook up against a post or tree. The bottom edge bites into the ground, which prevents it from sliding (usually). Often it is necessary to work wedges in from both ends, but there can still be some stubborn cross fibers binding the halves together. You can work at those cross fibers with an axe, but be careful not to hit the steel wedge! Wedges can also be inserted from the side. With some perseverance, you’ll end up with a mangled half to work with. Hopefully, I’ll be able to wrangle some sort of bird from this piece of maple. More on that someday…
Speaking of birds, I thought I’d share some photos of our hands-on fast and furious bird carving session from the Fest. We had less than three hours, but everyone had the basic bird form well underway, but with plenty of carving refinements to go. If you’re in one of these photos in the slideshow, and don’t want your wife to know you were at Greenwood Fest, let me know and I’ll remove your shot! And I think I missed some folks, so sorry if I didn’t catch you with the camera. It was a great group of carvers and a lot of fun.