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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone,

I'm working on a HH natural made from a maple fork. In the midst of the rough shaping, I found that there is a knot / branch that goes through one of the forks near the center. Any opinions on what I should do about this? Looking at the pictures below, do you think it's worth finishing, or will it be too weak? Is there anything I can do to strengthen it? Is there a reliable way to test it now?

Thanks.

Edited to fix picture links:







 

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The knot looks crumbly and like a very weak spot. I would not use as-is, but if you could slice it in half vertically ( exactly enough) and epoxy both halves to a metal core that might work! I think the slicing might dislodge the knot too though. I'd keep the handle and chuck the rest. Lots of work I know, but better luck in the new year!
 

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Ive just had something very similar happen to a howitzer I was carving from Sycamore (A maple relative). Think Im going to have to junk the frame :(

Maybe cut the arm off at the knot then drill it and the frame, put in a steel nail and epoxy back together? Lot of work and it would have to be tested pretty thouroughly for strength but it comes down to how much you want the frame?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well... I just a put it in a vice and pulled on the forks with a rope. I couldn't get it to break, but it still makes me nervous. I might look into sandwiching it as suggested. I've never done that before, but it's a chance to learn something new. ;-)
 

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Do the metal core as suggested, and just for kicks you should finish the different halves differently ie one side linseed oil other side minwax. Just a thought
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the suggestions. I just 'found' this again and I might try to drill and put a brass or steel rod through the arm. I may do both just so it matches. With the geometry the way it is, I don't think I can easily slice it it half. (Not that it isn't possible, just that I'm not confident I can manage it. ;-) )
 
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