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What is the strongest (i.e split resistant, durable, toughest) wood commercially available?

I am in the process of making a (hopefully) extremely durable walking staff... it is going to be used in very rocky and hilly terrain so I don't want it breaking on me. About where I put those parentheses earlier... should I have it as "a" or "an"? (random extra question brought on by wording or question)

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For a walking staff you need something stiff with just a bit of springiness in it. Alder, Cherry, or Ash work well, in my experience, with Ash being the best. Ash absorbs some of the impact forces, dries straight, and is light but strong. I've seen a lot made out of Pine or Oak, but Pine is too easy to bend and break, and Oak will pass the impact of each time it hits the ground on to you, leaving you with a sore arm rapidly.
black iron wood
Kraethi (author) 7 years ago
:D thanks, lots of mixed opinions, but an overall consensus appears to be on ash. I was considering yew, but they are so hard to find around here (new england). I just got back from the botanical gardens in London... jeez...
rickharris7 years ago
Iron wood from Africa, ebony, are both very strong and used for walking canes. Ask is springy and durable, Oak is durable if fairly thick. Yew traditional for bows so springy and durable Personally I use an aluminium walking pole - much better and packs into my bag when I don't need it.
Wolf Seril7 years ago
If you are making a walking staff for the novelty/feel/nostalgia of it, go for Fox's answer. If you really need it for balance while hiking, though, check out aquiring some trekking poles. Sports shops and outdoor stores will carry them. After two days of using them climbing mountains in New Mexico, however, I found them more of a hindrance than a help, and never used my "pansy poles" for the rest of my trip. Nice thing about those is that when i wasn't using them i could collapse them and put them in my backpack.
frollard7 years ago
Grammatically I think you need to include the word in parentheses regardless of spoken or written in regards to using a/an. A quick fix is of course rephrasing: "of hopefully making an extremely durable..." - with or without the parentheses around hopefully. As for wood - Guardian knows his wood :D
Jayefuu7 years ago
I always chose by ignoring the words in the brackets. So in this case "an", though I may be wrong.