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Thread: Finding wood to make your runes with

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Finding wood to make your runes with

    I'm planning on making my own set of runes.
    However, I'm having trouble finding the wood to make them from.
    I'm not sure if they have to be a certain type of wood (I read somewhere that a fruit bearing tree was better to get wood from) and the one branch I did take from a holly tree was too thin.
    Is there some ideal tree I should get it from, that's easy to find in a neighborhood?
    And how thick should the wood be?
    Thanks any help relating to this is much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    106
    Quote Originally Posted by Xandria View Post
    I'm planning on making my own set of runes.
    However, I'm having trouble finding the wood to make them from.
    I'm not sure if they have to be a certain type of wood (I read somewhere that a fruit bearing tree was better to get wood from) and the one branch I did take from a holly tree was too thin.
    Is there some ideal tree I should get it from, that's easy to find in a neighborhood?
    And how thick should the wood be?
    Thanks any help relating to this is much appreciated!
    The idea of using wood from a fruit-bearing tree comes from the Roman writer Tacitus in his Germania:

    "Their method of divining by lots is exceedingly simple. From a tree which bears fruit they cut a twig, and divide it into small pieces. These they distinguish by so many several marks, and throw them at random and without order upon a white garment. Then the Priest of the community, if for the public the lots are consulted, or the father of a family about a private concern, after he has solemnly invoked the Gods, with eyes lifted up to heaven, takes up every piece thrice, and having done thus forms a judgment according to the marks before made. If the chances have proved forbidding, they are no more consulted upon the same affair during the same day: even when they are inviting, yet, for confirmation, the faith of auguries too is tried."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    403
    I would think the most appropriate wood to form runes from would be ash, to commemorate Odin's sacrifice upon Yggdrasil that made runesmithy possible.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2010
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    I know there are different ways of making runic symbols on wood. Using twigs (small and similar sizes), and then cutting them and cleaning and varnishing. You can either use a small knife for wood carving to write runes or use something else like ink. My boyfriend found a big strong stick that looks like a staff and he carved runic shapes into it.
    The only thing that sucks around here is a straw.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    106
    Quote Originally Posted by Ragna View Post
    I know there are different ways of making runic symbols on wood. Using twigs (small and similar sizes), and then cutting them and cleaning and varnishing. You can either use a small knife for wood carving to write runes or use something else like ink. My boyfriend found a big strong stick that looks like a staff and he carved runic shapes into it.
    I started making a set of runes years ago when I was a teenager. My method of doing it was to cut a tree limb (I think I used beech) and use a sharp knife to whittle the limb down into a small plank about an inch wide by about 3/8" inch thick. I then sawed the plank into pieces about an inch and a half long so I had a set of rectangular pieces 1" x 1-1/2" x 3/8" which I sanded smooth and used sandpaper to round off the sharp edges and corners. Then I used a woodburning pen to burn the rune designs into the pieces and finished them off with a clear coat of varnish.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    12
    Not sure how much help this can be - I have a rune set, which only after I realised I really really wanted/had to have them I found out was Yew. I think maybe you should decide on the tree's energy that represents what your focus is or connects best to you as this might produce the best results.

    Some people are deeply connected with water and earth combined, so my instincts would be pebbles from a stream (not the market) which are then painted and varnished would be better than say a holly rune set.

    I also found (looking from something else though) in relation to wood (as you might be more connected to say energy-focused runes like quartz), giving a small offering to the tree you want to cut from or to your patron to help you find the right branch (in your case, for runes) effective.
    Last edited by Ibis; April 30th, 2011 at 05:35 PM.

  7. #7
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    I would research the trees before you make a decision. Some trees are associated with death, some with life, strength and so forth.

    I would consider those properties when making your decision.

  8. #8
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    I had the same issue for some time, and, as I was lacking appropriate tools, finally I decided to buy pre-cut wood chips from an online shop whose owner, in my opinion, has a good approach to making them (asking the tree before taking any wood etc.). He had many different kinds of woods, and I was actually planning to make my runes from rowan wood but when I browsed his shop I spontaneously decided to choose elder wood. Just felt right. I prefer wood to stone, firstly just because I like the material, and also I carved in the runes with a knife (which doesn't really work with stone) and it works better for bleeding. But that's just my own preference.
    Anyway, when choosing wood I would firstly take a kind of tree that you feel comfortable with, or that kinda tells you it is suited to the purpose, and if you decide to cut the wood from a tree personally, choose one that you like and ask it to have some of its wood for your purpose before cutting it. Don't cut too close to the trunk, as a wound in the tree in that area might allow fungi or insects to get in, and say thank you nicely.
    To see a world in a grain of sand
    And heaven in a wild flower,
    To hold infinity in the palm of your hand
    And eternity in an hour.

    William Blake



  9. #9
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    Mar 2006
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    Flint, MI aka Hell in a handbasket
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    I've made sets from all kinds of materials. Different woods, stones gathered from the beach and streams, clay, play-dough, those glass pebble thingies you find in craft stores, etc. They've all worked quite well for me. They also have a tendency to wind up belonging to other people... I'm a gifter; things make their way to me as a temporary stop to their permanent owner LOL My current working set is Alaskan red cedar that I had custom made and laser-etched from a seller on Etsy. They rock

    The most important part of a set of runes is that you are comfortable with them. If they feel funky, you won't use them. Some people like wood, others prefer stone or crystals or glass. I've even got a pattern for a crocheted set of runes! Of course, those wouldn't work so great for my throwing method of reading, but if you lay the runes out in a spread, they'd work great, and wouldn't take up a whole lot of room.

    As others said, each tree has a different energy. There are the traditional attributions, but then there are the energies of the individual tree itself, and how it makes YOU feel when you touch it. If you get icky vibes from a tree, you're probably going to get icky vibes from your runes.
    ~*~
    There are no surprises in life, just us closing our eyes to reality. - Me.
    Quantum frying pans fit anywhere. - Me.

    ~*~
    I read Tarot cards and Oracle cards and Runes and Pendulums and little colored gems that represent the elements. And I believe that they tell the truth. I believe that faeries are real, and that they talk to me. I also know that I'm at least 50% insane. And I'm okay with that. I won't judge you. But you can judge me all you want. I'll just tell you to stuff it where the sun don't shine. And I'll smile while I'm saying it, and offer you homemade fudge and soft pretzels.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    451
    I've only had cheap glass runes that I made myself... wouldn't wooden ones dry out over time and flake? I want wooden ones ;A;

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