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almost any natural fork that is more than about 1.25" thick will be strong enough unless it is rotten. Dayhiker has made some beautiful pine naturals.
 

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Having made canes and staves with the stuff I can tell you when your drying to add a bit extra to keep the splitting down maybe an extra inch, also you have to be careful with the diamonds themselves as each end can split. That said one of the things I would do to keep the whole of it from splitting is taping the ends with either tape or rubber bands and the same for each diamond. Oh one last thing be very careful cleaning out the diamonds as you can very easily hit wood rot and end up losing the beauty of the diamond.

That said I definitely want to see the finished product.
 
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