Next the sides of the V should be trimmed to size, they should be equal lenght between 2 and 1/2 - 3 inchs long. The cut edges then should be finished, sandpaper is the best and its best not to damage the bark of the walking sticks if you can. Another process is to round over the edges so there isn't a clean cut, this can be done by sand paper or a file. Its always bit tidy to round the edges and they look better to me if i was making a thumb walking sticks.
The next step for your thumb walking sticks is to remove the bark - its up to the person themselves if they what to remove the bark or not, to most stick makers taking the bark of blackthorn walking sticks is criminal. Its true that bark with varish looks very attractive, but its not a bad idea to experiment with your walking sticks, i have taking the bark of some blackthorns that we not the best of quailty, just leave the knots on and strip the bark around them, it takes a lot of time but its different.
The first thing is to trim the shoots or knots back to the base, this is best done by cutting them and then finish the walking sticks of with some sand paper or a file. Remember not to take the whole knot away on blackthorn walking sticks , the quality is determined by the amount of knots and the symmetry of these knots, so its best to leave them on and round them nicely with a file or sand paper.
Now its on the naxt stage of your thumb walking sticks.