I used to use only a tillering tree until I gave up trying to shave out flat spots over my head and watching the bow rock back and forth...talk about making me wince. It was either that or scribbling with a pencil on the flat spots, taking if off, making sure it was seated correctly putting back on the tree...repeat, repeat, repeat... Therefore, I made a tillering stick and use it to get the initial 'rough spots' out prior to tree mounting...I put a thick folded up rag in my bench vice, put the handle of the bow in and put decent pressure on it, then I use the stick over the handle and pull up with a long string. I cheat in that the stick is kind of held in place with some machinist wire coming from a ammo-box storage compartment that is on the wall over my vice...and it kind of suspends itself over the handle before pressure is applied. This way the bow is secured, I can rasp, plane or scrape away with decent pressure and get the limbs bending evenly...my shoulders are most thankful. Cheers, P1.