Isaac

Walking Stick

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I'm interested in making a wooden walking stick for my cub scout son. If it goes well I could end up making more as incentive program for scouts who do a lot of hiking and earn one. 

Thought I'd take a crack at some decorative carving. I think people traditionally make these from a single green branch about 1 inch in diameter that they de-bark. I don't have a tree with the right type of branch for that and not really sure where to get one, short of hacking one off a tree under questionable circumstances, since I live in a city. 

Do you think I can I could use regular dried hardwood, possibly gluing something up, and then trimming it down to round using a draw knife or spoke shave? Lathe is out because it would be too long for my bed. Will the dried lumber be too stiff or brittle? thoughts on suggested wood species? Mixed species for decoration?

Thoughts/suggestions? 

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Man i wish you lived closer i could find more branches that meet that criteria than you could shake a walking stick at. I have a big pile in my backyard that i just leave on the ground to rot away.

It's near fall so yard cleaning is coming back in focus. Check if there are yard waste sites near by that accept branches. Explain what you need them for and promise you won't make a mess and i'd bet you could get all the branches you need.

For hardwood not sure if it'd be overkill but i'd try and find some strait ish grain quarter sawn or rift sawn material.

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1 hour ago, Chestnut said:

Man i wish you lived closer i could find more branches that meet that criteria than you could shake a walking stick at. I have a big pile in my backyard that i just leave on the ground to rot away.

It's near fall so yard cleaning is coming back in focus. Check if there are yard waste sites near by that accept branches. Explain what you need them for and promise you won't make a mess and i'd bet you could get all the branches you need.

For hardwood not sure if it'd be overkill but i'd try and find some strait ish grain quarter sawn or rift sawn material.

Ha yeah, I know it sounds ridiculous. I've got a couple big blue spruce trees, but everything that comes off of them is ridiculously brittle. The woods around me are over hiked as it is, so they really don't want people taking things out, and I try hard to respect that. 

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16 minutes ago, Spanky said:

 

You can buy the 36” dowel 7/8” or 1” from Lowe’s and make the top handle.

 

Thanks, I was thinking more like this, which tend to be longer. A 4 foot dowel might work. 

Image result for walking stick from built up wood

 

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I don’t think dry wood would be a problem if you pick out sraight grained blanks. Check carefully, flatsawn boards often have very straight grain on the sides that can be cut off. You could laminate ash, oak or hickory with a purple heart center strip, each strip 3/8” by 1 1/8” and however long you want, then shape by hand. Put on a crutch tip or wrap the tip with a brass band, and drill a hole for a leather strap and you are good to go.  

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Locally ive mostly seen walking sticks like that made from (in no particular order) persimmon, dogwood, pear, apple, sweet gum, hickory / pecan and most prevalent eastern red cedar.  Maybe you could buy a blank from a turner if you know one.  When we have a bad storm here I usually can find a down pear tree (decorative) within a few miles of my house.  I like Barrons idea of a mixed species if you have to laminate.

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