walking sticks

How to Carve Homemade Walking Sticks

If you are planning on hiking or camping, you may need a walking stick. This piece of accessory is useful in a number of ways.  For example, it will improve your balance walking on uneven ground and is valuable in moving obstructions such as a brush off the way. This is particularly the case for hikers who find themselves navigating through a thicket.

You can purchase a walking stick if you want an easier way out. However, making one is easy and will be a source of pride for you. With only a few tools and a straight stick, you are set to start off on your project.

The tools you need

1.The procedure

  1.  The first thing you do is a source for a good stick – sufficiently long and thick. You can get it from your neighborhood forest, but you need to spot the right branch. A good stick that will give you the best results is about two inches wide. You know the best length for you. If you have a choice on the type of wood to use, hardwood will always produce the best sticks. However, look out for insect activity, and holes as this weaken the stick.
  2. Use your machete knife to get the branch and trim the leaves on it. Clear the twigs and knots to make your stick clean.
  3. The next step is to whittle the bark. For this exercise, your knife needs to be sharp. A dull one will drive the joy of the exercise. With a sharp knife, the bark will come off in strips. If you encounter a knock, work around it in a smooth fashion.
  4. Whittle gently and avoid digging into the wood. Also, whittle away from your body to avoid injuries. Your legs should be clear of the whittling motion. Take note of any knots or twig remains as they may cause the knife to jump off your hand and injure you.
  5. Let the stick dry before moving on to scrap the inner bark of the stick. Drying should be indoors to make the process gradual. However, drying it too fast will cause it to be brittle and may not last long. Secondly, use a sandpaper or back of your knife for this procedure. Scrap the back off until the stick is sufficiently clean.
  6. For the sharp corners at the end of your stick, use you turning knife to give them a round You can also use a sand paper to give it a smooth edge. After all, you do not want the stick to end up hurting you.

2.Personalizing the walking stick

The best thing about do-it-yourself projects is that you get to personalize them. You probably have come across walking sticks that look as if they are some magical words from a faraway land. Do not leave your walking stick to look so ordinary. Unfortunately, personalizing your walking stick all depends on your skill level. In other words, don’t try something exotic only to end up with a shoddy job and throwing the stick away.

  • For simple personalization, you can carve the initials of your name and then use wood ink to highlight them. Pyrography will work perfectly for simple arts. However, always be careful when personalizing the stick. Some methods such as pyrography are risky and require protective equipment.
  • Adding a handgrip is a good idea. It will help you determine which side is which and give you a good grip when using the stick.

3.Staining and adding finish to the walking stick

Using a paper towel, you can stain your walking stick and give it a unique look. Staining will also make your stick durable. In intervals of ten minutes, keep applying the interior wiping stain until it looks as you want it. Staining should only come after wood burning and other methods of personalization.

It is optional to add a finish. However, it is highly advisable as it will make it resistant to the elements. A few coats of Varathane will do just fine. When applying the finish, do it in a well-ventilated area to keep from breathing it. Avoid grass as vanish will kill it. After you are done, use the sand paper to smoothen it and then wash your hands with soap and running water.

Final word

Walking sticks are valuable tools for hiking and camping. You can make them by yourself as you like it. The benefit that accompanies self-made sticks is that you get to personalize them. However, apply extra precaution when customizing, staining and applying a finish to your walking stick.

The following links are Great Resources relating to this article:

  •  http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Walking-Stick 
  •  http://www.instructables.com/id/Whittle-a-Staff–Walking-Stick/

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