Great How to Make Unique Wood Walking and Hiking Sticks

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Get on the list to get some great tips how to make wood walking sticks and hiking staffs. Also, will tell you about a great guide that shows how to make great walking sticks.

Monday, February 16, 2015


   Salmon swimming in a river is a special bonus added to the walking stick guides when you get how to make walking stick guides. It uses many techniques in the walking stick making guides from carving, sanding to finishing the walking stick making project.

        The walking stick wood used is aspen which is an easy to carve wood found in states in the Mid-west and other parts of the USA. Using aspen for you hiking stick making project will give you a light weight walking stick with a white to cream color finish. It's best to peel aspen right when you collect the wood if you plan to carve the wood.

     I have collected Aspen during vacations (with the land owner's permission) during the fall, winter and early spring.  I cured the wood to make the hiking stick for 6 months. Some of the sticks I only peeled portions of them so the natural white bark accents the walking stick. Make sure you put a stop cut where you do not want to peel the bark because the bark comes off in long stripes so one pull can easily peel the bark from the top to the bottom without stopping.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Great time to make walking stick and collect wood for projects

The holiday season is a great time to start walking stick projects.  Wood collected for hiking stick making during the early summer should be cured by this time and the cooler weather gives you a reason to sit outside and work on your walking stick making project.

 Also, if you have a holiday Christmas tree remember to retain the thick lower branches for other wood working projects beyond making hiking sticks.  Fir and pine tree wood are great for quick wood whittling projects such as making wooded spoons, wood carved knives (my favorite), or practice wood carving eagle heads.  The main part of the holiday tree can be uses to carve wind spirits or spend some time making the thick part of the trunk thinner for a walking stick.  Yes, it takes some time because the Christmas tress tend to be very thick but with a little patience they will make great future walking and hiking sticks.

If you plan to retain the whole tree, I would take off the bark right after the holidays before it gets too dried out and and whittle 50% of the wood away. Then set aside the wood for a few months to dry out before continuing the hiking and walking stick making project.

If you self collect wood I prefer firs over pines for walking stick and carving projects. On firs collected (2" diameter) I usually leave the bark unit I'm ready to make the walking stick.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fall great time to start you hiking stick making project

     Fall is the beginning of 90% of make hiking stick and walking stick making wood collection period.  The saplings and limbs are starting to flow less sap and when the leaves fall you can see the limbs for walking stick making easier.  It's always best to collect hiking sick wood such as willow, aspen,  ferns, popular and others when they still have some moisture flowing in the limbs if you plan to strip them.

     Once the limbs dry out it becomes very difficult to stripe the bark from the walking stick making wood you collect.   If you plan to leave the bark on to carve then you can until later Fall and even into winter before the trees get their first coating of snow/ice.

   Many people ask about exotic woods and tropical woods to make hiking sticks. I live in south Florida where popular, aspen, willows and other woods for stick making are just dreams.  I have experimented with various tropical woods and a very few are good candidates and most are poor candidates for hiking stick making projects.  Flamboyant is a good one but stringy.  Bottlebrush trees used in landing scaping here works well but is extremely hard wood.  Scrub oak is a poor choice unless you get it young. One f my favorites is cypress saplings which when dry extremely light but are very strong (supports weight).

   There are several different types of cypress and make sure you do not collect walking stick making wood from the everglades or other parks. It's best to see where building are clearing land and ask if you can get some of the limbs/sapling they are digging up to clear the land.  One plant that is a nuisance in south Florida is the melateuca tree. It's an invasive tree from Malaysia over 100 years ago to drain water form the land - needles to say this is a tree you can have as much as you want. It bark is lik paper and makes interesting walking sticks. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Make a willow walking stick how to make a hiking stick

   The willow wood is perfect for making hiking sticks and walking canes.  Its a very recognizable tree species and is ready available in many parts of the USA. The willow trees love water and grow along rivers, streams and lakes.  the last willows I collected for walk-in stick making was in Utah and Colorado.  The best time to collect them is in the fall as their leaves fall so you see the limb size the best. You want to collect ones that have a diameter of around 1" to 2".  Its was not a weeping willow which its branches are too thin most of the time to make a hiking stick.

 The willow I collected he willow wood it had a red brown exterior which makes it a perfect wood for making a hiking stick with the skin/bark left on.  When I made the willow walking stick I left sections of the outer skin/bark on and carved several trout fish on the peeled away area.  Then I painted the fish and added some carved river rocks below the fish to make it look like it was swimming in a stream. The walking stick turned out great and now my father is using it when he hikes/walks.

  The walking sick guides has a fall leaf bonus project using willow  sapling. The walking stick and hiking stick making project has several fall leafs carved and painted. then a copper wire is added to the  give the walking stick now pizzazz.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Collecting wood for walking stick making - it's time

It's been a busy season and the northern states have been hit hard. I looks like the worst is over and it is time to go out and collect wood for walking stick making.  The heavy snow has given you the opportunity to collect a variety of wood for walking stick carving due to snapped limbs. When collecting wood for your hiking stick making project make sure you have permission from the land owners and know your local laws. Some trees are protected including limbs that may have been broken due to heavy snow or ice.

It's always best to collect wood when it has recently fallen for your walking stick project because the rotting process have not started. Collect wood now to make walking sticks in the fall. Do not start standing or carving the wood when ti is green. You need to give the walking stick wood time to cure (release water) which can take several months. We recommend to collect wood now and remove the bark when the wood is still green.  Willow, aspen and similar wood is a easy peel job to remove the skin/bark while the limb is green.  Once it start drying it's much harder.  No you do not have to peel the bark now if you pan to leave most of the stick in it's natural state.

When collecting wood to make your hiking stick or walking staff think about the end result; are you planning to carve the wood, wood burn images or other?  Look at the shape of the limb and see if it interesting or has a natural area for carving. Many people collect saplings and use the root ball in the walking stick design. We usually use limbs only because it does not destroy the whole tree. However, some types of trees are fast growers and if there is an over abundance of a tree type in an area thinning do wonders to allow light in for other saplings.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Walking stick making and carving woods and methods

Walking stick making has developed a great hobby for some and for others a part-time/full time business. They make great holiday gifts and specialized help for people who are not as young as they use to be. Making my own walking sticks and actually using it if one of my hobbies has given me many hours of enjoyment. 

 Relatives and friends continually ask me for help in making their own sticks over the years has been making hiking sticks for fun, gifts and my own use. I try to collect unusual woods over the years and even make a few out of Queen Palm fronds. The last one I make (two weeks ago) was from birch I collected over 3 years ago. I have birch, aspen, pine, flamboyant, oak, bottle brush, drift wood and other wood ready to work. Some of the hiking stick and staff making wood is over 6 year old. 

Remember to cure your wood before making your walking stick and some wood such as diamond willow I would wait a good year before creating a handmade hiking stick. Why cure the wood?  Wood will shrink and even possibly crack so it you make your hiking stick from uncured wood you are asking for problems in the future.  Think about the time you will spend only to find out late that a crack has developed in the middle of your carved hiking stick.

My current project is using cedar limb and I’m carving the walking stick! Cedar smells great while carving but you need to wear a mask if you are using power tools!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

How to make walking stick from unusual wood an material

Living in South Florida gives us the ability to make walking sticks and hiking canes using unusual tropical woods and unusual material. In south east Florida you an not go anywhere without see hundred of  palm trees of all different types. The palm wood is very soft and its not a candidate for making making sticks. However, the palm fronds are a different matter.

I have experimented with different large fronds form queen, silver and king palm trees. The one that seem the best suited fro walking stick making is the queen frond whihc gets over 8 feet long.  The fronds are not as frond as say maple or birch to make a custom hiking stick but they are great for short cane walking sticks.  You need to start with a large frond over 8 feet long and use the thick first 4..5 feet.

Once you select the frond to make your hiking stick strip all the leaves off. Then let the frond complete dry out before working it. the frond makes a very unusual walking stick and its a bit pliable when in use. I highly recommend that you put 3 to 4 coats of shellac on the frond before your self made walking using.

Yes the palm frond wood can be carved but make sure you have very shape knifes becasue its stringy.  it's not recommend that you make a hiking staff using the palm frond.  Its best for a short walking stick used in the woods.