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.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Making a walking stick from a christmas tree

       The holidays are over and now the time to go around your area and collect a couple pines or firs Christmas tree for you walking stick making project. I usually go to a tree lot and go through their pile of branches and tress they did not sell.  The tress that did not sell are usually thinner or not as full so making into wood walking sticks is easier.  This year I picked up three long skinny trees with very few branches that were not sell-able as Christmas trees. In fact, the people at the lot held them for me (I talked to them in November). They gladly accepted a tip and I received some great firs for my future hiking stick making projects.

       When you go out to collect your trees make sure they are not too fat at the bottom otherwise you will spend many hours thinning down the trunk.  You you can keep it thick to give you more walking stick carving room on your hiking staff. However, the thicker the trunk the heavier the stick.

      While you are out collecting wood for your walking stick making project look for thick branches to wood carve other things.  I always like to carve wooded knives which friends love to receive as gifts. Other projects I do with thick branches are carved wood flower vases (see the walking stick making guides), wooden knives, create a wood tree forest (see making walking stick guides), stick picture frames and more one afternoon projects.

      Once you collect the wood you will need to strip/cut of the branches as close to the trunk as possible without damaging the trunk. The closer the cut to less sanding you will need to do in the future. Yes, you can strip the bark off the trunk too. I usually leave the bark on because I like the way the stick looks with the branches removed (light areas) and the contrasting darker pine or fir bark.  I only strip the part I plan to carve when making the hiking stick or staff.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Making walking stick or hiking stick rope handle cord

     Para cord is a very useful survival tool. When making a hiking stick  think about it as a complete survival tool by adding special finishes that includes giving your wood walking stick more versatility.  Many people think about inserting a compass on top of the walk sticks or drill a hole for fishing lines/matches. Others make walking sticks with rope weaves to give better grip hand in water and for emergency rope usage. The walking stick making guides gives you all that plus more. One section includes complete details on using para cord to create hand non-slip holds or ropes on your walking stick.

    The walking stick guides use para cord which comes in a large array of colors and strengths. We use the para cord 440 because of it durability and strength.  The above image is on way to weave a pattern using the para cord on your wood hiking stick making project. The cord is 100% removable for emergency usage and while its on the wood walking stick it provides great hand gripping power.   when wood gets wet it tends to be slippery so with the cord around the wood it serves a duo purpose: grip and emergency cordage .

  The walking stick guides walks you through making these weaves and others in an easy step by step method. Plus, it has a section creating cord or nylon handles and much more.  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Carving how to make a wood hiking stick

Carving is a whole different hobby into itself. You can spend years and years perfecting your carving skills. The walking stick making guides will get you started with simple designs and progress to wood spirits. Do not expect your first few projects to look as great as the ones you see on book covers.

        The above image is a basic elk carving using an existing branch on the end of the walking stick as the antlers. 

        The how to make walking stick guides will review the tools needed, basic usage of the tools and recommendations. Plus, it shows how to do two simple carvings (relief carvings) before you tackle harder projects.  Please be patient with yourself. Wood carving is a true art form. Do not move to the Eagle or Wood Spirit carving areas unless you have completed a few basic carvings projects.

    Safety is a major concern when doing carving projects. Read all safety precautions and labels from the manufacturer of your tools. Always wear safety protection for your body parts. Do not assume that your will not be cut – assume you will and use the needed protection to prevent serious injuries. Please note you agree by using this blog or the guides not to hold my company, staff, associates and me liable in any manner for any damages, injuries or other accidents that may happen as the result of these guides or any other advice given whether in the guides, in the blog, by email or in writing whatsoever. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

How to creat a fall leaf walking stick making project

   Now is the time to start working on the wood collected last fall for your walking stick making project. If you did not strip the bark off the hiking stick at the time when you collected it,  you will find its much harder now.  It is always best to strip the bark off at time of collecting when the wood is still moist. One great project that we are giving away as a bonus with the walking stick making guides is a fall leaf design project that combines may of the techniques in  the stick making projects in the guides.

     The image to the right is a partially complete fall leaf project. The copper wire is being added to give the stick more character.    The copper wire is anchored into the hiking stick by drilling a small hole and inserting the wire into it with a small amount of epoxy on the wire tip to help it hold.

     The next step will be a hand woven hand old area with a strap cord. We use para-cord for all handles because it is durable plus in an emergency you can unwind it and use for many survival uses.

      Just before I was ready to put the clear shellac on it uses a wood burner to write the type of wood and were collected with date towards the bottom of the hiking stick. Making your own hiking sticks and walking sticks is a great way to bring back memories of favorite trips.

     The last step is to put the finished waterproof coat of shellac or similar finish of your choice. When this walking stick making project was finished I added a small compass on the top of the stick.




Monday, May 11, 2015

walking and hiking stick making insert design ideas

    Making a walking stick is a great hobby. There are may things you can do to a walking stick  to make the staff more useful and decorative.  Many people want to insert compartments into the top of the walking stick such as a compass, emergency tools, etc. It's not a very difficult addition but you need to start with the right walking stick wood.  First you need a stick that is straight for the complete top portion of the compartment you plant to add. Adding compartments to a wood hiking stick works best with sticks towards the thick side (2" to 2.5") across the top.

    Also, select light wood weight for your hiking stick project because each thing you add to you hiking stick making project make the stick less usable on long hikes due to excessive weight.  the preferred wood I use for these type of hiking stick making projects are aspen, fir or pine (in the order presented).  Yes you can use hard woods however due to their weight you may want to make a smaller compartment and switch to one that is 1.5" thick  (3/4" compartment). 

    When you make your hiking stick compartment make sure you leave 1/4" around the edges. If the walking stick is 2" then you use a 1" to 1.25" drill to make the hole.  The walking stick guides has instructions on how to add items to the tip of the walking stick.  Make sure you drill straight down. Do it slow to avoid costly mistakes. Before you make your hole determine what you want to insert into the compartment and also what you plant to use as a cap to the walking stick. Making a hole too big for the cap material (rock, piece of metal, door knob handle etc.  -see the walking stick making guides).


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.