If you like climbing, or even just walking on uneven ground, a walking stick will help you, activate your hands, and can be used to remove bushes or other small obstacles. Plus, you can be proud if you can make your own walking stick. If boy scouts can make it, of course you can too.
Part 1 of 2: Selecting and Cutting Wood
Step 1. Find a good stick
To make a walking stick you need to find a good piece of wood. The size, shape, sturdiness, and age of the wood determine the quality of your walking stick.
- A good walking stick is usually fairly straight and has a diameter of 2.5-5 cm. Look for wood that is about as high as your armpit (usually 1.5-1.7 meters long); You can cut the wood later to make it the right size.
- Hardwood is usually the best choice for making a walking stick that is sturdy and easy to use. Try maple, alder, cherry, aspen and sassafras.
- Look for new wood, but never cut trees to make sticks. You are prohibited from destroying nature. Wander around a bit looking for wood that is new but dead.
- Avoid wood with holes or traces of insect activity. The wood is already weakened by insect gnawing, or you could accidentally bring bugs into your home.
Step 2. Cut the wood to the appropriate length
If you're making a walking stick for your own use, stand the stick on the ground and hold it as if you were walking, with your elbows slightly bent (at roughly the right angle). Mark the stick at 5 cm above the hand holding it (or more if you want to add an accessory to the end of the stick), and cut the mark with a saw. (Note: Children should ask their parents for help if they want to use the saw. Chainsaws can cut off fingers in an instant, and hand saws can cause internal injuries).
- If you want to measure a stick for someone else to use, have the person hold the broom in front of him as described above. Measure the height of the stick from the floor to the top of his hand. Use a tape measure or string of the same length when looking for sticks.
- If you're making a walking stick to sell or give to an undetermined recipient, remember that it's a good idea to start at 1.5-1.7 meters.
Step 3. Crab bark
If you want, you can leave the bark on the trunk, but most people like the look and feel of the smooth wood touching the bark. Whatever your choice, cut off any branches or twigs dangling from the trunk.
- Use a penknife, large knife, or bark planer. Use a tool that is comfortable to use.
- Cut all the branches and ridges first, then start planing/shaving the bark. Use short, quick, shallow strokes. Do not let you plan the wood too deep. Don't be in a hurry when you plan your wood properly and safely.
- Always plank wood in a direction away from the body, and the legs do not hinder the movement of the planer. A knot in the wood can throw the knife out of your hand and injure you. If you're not used to woodworking, ask an experienced person for help.
- Continue planting until you see the flesh of the wood brightly colored. Some trees have several layers of wood, so keep pruning until the grooves are visible.
Step 4. Let the wand dry
Fresh wood is good for chopping and planing, but dry wood is stiffer and more durable. You will need time and patience to complete this process.
- Wood drying time is affected by various factors, including the type of wood, environmental conditions, and personal taste. Some people suggest waiting for two weeks, and some say a month.
- Allow the sticks to dry until they are stiff but not brittle. You may need to rotate it, or even tie it in place (for example, by tying it to a flat piece of wood using metal clips that are usually used to secure pipes together so they don't bend).
- Wood that dries too quickly can become brittle, so if the conditions indoors are too dry, it's best to leave the wood outside in an enclosed space, such as a garage or hut.
Part 2 of 2: Adding a Personal Touch
Step 1. Add a creative touch
You may have seen walking sticks with carved bases; the face of a man with long hair and beard is quite popular among walking stick users. Depending on your carving skills with a penknife and/or other tool, you could try decorating the base of the stick. Remember, if you make a mistake, you can just cut the wood a little.
- For a simpler decoration, you can engrave your name or initials on the stick. You can also use a wood burner to create the effect. Whatever method you use, do it with care.
- Also, you can make it easier to grip by carving grooves on the handle. You can imitate the grooves on the handlebars of a motorcycle or car steering wheel, but the spiral grooved handles also tighten your grip.
Step 2. Paint and seal the wood
Once you've finished cutting, trimming, drying, and engraving, it's time to preserve the wood so it will last for years. This step is optional, but recommended to improve the appearance and durability of your walking stick.
- Even if you don't color/seale the walking stick, the wood should be smoothed with a file and followed by sandpaper. Wipe off any scraping powder with a tack cloth or rag dampened with paint thinner.
- Apply wood paint according to the instructions on the package. Leave the stick overnight, and sand and wipe clean between each layer. The more layers there are, the darker the stick color will be.
- Add three coats (or the recommended amount of the guide on the package) of clear urethane varnish. Sand the stick lightly with fine sandpaper and wipe clean between each smear.
- Work in a well-ventilated area. You should always wear gloves and safety glasses, as well as a breath mask.
Step 3. Attach the handle
If you haven't carved a walking stick yet (see steps above), you can attach the handle after coloring and sealing the stick. Again, this step is optional.
- Efficient and attractive-looking handles can be made from strips of leather, twine (knitting rope), nylon, or stringy cord that is wound around the handle area and secured with pins or small nails. Therefore, you can also use self-adhesive handles for tennis rackets, hockey sticks, or golf clubs.
- To help keep the stick from slipping out of your hand during use, you can attach a wrist strap. Drill a hole above the stick handle area with a drill (ideally before painting and sealing). Insert a piece of leather strap or other material and tie it so that it forms a loop that wraps around the wearer's wrist comfortably.
Step 4. Protect the base of the stick
The base of the end of your walking stick will wear out with use, causing it to crack, split, crack, or rot. You can leave the ends of the sticks as they are, and clean, sand, or trim them as needed, or attach some sort of protection to prevent them from getting damaged quickly.
- For a quick and inexpensive solution, you can use a rubber pad to protect the end of the walking stick. You can also use a large rubber band as a stopper. Drill a hole in the lower end of the stick so you can attach the wooden dowel and glue the joint in place.
- Short copper tubing can also be used as an elegant lower end guard for walking sticks. Take a copper pipe 2.5 cm long or 2.5 cm in diameter, and insert the lower end of the stick into the pipe until it is almost sticking out. Glue the pipe using quick-drying epoxy glue so it doesn't come off the stick.
You can add a personal touch using a wood burner to burn the designs on a walking stick
- When you plan a walking stick with a penknife, do so in a motion away from your body, and never the other way around. Otherwise, you could slip and hurt yourself. When hiking inland, you will be far from the hospital.
- Never kill a tree just to make a walking stick. Always use a stick lying on the ground.
- Children making walking sticks must be supervised by adults.