Walking Sticks...

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Walking Sticks...

Post by skalla on Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:59 pm

...making them is possibly my favourite pass-time, along with the equally awesome stick hunting.

So far they are all one-piece, ie: no fancy antler tops etc.  I started making Clubs/Shillelaghs at first, and that morphed into knobsticks, if you'll pardon the expression.  I guess in a way i try to make civil defence sticks, something with a rustic character that a gentleman of quality could use to break a ruffian's leg, or perhaps to fight off the wife after you forget her birthday etc etc. 

I've made quite a few, and half-made dozens which lie in various parts of the house awaiting my attention.. i also have quite a few being arduously stripped and re finished as i was not happy with the initial oil/varnish finish etc.

Here are a few, pretty much finished bar neatly fitting a ferrule.



L-R all Hawthorn, bar the fourth which is Sycamore, closer pics of handles too...





The first was finished in Danish Oil and beeswax, the rest just beeswax.  No 2 and 6 have previously been strpped and refinished, but the variances in paleness in the wood is just down to variety and lighting.  They have beautiful grain which sadly doent show.

The one with the gaping maw was my first effort at carving on the knobble (i cant bring my self to say "knob"), it's inspired by a roughly carved Norse Dragon Prow Longship head, and came out pretty close to how i intended it.



Another Hawthorn stick, very slender but strong too (Hawthorn is dense, strong wood, i love the stuff), with a snake holding an egg in it's mouth carved on the handle/knob thing.  My second effort at carving, not bad and i may repeat the theme on others, though i think i still need to do some tidying up on it etc



And two more, firstly Sweet-Chestnut and then Hawthorn again, though with the bark left on this time:



Despite it's simplicity and plain-ness, i've used the first a great many times - the natural bend of the handle is perfect and it feel like a ski-pole in the hand - it's saved me going arse-over-tit in the snow many, many times.

The Hawthorn one is finished in Danish Oil, btw.



Thanks for looking, i have many more to share at some point Smile

skalla
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Re: Walking Sticks...

Post by grendel on Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:19 am

Not sure if it's my phone but the pics are not showing.

- - - - - -
I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. cats look down on us but pigs treat us as equals.

Stupidity got us into this mess, why can't it get us out

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Re: Walking Sticks...

Post by skalla on Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:32 pm

Grendel wrote:Not sure if it's my phone but the pics are not showing.

 t'is yer phone i'm afraid

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Re: Walking Sticks...

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:21 am

Sweet work! There are ways of making grain work with stains, a mid oak non water based stain works for me if the wood is too light. finished off with some similarly tinted "Briwax" or other brand tinted wax polish (disclamer alert!). Thin the first coat with white spirit, leave over night and coat with neat wax the next day, then give it a good polish.Surprised

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Re: Walking Sticks...

Post by grendel on Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:32 pm

N
After not showing for two days the picture are here today. They are amazing, I really have to have a go at making one. Also I've always had the sneaking interest in Bartitsu.

http://screen.yahoo.com/mansome-episode-99-bartitsu-umbrella-004016776.html


Last edited by Grendel on Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

- - - - - -
I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. cats look down on us but pigs treat us as equals.

Stupidity got us into this mess, why can't it get us out

grendel
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Re: Walking Sticks...

Post by skalla on Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:37 pm

With Danish oil you can get a super smooth almost glass like finish, and wax works quite nicely on it's own too but highlighting Hawthorn's already beautiful but subtle grain would be great so i will have to try that (when i meant the grain didnt show, i meant on camera btw). 

I was also told some years ago that dissolving/soaking wire wool in vinegar makes a nice stain too, and i may have to try sesame oil which i use on spoons and adds some tone to pale wood.


I'll experiment a bit, thanks for the info!

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Re: Walking Sticks...

Post by skalla on Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:10 pm

Grendel wrote:N
After not showing for two days the picture are here today. They are amazing, I really have to have a go at making one. Also I've always had the sneaking interest in Bartitsu.

http://screen.yahoo.com/mansome-episode-99-bartitsu-umbrella-004016776.html

 Many thanks, it's kinda hard to go too wrong with stick making so it's very rewarding - the chances of breaking the thing in half when getting it thin are almost zero, imagine that!  Naturally a big part is getting the right stick and you may have to train yourself to stop looking for interesting rocks and geology when on country walks and start eye-ing up the flora - i can size a bush up for knobsticks and shanks in no time Very Happy trees too Laughing 

And Bartitsu!  I could totally grow the required 'tache and have a go at that - i used to have some great illustrations of moves/kata saved from a Victorian manual of ladies beating up chaps using umbrellas but sadly cannot find them, though their are many awesome pics all over the web.

I did find these by Mr Barton-Wright himself though..
Self Defence with a Walking-Stick

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Re: Walking Sticks...

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:09 am

Wow...Bash! Another good source of natural wood stain is Walnut skins, "The Urbane forager" makes all sorts from green Walnuts, go see. They'll be droping off the trees in a month or two and the green part (outer casing) of the nut can be put into some water and used as quite a dark wood stain, depending on the dilution. You also get some tasty nuts as a by-product of making this!

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Re: Walking Sticks...

Post by skalla on Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:36 pm

I'm often on the look-out for Walnut Trees as it's gorgeous wood, but they are always in nice country gardens with large dogs.  Grrr

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Re: Walking Sticks...

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:24 am

Try large grave yards! The Walnuts I used to get where from a Victorian plantation. No dogs allowed...

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Re: Walking Sticks...

Post by skalla on Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:32 am

Cool, i never thought of that... churches and graveyards often have awesome trees, be that by the power of God, or the power of decomposing corpses Very Happy

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Re: Walking Sticks...

Post by skalla on Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:55 pm

Here is another one, this has been stripped and refinished, given a couple of layers of Sesame Oil, then left for the colour to mellow a bit and finally waxed (yesterday).



It's Beech, cut from a very mature tree and it's about hip height (i'm 6'1 ish).  I particularly like this one due to the strange frill shape left by some rot that prevented the main branch from growing... upside down it almost looks like a giant pipe for overgrown Leprechauns Very Happy







The dark markings are the result of a little experiment into Spalting, simply by leaving it out in the rain for a week or two (ish, this was done maybe 4 years ago?) then allowing it to thoroughly dry before working it.  I like the effect, and will go much further with it next time i try.


Last edited by skalla on Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:01 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : days? weeks?)

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Re: Walking Sticks...

Post by skalla on Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:28 pm

And another one!  Like the last this is an old one that i stripped and re-finished, again just in Beeswax.  It's Hawthorn yet again and just over hip height (made too long so it can be cut to size for anyone under about 6 foot 6!).

The crack in the head is from when i originally stripped and carved it prior learning how to season and dry knobsticks more effectively, but the head is very stable and solid - in the four or five years since first shaped it has not spread at all, and the "collar" of bark was originally left on as insurance to prevent further checking.  Personally i dont like the look of the collar so much but others who saw the stick were quite taken with the design so i left it on.





I need to work on how to photograph these more effectively to show the grain and lustre of the wood as the pics dont really reflect that.

One of the things i love about Hawthorn is the grain, but also other features of the wood - in particular the brown ribbons that weave through the wood.



Thanks for looking!

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