making a walking staf

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troyka

Forager
I've just been for a walk in my local woods, and cut me a sycamore staf.

should i leave it to season or can it be used now? its green wood and im planning to strip most bark if not all and wax it at some point. i want to decorate it a little too.. maybe some pattern carving.

this is my first ever attempt at wood (apart from dream catchers that i make with my youth groups)

i guess im looking for any advice, for a newbie with limited tools and knolege .
 

Elines

Full Member
Oct 4, 2008
1,590
1
Leicestershire
There are more experienced people on this site than me but when I wanted to make a walking stick I went to see a bloke in the village who has been making walking sticks for years with bison horn/antler handles/carved wooden handles etc - the works.

He told me to let the wood season for a year. His reason was that if you need to straighten (or I guess bend the staff) then if you do this while it is green it will revert (or tend to revert) to its original shape.

Incidentally he suggested bending it by using – say – a paint stripper hot air gun to focus heat on the bit you wanted to bend/straighten. He also said you could use a cooker hot plate or an open fire if that is easier for you. You heat up the bit you want to change and then adjust it/bend it over your knee while it is still hot.

I followed his guidance and it worked for me – but other people with more experience may have alternative views/advice.
 

Ogri the trog

Mod
Mod
Apr 29, 2005
7,169
62
57
Mid Wales UK
If you allow it to season, it will get a lot lighter in weight and somewhat stronger.
Before long you'll have a number of them in different stages of drying, decoration, size etc.

ATB

Ogri the trog
 
Feb 15, 2011
3,860
0
Elsewhere
I make the odd walking stick now & again from hazel, I just saw them off the bush, cut them to the required length ( from the ground to the arm pit) & width & start to use them as such, I keep them inside when not being used & then after about 6 months they're nice & dry & ready for any further work such as carving, staining or linseed oiling.....I suppose everyone has their own methods.
 

Bluemerle

Nomad
Nov 6, 2010
341
0
Essex
Same as blacktimberwolf. i have sticks laying about from green through to 10 years. some decorated, some partly decorated etc. the trouble is i keep finding the "Perfect stick" i suppose at the end of the day its just a stick, and theres always another around the corner, so start using and you will soon have a collection!!
 

Elines

Full Member
Oct 4, 2008
1,590
1
Leicestershire
just start with one and see how you go - you might decide that you want to whip some paracord etc on it as a handle and then you will want to start with a thinner one, maybe. There are plenty of potential staffs/walking sticks out there and if you get one 'wrong' you have gained experience from your 'mistake' and lost nothing.
 

Melonfish

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 8, 2009
2,460
1
Warrington, UK
I dont really bother waiting a year for the lengths to season, i usually cut in the the winter (i was actually coppicing when i got mine) and by late summer they're ready to work with.
A tip if you're using hazel is to hang the staffs tied round a broom handle to help em straighten as they dry.
 

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