Shepard's Crook Walking Stick

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Project by Rafe Demers posted 08-22-2015 12:09 PM 1319 views 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I started getting back into woodworking a few years ago I thought that making a walking stick would be an easy and fun project to get me back into the game. After making a couple sticks I realized that I was hooked and started looking for ideas to expand my skills and came across a book that changed everything. The book “Stickmaking, A Complete Course” by Andrew Jones and Clive George opened me up to a whole new world. I found that Stickmaking or Stickdressing is a trade and hobby commonly found throughout the UK and Europe and has been around for ages. One of the more common style sticks is the Shepard’s Crook which is traditionally used in sheep farming but is also frequently used a a walking stick to “ramble” about in the country. They are typically made from Ram’s Horn, Wood and sometimes Water Buffalo Horn. I have found it difficult to obtain either horn here in New England so I decided I would focus on making one from wood first and as time permits work my way up to getting some good quality horn in the future. This crook is made from Figured Cherry and is mounted on a Natural Hazel Shank with a white bone spacer. I loved every minute of making this project and appreciate you taking a look.

By the way I have no affiliation with the authors or publishers of the book I mentioned but if you are interested in Stickmaking I suggest you check it out.


-- Rafe Demers

7 comments so far

View leafherder's profile


1636 posts in 2190 days

#1 posted 08-22-2015 05:02 PM

Said it before – beautiful combination of woods. Making canes is what got me hooked on woodworking. Thanks for the information about the book.

-- Leafherder

View Rafe Demers's profile

Rafe Demers

71 posts in 2223 days

#2 posted 08-22-2015 06:20 PM

The book really was an inspiration and I refer to it constantly. Appreciate the feedback. I just had a chance to look ate work and it is outstanding, keep it up!

-- Rafe Demers

View Northwest29's profile


1664 posts in 2728 days

#3 posted 08-22-2015 08:41 PM

Beautifully done walking stick. I really like the combination of woods that you used, very eye catching. Did you use a lathe for the main shaft, or is it done by hand?

-- Ron, Eugene, OR, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View Rafe Demers's profile

Rafe Demers

71 posts in 2223 days

#4 posted 08-22-2015 11:09 PM

Hi Ron, I used a natural Hazel stick with the bark on for this one. For most of my traditional English sticks I use woods such as Chestnut, Hazel and Blackthorn that I order from friends in England and Ireland. I also use domestic species such as Birch, Apple, Crab Apple and Oak that I harvest after November when the saps stop running to keep the bark on and tight but it takes about a year or so to season them so I often order from abroad. For my finished canes I usually turn them but when I started I did everything by hand.

-- Rafe Demers

View Druid's profile


1932 posts in 3033 days

#5 posted 08-23-2015 02:32 AM

Beautiful work Rafe. I agree with your comments on the book. Lots of interesting information in it.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Woodknack's profile


12464 posts in 2618 days

#6 posted 08-24-2015 07:30 AM

That is one fine stick.

-- Rick M,

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14179 posts in 4221 days

#7 posted 08-24-2015 07:42 PM

Very cool. That would make a great Christmas gift.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

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