Walking Staff - Celtic Knot

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Project by Druid posted 03-16-2011 04:43 PM 12797 views 8 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This staff was an interesting project for me. I deliberately limited myself to using only a Carvin’ Jack (photo 6) and a bit of sandpaper, just to see what type of work I could do with something that I can carry safely in my pocket. I used a piece of fairly straight silver maple, and start to finish took about 4 to 5 hours. I like carving Celtic Knotwork, but I try to undercut farther than most of the examples that I see. I find this gives me a much more 3 dimensional result, even though it does take more time and effort. After sanding, I used a scrap piece of the maple to burnish the staff, then applied some Clapham’s Beeswax Polish and buffed with my bare hand.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

25 comments so far

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 3221 days

#1 posted 03-16-2011 05:00 PM

Less than 5 hours. wow. How tall is it?

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3044 days

#2 posted 03-16-2011 05:02 PM

Very nice work! I have considered buying the carving jack knife but so far have not taken the step. What is your opinion of it in ease and comfort to use? My only hesitation is that it did not feel comfortable in my hand.

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Stephen Mines's profile

Stephen Mines

226 posts in 2716 days

#3 posted 03-16-2011 05:31 PM

Quite nice! Could walk a hundred miles or part a sea with a staff like that!

-- Stephen Mines (

View Druid's profile


1769 posts in 2821 days

#4 posted 03-16-2011 06:15 PM

Hi Bearpie – There are a couple of points about the Carvin’ Jack that you should consider when making a purchase.
First – It comes in either a right-hand or left-hand version, which means that the hook knife, 3/8” scorp, and the V-scorp face in opposite directions on the 2 versions. The photo shows my right-hand Jack, and this version forces me to carve towards myself when I am using these 3 blades. Since I prefer to carve away from my body, my preference would now be to have a left-hand version, but that is a matter of personal preference that you should consider for your own style of carving. Take a look at the demo photos at . . .
Second – Sharpening. Mine came with a honing block to maintain the edges, and this works very well for me. The blades hold their edges very well.
Third – Common sense. I had to learn to pay attention as I changed blades. This tool comes honed, and if you have several blades out simultaneously while deciding which one will be used next, handle it carefully. I like the fact that each blade locks in position so that there is no chance of it folding back on me while in use.
I like the portability, and of course the quality of the blades. The belt sheath is another plus for campers or hikers.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Druid's profile


1769 posts in 2821 days

#5 posted 03-16-2011 06:23 PM

Hi Rex – The height is about 5’ 6”, and it is about an inch thick at the carved area.

Hi Stephen – Next time I get to the sea, I’ll try it. (doesn’t work on Lake Ontario)

Thanks for the compliments.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Woodwrecker's profile


4154 posts in 3602 days

#6 posted 03-16-2011 06:51 PM

Beautiful work John.
I think I will buy one of those Carvin Jack’s, and hope a little of your talent comes packaged with it. lol

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View mpounders's profile


875 posts in 2921 days

#7 posted 03-16-2011 06:57 PM

Nice work! I like the design and flow…pretty cool staff!

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View Blake Thornton's profile

Blake Thornton

152 posts in 2667 days

#8 posted 03-16-2011 07:29 PM

When I first saw the thumbnail for this I thought… WOW they carved a porch post or something, I thought the plants were trees.

I like how you carve with more of a relief than what is common, it makes the knot look more alive.

View Druid's profile


1769 posts in 2821 days

#9 posted 03-16-2011 07:51 PM

Hi Blake – Thanks, that’s the reaction that I hope to get when I undercut the design. As far as the support post at the front door goes… I’ll leave that to you to try with your Carvin’ Jack. ;->

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Russhobbs's profile


6 posts in 3118 days

#10 posted 04-14-2011 05:09 PM

Great carving. I use the carving jack all the time for my whittling. Your advice about handling the blades carefully is right on!

-- RussTekWood

View DocHamm's profile


98 posts in 2717 days

#11 posted 04-23-2011 04:16 AM

Great staff. Love the design. I recently received a Carvin’ Jack for my birthday and this piece is inspiring. Thanks!

-- "The Noblest Art is that of making others happy." ~ P.T. Barnum

View Druid's profile


1769 posts in 2821 days

#12 posted 04-23-2011 11:02 PM

Thanks for the compliment, and I hope that you enjoy the Carvin’ Jack as much as I do.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View knottysticks's profile


281 posts in 3055 days

#13 posted 05-17-2011 03:11 AM

I really like the flow of your carving John. Looks like a great project while camping, I hope you don’t mind if I try something along the same lines someday?

-- Everyday above ground is a good day.

View Druid's profile


1769 posts in 2821 days

#14 posted 05-17-2011 06:12 PM

knottysticks – No problem at all. It would be interesting to see you combine something along theses lines (curves) with some of the beautiful antler work that you do.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View christopheralan's profile


1126 posts in 3746 days

#15 posted 05-17-2011 06:13 PM

Amazing Work! Well done!

-- christopheralan

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