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Walking Staff

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Project by Pooka posted 136 days ago 629 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have made a few of these before, but this is my first fully carved and finished walking staff.

The wood is a Christmas tree trunk that I carved with a Dremel and chip knives. Finished with polycrylic clear. Each contour was created to follow the grain and knots, resulting in a pretty handy variety of places to grip the staff. Just about 50 inches tall. The foot is a convertible from Treeline. Brass ferrule with a spike under the rubber pad.

Took me about a year to finish it, working off and on over the months.

Positively the last time I use Polycrylic for anything like this. The stuff hates contours. I’ll be sticking with my newfound friend, Enduro-Var from now on.

I quoted Muir in the engraving around the middle: “The mountains are calling and I must go.”

-- Slice, whack, smack, bang bang, sploosh, scrape, done.





8 comments so far

View Northwest29's profile

Northwest29

682 posts in 1085 days


#1 posted 136 days ago

Now that is repurposing! How long did you let it dry before working it? Nicely done and love the carved words.

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

View Pooka's profile

Pooka

48 posts in 1910 days


#2 posted 136 days ago

It got a year on the back porch before I started prepping it for carving. Then another year while I slowly chipped away at it. Plenty dry. I have 4 more trees drying on the back porch. Once folks I know found out what I do with these, they started saving me their trees every Christmas.

-- Slice, whack, smack, bang bang, sploosh, scrape, done.

View Vince's profile

Vince

946 posts in 2024 days


#3 posted 136 days ago

Nice work

-- Vince

View leafherder's profile

leafherder

250 posts in 547 days


#4 posted 135 days ago

Awesome! I usually use Spar Varnish on mine, never tried Enduro-Var, although the polycrylic looks good in your pictures. I will have to keep the Christmas tree idea in mind for the future also – although I usually just use trimmings from trees and shrubs in my own yard. Thanks for posting, this is going into my favorites.

-- Leafherder

View Pooka's profile

Pooka

48 posts in 1910 days


#5 posted 135 days ago

Oh, yes, these trees are awesome for a bunch of projects. I just turned another one on the lathe to a 2” to 1” tapered cane blank for a friend and the grain and knots were fantastic. Really pretty and cheap too. Let the friends know you’ll take care of their trees for them after Christmas and you’ll have plenty of stock.

-- Slice, whack, smack, bang bang, sploosh, scrape, done.

View leafherder's profile

leafherder

250 posts in 547 days


#6 posted 135 days ago

Stock is what I have the most of right now – local electrical utility just sent tree trimmers through the neighborhood. I asked them to set aside anything from my Black Walnut that was thick enough for a cane. They saved EVERYTHING from my walnuts, and the neighbors’ Ash and Maples. I now have 27 pieces drying on my porch. That should keep me busy for most of this year and next year. I will keep the Christmas trees in mind for 2015. Friends and family will think I have gone crazy – I am usually the one lobbying to save the trees and buy artificial Christmas trees. :)

Be sure to post that tapered cane when you get it completed. Do you know which makes the best canes: Pine, Spruce, Balsam, or Fir?

-- Leafherder

View Pooka's profile

Pooka

48 posts in 1910 days


#7 posted 135 days ago

I don’t know which of those would make good canes. I think all of them are fairly soft, so won’t hold up under heavy weight or hard use. I’ve made several from pine, which have survived over time, but they’re fairly lightly used. Ash and other more hard woods are what they sell at Treeline specifically for staffs and canes, so I suppose those are better.

The one I turned was fairly sturdy. I think it could do a bit of cudgeling before it gave up. If you keep ‘em thick enough, they’ll hold.

I’m making a crazy cool one out of acacia right now. It’s like a ROCK. Carving these buggers is LONG work. I can’t turn this one because it has a major bow to it.

Here’s the blank I turned from the Christmas tree for my friend. He’s going to do a steampunk style cane out if it.

-- Slice, whack, smack, bang bang, sploosh, scrape, done.

View Pooka's profile

Pooka

48 posts in 1910 days


#8 posted 135 days ago

Here’s the cane I’m working on right now:

Cane With Character

-- Slice, whack, smack, bang bang, sploosh, scrape, done.

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