LOML wanted me to make her a new walking stick. Had to be a minimum of 44” long but my lathe can only take stock 40” plus she wanted it made from a couple of different woods and it had to taper from 1 1/4”- 1”.
Using what I had learned from making my pen blank jig I went ahead and made a new jig for making round blanks using my bandsaw. The jig had to be capable of holding the blank securely on the centers but at the same time allowing the blank to be rotated as it was passed through the saw. It also had to be attached to the fence of the saw to provide accurate cuts each time it was sent through and retracted, plus it had to be adjustable for different lengths and diameters of stock. Here is what I came up with. The blank is made from 2 pieces of bloodwood and 2 pieces of fishtail oak glued together to make a blank 1 1/2 sq x 44” long.
The stationary part of the jig attaches to the fence and has a groove routed that accepts the movable part that the blank attaches to and is able to slide back and forth along the entire length. The blank is attached to the supports using screws that are centered in the blank and are spaced using rubber washers to hold it from rotating while the cut is made. The taper is made by moving the far end of the blank support and securing with screws .
Once the blank is loaded onto the jig it is just a matter of slicing off a section then retracting, rotate ,slice and retract and so on until the blank is perfectly round.
The next step of the process was figuring out how to sand the roughed out blank to remove the saw marks. I normally would use the lathe for this step but because of the length of the blank it won’t fit so the next best thing is to make a sanding jig.
I began by making a mounting bracket to hold my electric drill which holds a 5/16” hex head driver.
A 5/16” hex head screw is then screwed into the end of the blank and acts as the center drive.
For the other end I used an old 1/4” router bit with a 3/8” bearing drilled into the end of the blank with the shaft end drilled into the support and secured to the bench.
After the set up is complete it’s just a matter of sanding through the grits until the shaft is smooth.
I went ahead and turned the knob for the top out of fishtail oak and bloodwood and attached it by turning a 3/8” tenon as part of the knob and drilling a 3/8” hole in the shaft.
So here is the finished Bandsaw walking stick. I still have to get a ferrule for the bottom and add a leather strap but this was a fun little project .LOML was very pleased. Think I’ll make a few more.
-- Mike --www.midlothianwoodworks.com