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Missing Barns and Telling Yarns
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure if this is the right sub-section of the off topic forum, but I'll give it a shot.

I was clearing out some brush and got a nice 3yr old ash 'trunk' about 8ft high. I wanted to turn it into a walking stick for backpacking and hiking, but wasn't sure what to do other than cut it down to size. Any tips? Some of the questions bouncing around my head are...

Do I let it cure before cutting it and shaping it the way I want?

Do I find a rubber stopper for the tip or cure it in some way to prevent splintering?

Do I leave it natural with bark on, shave and sand it down, finish it with oil of some sort?

Any tips are greatly appreciated! I'm planning on having it come up to my armpit for a little extra leverage but noting too cumbersome.
 

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aka CYBORG
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Can't help with curing wood etc, but I've made effective walking sticks from 4 foot hardwood shovel handles from Orange Depot or Lowes. A straight bicycle grip works for the handle end and Walmart sells 4 paks of rubber tips in assorted sizes for the ground end. They're as legal as a cane in the city ... I call mine 'Thug Be Good'.
 

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Missing Barns and Telling Yarns
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985 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Turn it into a Sheppard's staff sling and then the topic is appropriate. :)
Haha, I'm already enough of a menace in the woods as it is. I'm usually happy if I just make it back to my car in one piece. Don't need to start slinging huge stones and add to the challenge :)
 

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Missing Barns and Telling Yarns
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985 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here's one I made last march, mulberry, aged bout a year, lightly sanded, light coat poly, bout 4-1/2 ft long, I use it in the woods, works ok, would be real nice with good finish, but I made it to USE, not look at.
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Love that fork! Mine doesn't have any good forks on the end but I love the idea.
 

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Premium Member
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I do the rough cut end a few inches longer and let dry in a cool dark air condioned place. I drive 2 rows nails into a 2x4 and lash the wet limb to it. I put wax or petroleum jelly on the end...

Generally 4-5 months of drying per inch of thickness. Make a an alarm on your electronic calender or forget it for years (it happens).

Slow cure epoxy and brass ferrules with the rubber stops...A bit of cordage (leather for aesthetics or paracord for utility for me).

I have a lance tip Cold Steel spear head on my long staff sheathed in a paracord wrapped length of pvc with a rubber stop.

It a pinch I use this to open my "A" frame tarp roof and stake my dog leashes. (One is a runner...thinks with his stomach.)
 

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if you just whittle the 90 off of the bottom edge that will be enough to prevent splitting and fraying with normal use. pic for reference.

uxUYTYm.png


This is not the greatest pic i prefer to do three small cuts all the way around making a nice round edge, but one will do as shown above.

Also, filling any drying checks with superglue will add longevity to your walkingstick as well.
 

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Missing Barns and Telling Yarns
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985 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
if you just whittle the 90 off of the bottom edge that will be enough to prevent splitting and fraying with normal use. pic for reference.

uxUYTYm.png


This is not the greatest pic i prefer to do three small cuts all the way around making a nice round edge, but one will do as shown above.

Also, filling any drying checks with superglue will add longevity to your walkingstick as well.
Ah yeah, my wife does the same thing with table legs. I think it's called a 'chamfer'. I'll need to post a pic soon.
 
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Missing Barns and Telling Yarns
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Already on it! I figured, "It's just a big stick, don't overthink it too much. There's thousands more laying around." I've applied a little something to protect it and I'll post a pic here in the next couple days.
 
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Missing Barns and Telling Yarns
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Okay guys, here's the finished results! I sanded down the ash limb to the wood and hit it with 60gr and 100gr. I drilled a hole for a wrist cord (perhaps a little too high) and plan to take Ghost's advice and fashion the hole into an Ojibwe bird snare for the future. The end is capped with a 1" brass pipe end-cap to prevent the tip from splitting. I coated the whole thing with two coats of Tung Oil to keep it from getting too waterlogged. The whole thing comes up to my armpit, which means I can grasp it with my elbow joint at a 90degree angle and have about 4" of extra staff.

The whole thing turned out to be way beefier than I first imagined. This thing is STOUT and maybe too hefty for long hikes, but it would be very handy if you had to thump someone on the head, or try and keep your distance from a bear or rut crazed buck. Thanks to all the advice and tips! This was a lot of fun, and I'll probably me making a few more as time goes on.
 

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