If you just need help hiking up a tough hill, pretty much any reasonably sturdy branch in woods will do the job. But if you want to carve a beautiful, personal walking stick, then you need to choose a little more carefully.
Natural Hardwood Root Cane
Both ends are likely to split or crack in the curing process, so you will have to remove them before you begin carving. You can cut off the branch sections after the piece has cured sufficiently. Or, you can work the side branches into the design. You can use a branch at the top for a bird beak, a nose, or even the extended head of a snake. The bole is the part of the trunk the branch grows from. You can also make use of a burl, which is a bulging outgrowth in a tree.
It can be carved or worked into an attractive ball grip. You may need to cut it from a larger fallen tree or harvest a sapling. Please be sure you have the permission of the property owner before you cut a live tree. Goggles, hearing protection, and a hard hat Tough work gloves Length of stout rope. Green wood is very likely to split and twist as it dries, which will ruin your carving. A branch cut from a fallen tree might be dry enough to carve; cut into it to see.
The wood should be dry, clean, and hard. It might have small cracks at the ends. The bark may be loose. When you bang two pieces together, they should give off a high, ringing tone, not a dull thud. Toss your sticks in a pile and let them cure.Making a Cane/Walking Stick
Check them every few months, discarding those that have badly warped or split.We carry a wide variety of handmade walking canes for both men and women. Each wood walking cane is individually made from the finest woods, such as maple, bamboo or hickory, and can be personalized in many ways. Each walking cane is made in the U. Most of our custom walking cane blanks are naturally harvested in the nearby woods of east Texas, Arkansas and western Louisiana.
Only the raw blanks that show the highest strength are chosen for use in our walking canes. After the structural inspection, the raw wood blank is shaped on a lathe or a sander depending on the style of the wooden cane.
Depending on the style of walking cane, a clear or tinted finish is applied. We guarantee that you will enjoy your cane and enjoy showing it off for many years. Once you own a Brazos wood walking cane, you will want to use it as much as you can. Please feel free to email inquiries to info brazossticks. The design of every wood cane that leaves the Brazos workshop has been chosen for strength, comfort, style and reliability.
All our walking canes can be personalized with laser engraving, making them uniquely yours. These canes make excellent retirement or birthday gifts. There are plenty of options to pick from when choosing to customize canes for a loved one.
These include various tips, a compass, whistle, strap, thermometer, engraving, inserting of emblems and much more. If you want something specific or do not see the walking cane you need please contact us at info brazossticks. Canes Home Canes. Walking Canes by Brazos We carry a wide variety of handmade walking canes for both men and women. Make it Uniquely Yours All our walking canes can be personalized with laser engraving, making them uniquely yours.The taste is very sour but it is used in flavouring sloe gin — a very popular tipple!
In early Spring, blackthorn bears small white flowers. While blackthorn is widely regarded as the ultimate wood for walking sticks, suitable pieces are hard to come by.
Here in Ireland, it tends to grow in low, dense thickets which can be all but impenetrable. The sort of material suitable for stickmaking is more likely to come from solitary plants or small groups growing in thick woodland, where they have to compete for light with the surrounding trees. Even in these conditions, long straight stems of round cross-section can be difficult to find because blackthorn has an annoying habit of developing an oval cross-section. However, if this is not too pronounced it can be perfectly acceptable.
The quality of the bark is also rather variable. It has been traditional in Ireland to hide the bark under a thick coat of of black paint. At Derryhick Sticks we prefer to enhance the colour of the bark which can vary from a bright red-brown to purple-black. With vigorous buffing and polishing, we can achieve a silky-smooth finish with great depth. Sometimes, though, a blackthorn shank will have damaged, loose or cracked bark, in which case we strip the bark revealing a very attractive cream coloured wood.
Because the thorns grow every couple of inches along the stem, a blackthorn shank in its natural state will always have a knobbly appearance. Being a much denser wood than, say, hazel, blackthorn takes much longer to dry out thoroughly. Hazel can be fully seasoned within 18 months whereas blackthorn can take up to seven years.
So, realising some of the issues with blackthorn, scarcity of supply, difficulty in accessing, duration of seasoning, etc.
Notwithstanding all of the difficulties associated with the species, the blackthorn walking stick is one of the most popular walking sticks available and an authentic Irish blackthorn walking stick is regarded worldwide as a valuable possession. Be Careful. See my stock of Blackthorn sticks.He doesn't have a "collection" per se. Francis sells sticks from his Etsy store. Go there and check out his gear. It's great stuff. I own 5 of his sticks, and some from his father.
Everything is pleasing about these sticks--the traditions, the appreciation of nature, the workmanship, and the quality of the materials. I second Joyce N's request.
My husband and I both have walking sticks, mine was made by a friend's husband from local wood and given to me as a gift when I was portraying an old woman at a cemetery walk which was a local historical society fundraiser. It is gnarled and bent and has a definite witchy look to it. My husband bought his from a local tribal craftsman who had a booth at at art fair we attended on an island. Both craftsman told us they search the woods for branches that have already fallen. We keep the sticks in the umbrella stand in our front hall.
Great interview! My parents have several from Ireland in their umbrella stand, too. They are gorgeous. The Adventure Bought a beautiful Blackthorn in a small shop in Dublin a couple years ago.
It was love at first sight. Like your " bad boy", it dwarfs the others in the stand. When purchased, it elicited a lengthy conversation and a round of compliments, "I wouldn't let it out of my sight", "He's a beauty". The next day, at Brown's, a retired Army friend of a friend taught me the proper "deployment". Carried it on to Edinburgh and then back home.A home-made, wooden walking stick you whittle yourself is another matter.
Even if you live in a city, you can still get your hands on a trimmed limb of some kind. Poplar makes excellent walking sticks and poplar trees are one of the most common species across the country where I live in Canada.
Wooden Canes & Walking Sticks
Maples and most hardwoods make decent walking sticks too, but heavier than poplar. Stay away from pine or spruce because of the sticky sap. What kind of whittling knife is best? Fresh, moist bark is always easiest to remove, so whittle this off as soon as you have your wood.
Hold one end of the cane or walking stick in your hand as you sit, with the other end angled down to rest on the ground. Take long, even strokes downwards with your knife to remove strips of bark without going far into the wood.
The nice thing about carving fresh wood is that it provides emotional incentive. With all bark removed, set the stick aside standing upright in a corner somewhere for 2 to 4 weeks to dry.
The wood will be lighter in weight and better able to accept refined carving, but it may also be browner than it was before. This happens if white inner bark got left behind and dried. Whittle away this new brownness until you get down to nice, light wood.
I buy sash cord from a hardware store for this. Mark your initials somewhere on the cane or walking stick. I heated this wire with a propane torch, bent it to the shape of my initials, then heated again to brand the wood. You can see the full burning brand I made in action below, marking a wooden tool I made a long time ago.
Complete your cane or walking stick project by coating it with linseed oil or wipe-on poly.
Expect compliments. Sign up for the newsletter so I can notify you as winner. Share 1. Pin 4. Click here to read. New From baileylineroad.The leaves are changing and beginning to fall, which makes finding and identifying the different tree species easier.
The sap in the trunks has begun to drop so the drying time is less than it would be for a spring-cut sapling. But you can harvest at any time during the year, especially if you have downed trees because of storm damage or are doing yard work and pruning. If you have a landscaped yard you may have several tree and shrub species that will work wonderfully for walking sticks and canes.
Maple, oak, and elm are common landscaping trees which can provide long, straight branches. If you are taking prunings, learn how to properly cut the branch and seal the wound to prevent damage and disease to your trees. Storm damage can provide a vast amount of walking stick material but please be careful of downed electric wires before cutting any branches.
Your local county may have an area set aside for dumping landscaping trimmings at your local landfill. Often you can find great branches that have been discarded by other homeowners that are free for the taking. Before you begin harvesting along any roadside, open field, or wooded lot get the permission of the land owner before you enter their property.
You can avoid a lot of problems by simply asking permission before you cut. When you speak with the land owner tell them what you intend to do with the sticks, how many you hope to harvest, and what particular types of trees you want to harvest. I ask the owner for suggestions as to where I might cut on his land and which areas they want me to avoid.
Some property owners will allow you to cut specific species but want to protect others from harvest — they may allow you to cut oak, maple, and black locust but not want you to cut any sassafras or dogwood. A stick in hand is worth 25 or more small saplings and a happy, satisfied land owner will let you harvest year after year.
Always let someone know where you will be harvesting. Map out the territory and give a time estimate of when you will be returning home. Take your cell phone with you. Accidents can happen, so be prepared! Take a small camp shovel with you to dig out the root systems for briar roses, sassafras, and dogwoods. The bulbous root nodes make wonderful stick handles. Remember to back fill in any hole that you dig!
Take along a folding camp saw for branch harvesting. They are lighter weight to carry than large pruners.Autumn is the traditional time of the year to harvest tree saplings, branches, and twisty sticks for cane and walking stick carving.
As the leaves change color and begin to drop the branches and trunks of the available saplings become more visible. Click on the images for a full-sized photo. All links go to Wikipedia.
Wood Carving Walking Sticks – Common Tree Species
Hickory — Carya tomentosa. This extremely dense, hard wood is perfect for small walking sticks and canes. It is commonly used for tool handles, wheel spokes, golf club shafts, and canoe paddles because of its strength. Hickory grows in the eastern half of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and is often found in association with oak and maple forests.
Hickory is a major food source for the luna moth. Hickory has a medium-grey coloring with light texture. Pale white and light green spotting is common in the older growth areas of the bark.
Look along the edge of the wood line and forest for this particular tree. Black Walnut — Juglans nigra —. Traditionally this hardwood is used for gun stocks, furniture, and flooring, as well as for the edible nuts. Walnut hulls have been used to create writing ink and dyes. Native to the east coast of midwestern sections of the United States, it was introduced to Europe as a cultivated species in It is a pioneer species, along with black cherry and silver maple, populating open fields and wetlands in advance of larger forest growth.
Often called Weed Trees, black walnuts are fast growing. The sample shown is an Eastern Black Walnut which has a reddish-brown coloration to its highly textured bark.
English Walnut — no photo. The wide distribution of English Walnut throughout the world is due to its easy cultivation and harvest for its nuts. It has a very smooth, pale gray bark and can attain heights of up to 25 to 30 meters. It is used for gun stocks, furniture, guitars, and veneer. Oak — List of Quercus species. There are approximately extant species of oak, which is a common tree to most of the Northern Hemisphere. America has nearly 90 native species and is commonly found in large forest stands and in home landscaping.
This is a major furniture wood, and used in timber-framed building and ship construction. Oak bark, rich in tannin, is used in tanning leathers.