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Thread: Yucca walking sticks

  1. #1
    Scout gila_dog's Avatar
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    Default Yucca walking sticks

    I've made walking sticks for myself and friends for many years. I've used all kinds of locally available wood (maple, Russian olive, oak) but I think I've found the perfect walking stick wood: yucca. In good years with some rain the yucca plants send up a long stalk that sprouts big white flowers. These become seed pods that dry out and then open up, dropping their seeds. These long seed stalks make excellent walking sticks. They are light but very strong. And they never warp. They aren't really wood. They are made of many long fibers, sort of like a graphite fishing rod. As you drive around the back country around here you see zillions of yucca plants with their seed stalks sticking up. So I stop and snip off some, using a long handled pruning nipper, and throw them in my truck. This doesn't hurt the yucca plant. It will grow more stalks another year. Later, I make walking sticks out of them. I use a saw and miter box to cut them to length. And a knife to trim off the rough stuff. Then I whittle a rounded top, and do some sanding. I drill a lanyard hole (I like paracord) below where a person's hand will rest. Then I put on a couple of coats of linseed oil. Then I put a heavy duty rubber cane tip (I buy Carex cane tips off ebay) and tie on a lanyard. A nice touch is to glue a metal button on top. I found a bunch of interesting metal buttons locally. These have a post or stud sticking out the back for thread. I dig a hole in the end of the stick for the button's stud with a screw driver, then fill it with epoxy and set the button down flat with it's stud in the epoxy.

    They turn out very nice. I give them to friends, and I sell them at local galleries and markets for about $20-25. People really like them because they look good, are light, strong, feel good in the hand, and will last forever with an occasional coat of oil. The rubber cane tip can be pulled off and replaced when it wears out.

    Here are some pics and info.

    http://www.smmtc.org/plantofthemonth...0606_Yucca.htm

    By the way, the yucca is the state flower of New Mexico.

    Here is the stick I use all the time. It's getting a little beat up, but it's still going strong.







    Last edited by gila_dog; 08-14-2011 at 07:28 AM.

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    Scout Doubletap's Avatar
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    Cool I don't have yuca in my area I have used bamboo in the past but it hard to find a straight piece

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    Nice post. I've got a couple I've made recently. One from soap tree yucca, one from sotol (aka Desert Spoon). I hadn't thought to treat them with linseed oil, though. I'm gonna do that today!

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    Nice stick. I don't have Yucca but I have several other types. I think they are a handy tool and it is nice to embellish your own to make it your own.

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    The yucca here local to me is a bit thin and short to make a good stick- 2 to 3' long, and about thumb thick near the base.

    Out further west some can be found that are better sized.
    Nemo me impune lacessit !

    Wisdom is knowing what to do; Skill is knowing how to do it ; Character is what lets you actually do the job.
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    I never really looked at Yucca in that way. I'll have to keep my eyes oven for something long enough. Thanks for the post and pics..

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    Elder Super Moderator GreyOne's Avatar
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    One caution- it is very strong under linear pressure, and will bear weight very well, but if put under heavy sideways pressure, it can "crimp" and break very unexpectedly .

    I would not count on it for driving off stray dogs, or making a camp chair, for instance.
    Nemo me impune lacessit !

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    Awsome like the idea Yucca works great for a bow or hand drill makes a quick fire.

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    Very nice! Reminds me of my mullein walking stick. Some materials just tend to get over looked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Philosopher View Post
    Very nice! Reminds me of my mullein walking stick. Some materials just tend to get over looked.
    Wow, you must have some giant mullein up your way! The stuff that grows in AZ's mountains would make a good walking stick for a guinea pig. Um, you know, if guinea pigs needed such things

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