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Thread: Any advice on how to stain/coat/design my walking stick?

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    Tracker NordWes's Avatar
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    Default Any advice on how to stain/coat/design my walking stick?

    I'll post pics later, but I found a great candidate to use as a walking stick, has a burl/knot at the top that resembles something like a wizard's staff, I'm not quite sure what kind of wood it is but it is very sturdy.

    I stripped all the bark off and am going to sand her down a tad, and probably end up staining it.

    I'm looking for advice on what I could coat/protect it with, stain it with, and any other useful recommendations on treating and designing the stick would help.

    I also want to add some leather to the top perhaps with some bead-work as well, so any refference pics of your own work are more than welcome


    cheers,

    Wes

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    Boiled Linseed oil is great for that and why not carve a Wood Spirit on there?

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    Boiled linseed is great and will only slightly darken the wood.
    I sometimes put furniture polish like old English or even brown shoe polish on my sticks for a very easy and quick finish. I am certainly not a real woodworker, but these have made several easy but nice walking sticks.

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    Shoe polish, BLO, tung oil finish, coffee dye, any spar varnish or storebought stains for wood.

    Carving is nice but not everybody can do that well, lol. Good to try, but if you can't get the hang of it, try woodburning!

    PMZ

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kentuckycamper View Post
    Boiled linseed is great and will only slightly darken the wood.
    I sometimes put furniture polish like old English or even brown shoe polish on my sticks for a very easy and quick finish. I am certainly not a real woodworker, but these have made several easy but nice walking sticks.
    I use boiled linseed too. Lots of coats. In fact if I make a stick for a gift I'll include a little bottle too.

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    Elder
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    ^ Some woods lend themselves to kewl designs by removing strips of bark.

    Cherry, birch, etc...


    Then you can seal over it with varnish to keep the edges from fraying.

    PMZ

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    This is what I would do. Take it for what its worth.

    Seal both ends with a heavy coat of white glue to prevent shrinkage and cracking from the ends.

    When you finish sanding it down I would carefully inspect it and look for any doughy spots or checks or cracks, clean them out and soak the area with super glue to seal the wood and stabilize it around the check spots.

    I would hold off on oiling it until its had time to stabilize its moisture content by storing it inside for a while. If the stick is too heavy and big around, I would try to taper it out some but still stay true to the shape, just remove an even thickness to taper it out. If it is too heavy it won't be very enjoyable lugging it around.

    You may find that stain will not take very well if the grain is closed and wood very dense. There are wood conditioners to help open the grain if you find its not taking very well. Remember to keep weight in mind. I have made about a dozen sticks and my favorites are the lighter ones that are more like ski poles than staffs.
    Good luck
    Last edited by Ironwood; 03-12-2012 at 07:17 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironwood View Post
    This is what I would do. Take it for what its worth.

    Seal both ends with a heavy coat of white glue to prevent shrinkage and cracking from the ends.

    When you finish sanding it down I would carefully inspect it and look for any doughy spots or checks or cracks, clean them out and soak the area with super glue to seal the wood and stabilize it around the check spots.

    I would hold off on oiling it until its had time to stabilize its moisture content by storing it inside for a while. If the stick is too heavy and big around, I would try to taper it out some but still stay true to the shape, just remove an even thickness to taper it out. If it is too heavy it won't be very enjoyable lugging it around.

    You may find that stain will not take very well if the grain is closed and wood very dense. There are wood conditioners to help open the grain if you find its not taking very well. Remember to keep weight in mind. I have made about a dozen sticks and my favorites are the lighter ones that are more like ski poles than staffs.
    Good luck
    thanks for the advice everyone, and yeah, this stick is pretty good in size/weight. it's a light one, just like you're talking about.

    thanks again

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