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Picture of Carving a Spine Hiking Pole
This spine shaped hiking pole is carved in a rough shape of a spine.  It helps protect and support your real spine when hiking/walking. I  carved it from willow using simple wood carving tools, which isn't the best wood to use but it turned out pretty strong, it only flexes a little under my whole weight, I'd recommend using a harder wood for this, but willow happened to be the best stick I could find locally.

I used some simple wood carving gouges and a Dremel to carve this stick, it took about two days to carve. The gouges I used are a 3mm veiner, #6 1/2" fish tail and a homemade gouge which is about a 1" #5.

 
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Step 1: Selecting your pole and preparation

Picture of Selecting your pole and preparation
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The first thing to do is select a branch with a slight bend in it in the approximate shape of a spine. Ideally you want a nice hardwood but almost any branch will work, you can use freshly cut branch or old deadwood. Make sure that it doesn't have too many small branches or knots. If you use fresh (green) wood you do run the risk that it might split/crack, especially if it is dried too quickly

Once you have your branch selected, you can strip the bark off. With some types of wood you will be able to peel the bark off easily other may need a little more force with a knife.

Step 2: Carve the handle shape

Picture of Carve the handle shape
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The first thing I did after preparing the branch was to carve the rough handle shape. It can be whatever shape you find comfortable. I chose to carve a simple "oval" shaped handle. I simply made two stop cuts at either end of where the handle is to be and then used my knife to put a gentle curve towards these.
NathanBaccon6 months ago

I Just started wood carving and love this idea! l'm gonna try it for sure.

e.bender4 years ago
props on using the mora, a true woodmans knife
rasta mon4 years ago
Is it strong it looks a little thin at the bottem and its just sexy amazing btw
reaggea mon4 years ago
thats just amazing i will bash anyone who says other wise great job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
pfred24 years ago
I'd love to see an Instructable of how you make home made gouges. That one you have there looks mighty nice to me!

If only I had woodworking skills ='(
Trial and Error, as they say!
Great ibby, btw, I plan on integrating a custom steel blade.
Again, great job!

If you're patience you can just wrap a branch with some rope and wait. It'll grow similar. I've seen plenty of vine choked woods walking in woods.
scraptopower (author)  Thundertydus5 years ago
Thanks, that should be interesting, post us some photo's when your done!
eulaliaaaa!4 years ago
So a spoon gouge does most of the work here?
scraptopower (author)  eulaliaaaa!4 years ago
Fishtail gouge did most of the work, but a straight gouge would work just the same.
very very nice, I may need to carve one
You should sell these on www.etsy.com
That's a good idea, thanks.
canida5 years ago
This is beautiful! Great work.
scraptopower (author)  canida5 years ago
Thanks canida.
mickydoodle5 years ago
wow, what a fantastic instructable. it certainley looks the part.
scraptopower (author)  mickydoodle5 years ago
Thanks!
l8nite5 years ago
Dynamite idea!! and a well done ible as well... I can see what one of my summer projects is going to be, this will go GREAT at the haunted house !
scraptopower (author)  l8nite5 years ago
Thanks, please post some photo's if you do carve one!
mcraghead5 years ago
VERY cool!!
scraptopower (author)  mcraghead5 years ago
Thanks!
Ninzerbean5 years ago
Gorgeous!
scraptopower (author)  Ninzerbean5 years ago
Thanks!
very nice it seems like it would make an awesome Halloween prop
scraptopower (author)  corey_caffeine5 years ago
That's a good idea :) Thanks.
nickodemus5 years ago
Beautiful! Functional and attractive!
scraptopower (author)  nickodemus5 years ago
Thanks!
crankyjew5 years ago
very nice. nice mora knife too.
i've heard willow smells pretty terrible when cut.
scraptopower (author)  crankyjew5 years ago
Thanks, it didn't really smell of much to be honest.