Introduction: Christmas Tree Hiking Staff
Last Year, we were lucky enough to get a 13 foot tall Christmas tree. After Christmas, the question was what to do with the trunk.
Given my interest in outdoor activities, the choice was obvious-a hiking staff.
This is not necessarily a how to, as I am not too great at carpentry, it is just how I went about the project given my experience and the tools available. I hope it provides good inspiration for other people's projects. My apologies for the somewhat limited pictures as it was a project that I did over a couple of weekends when time was available.
Step 1: Cutting to Size
The first thing I did was cut the trunk to approximate length with a maximum width of around 2 1/2 " and with a fork at the top to provide a more comfortable hand grip (discussed further in later steps)
proportionally speaking, it is about midway between my shoulder height and elbow height. - 41/2 -5'
Naturally, taller or shorter people will want a different staff height (oh matron....) . If you want a different proportion to your staff , make it so.
This was done with a standard wood saw. A bow saw or circular saw may be better for the green wood to prevent clogging of the teeth .
Step 2: Stripping the Bark
dun un da da dun un da
(to be sung to the tune of 'the stripper' )
The reason for doing this is that the outer bark was covered in pine needles, and the inner bark is full of sap and really sticky.
I did this using a hatchet to remove the outer bark and then a wire brush to remove the inner bark. Other tools may be as effective, but those are the ones I chose to use.
Step 3: Refining the Shape
I narrowed the foot of the staff by splitting it with a chisel and then smoothing over with a Stanley knife. I also cut back part of the fork as well as finalising the length.
I then smoothed out the eyes of the wood and chamfered the top using a Stanley knife.
Here would be an ideal place for a tone of pictures, but I can't find them all.
A wood plane (electric especially) would probably be more effective for the smoothing processes, but the one I would have used was about as sharp as an ice cube having sat at the bottom of a toolbox for the better part of 10 years.
Step 4: Finishing Touches
I sanded the whole thing down with 60 , 80 , 100 then 120 grit sandpaper.
I then applied a coat of olive oil mixed with light woodstain to waterproof it.
I fitted an end cap by drilling a pilot hole, placing a lid from a mini jam jar (used previously as a paint-pot hence the red) on the end and adding a large nail. I also added tacks to the rim.
Finally, I put a paracord wrap and lanyard on the top end.
Step 5: Conclusion
The staff works great for me , a good height and very solid.
Construction was fairly fun and quite simple even given my limited carpentry experience.
my apologies (one last time) for the limited construction photos, I shall endeavour to take more on future projects.