Introduction: Christmas Tree Hiking Staff

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of Stripping the Bark

dun un da da dun un da
(to be sung to the tune of 'the stripper' )

Anyhoo...
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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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.

Comments

3366carlos (author)2014-12-25

awesome project. I hate to see a good tree go to waist.

m005k (author)2014-10-12

nice recycling!

craftclarity (author)2014-05-23

This makes me think I should be using all of the branches I took off the walnut tree in my backyard a few weeks ago for walking sticks. Nice work!

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