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Step 3: Finishing the handle

pic 10 file the rasp cuts down. I dont use the vice to hold the handle now as it will mark the handle and could mis-shape it.

pic 11 the handle now the right shape and all gouges and cuts filed out. Ready to sandpaper.

pic 12 a selection of sandpaper in grits from 60 to 240.

pic 13 hold the handle with a hanky or cloth at this stage because oils from your skin can discolour the wood. Use all grits and sand in cirular motions until no deep scratches are left. The harder the wood the better the finish.

pic 14 the sanded handle. I have wet half of it to show the lovely colour waiting to come out.

now lets pay attention to the shank.

If your shank is nice and straight then skip this bit. If it is curved slightly then here's how to straighten it.
 

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<p>I found your Instructable while looking for ways to fit this handle onto a stick. It's a carved bone skull. The blank that was used was already capped with bone before carving, so it's perfectly smooth and sealed on top, with about a 3/4&quot; well about 1-1/4&quot; deep. Would I be best served just carving and sanding the top of the shank to fit the profile and potting it with resin, or do I need something more to mount it?</p>
Thanks for your query. I suspect what you suggest may be the best option. Another is: shape the shank so it goes right up. turn the skull upside down and fill the bottom (top!) with a puddle of resin push the stick into it and hold it in that position until its set. I suggest dribbling some resin down the inside through the eyeholes so it will seal the join at the jawline and shank. That ought to be enough. If the stick is going to be used for mobility rather than show, I suggest filling it with resin. It will be heavy and you would have to plug the holes.<br><br>If you do do what I suggest, perhaps paint the shank indie the sull matt black so it wont be seen easily.<br><br>BTW since Iwrote this 'ible I have found that a wooden dowel is just as strong as threaded bar if its glued properly. Good luck and let me know how you get on<br>Best wishes<br>Phil
<p>Thank you! I just got back on this project since it's too rainy to go outside. I'm looking for a mahogany dowel, so we'll see how I get on!</p>
<p> Well done stick , and instructable . I make sticks to sell , and due to a shortage of good stick wood here , I have taken to woods bought from Ebay , freight is expensive , but there are a lot of nice hardwoods available . I make sticks to sell , and to give to other disabled Vets .</p>
What do you do to season the wood and how long does this take?
This is a very good Instructable. I really enjoyed it. I am going to have to do a little looking around; ash is not native to my area, nor is hazel or blackthorn. I'll find something...
the coffee idea is awsome i never would of thought of that, quick idea here though. i usualy use olive oil it works realy well i dont know mybe you wann try it out
Great instructable- I m going to make my own. As for hitting dogs - I own three and if my dogs try to bite someone I got no one to blame for their getting a cracked cranium but me. However, I will not keep or own a biting dog.
&nbsp;Does it matter how the grain is going when you cut the handle? Or will you not have much trouble with splitting during use anyway?
&quot;In England you'd get arrested for hitting a dog like that .&quot;<br /> <br /> Not sure what they do in England, but when a dog is making a good hard effort to bite you, whacking the dog is simply self-defense.&nbsp; The Cold Steel cane is light enough to be fast, and hard enough to shatter a cinder block.&nbsp; Any good sized dog has the potential to hurt you seriously and some can kill you.&nbsp; I didn't worry about the legality of my actions only the immediacy of them.&nbsp; The cane project here looks like a great one, and in today's world, they are more then just a fashion accessory.&nbsp; Not unlike Victorian England, a man's cane is coming back as a potential necessity.&nbsp; <br />
&nbsp;You can bet if you do anything hard enough you'll end up arrested in England.
LOL so true!!
Be assured, I&nbsp;live in Wyoming, usa, and own a great dane, anyone abuses my dog, and that person will be hunted down, my dog goes to bite someone first, that person has a right to defend themselves from my dog... But that is why dogs and owners should be trained to keep their dogs under control at all times... cant train your dog not to bite, and it does bite someone,,, you should be the one getting whacked, not the dog...<br /> <br /> Training is everything.... nice instructable, and weather in England or usa,,, be safe and all rules apply in different areas for different reasons... ( but I still wouldnt let a dog bite me. )<br /> <br /> TC
You are correct, the biting dog is the owner's fault, but in my case the dog, (a large cross-breed pitbull &amp; chow was known for going a bit nuts.&nbsp; The owner kept the dog as a weapon, not a friend or even a pet.&nbsp; As such the dog was seriously troubled and dangerous.&nbsp; I had to defend myself not from a thug, but a dog that had been conditioned to be aggressive to everyone.&nbsp;&nbsp; In urban areas, too many see their dog as a defensive system first, and then maybe a friend later, if at all.&nbsp; I carry a cane as I need one with my weakened knees, but also because it is a swift and telling tool of defense against man or dog as required.&nbsp; I love dogs and the though to hitting one saddens me, but the reality is some dogs are now becoming dangerous enough to require second thoughts.<br /> <br /> As for canes, they are a serious accessory today, good for dress occasions as well as for the ability to give decent support.&nbsp; Further, with a spike point on the tip for ice, they add an element of steadiness most appreciated.&nbsp; I think this Instructable is great, and gives us a new way to look at what is possible from our own efforts.<br />
*rimshot*<br />
Great steps, but seems like you need to bend the handle somehow or find a curve branch because it would break easily if dropped or weighted by hand pressure due to the short length-wise grain ocated in the middle.<br />
Hi Sakiyama.Thanks for bringing this point up<br /> &nbsp;<br /> I have been using it regularly since making it and have&nbsp;added an ice spike. If the wood was a softer wood and liable to break i would drill a hole completely thru the handle from back to front and put a wooden dowel or length of stud into it. Sealing the ends up with epoxy and sawdust. Anyone doing this instructable may be advised to do so if the wood is softer than this. <br /> Phil
Great Instructable,Thank you.
Coffee instead of wood stain brilliant!&nbsp;<br />
&nbsp;This is a great instructable. I think I'll make one for me and one for my grandfather. Thanks!
very nice, They look very light. &nbsp; i need something sturdy and heavy.&nbsp; Lots of dog where I walk.<br />
The handle could be made of any one of a number of very strong woods, up to and including Lignum Vitae, if you could find it.&nbsp; Purpleheart is fairly strong and inexpensive compared to Ebony or Lignum Vitae.&nbsp; Look at what is available at woodcraft.com, or check your local wood supplier.&nbsp; Incidentally, &quot;hardwood&quot; just means that the wood comes from a broadleaf, winter-shedding tree.
Hi carlo$. The stick i made here is designed for mobility and easily stands the weight of a grown man. You could use thicker wood I suppose.&nbsp;That fat metal bolt in the handle end adds some weight and you'd know if it hit you&nbsp;against the side of your head! <br /> If the dogs in Texas are so mean perhaps a gun or a taser may be more appropriate when walking Rover! In England they tend to snap around your heels and a stick like this (or perhaps longer) usually wards them off.<br /> <br /> Thanks for your comments, take care<br /> Phil
Thank you for your reply.&nbsp; I walk in a park where its clearly written &quot;dogs must be on a leash&quot;, once in a while I ran into people&nbsp; walking pit bulls w/o a leash.&nbsp; The mentality&nbsp; is &quot;my little dog will lick to death&quot; until the damn dog attacks.&nbsp; So I always carry a baton and a pocket knife, just in case.&nbsp; I would carry &quot;better&quot; self defense &quot;tools&quot; if they were legal on the streets.&nbsp; I will follow your instructable and&nbsp; use heavier wood or metal.&nbsp; Cheers.<br />
I liked your projects..&nbsp; Hopefully I will have time this winter to try this out.
For a serious dog (or thug) cane check out Cold Steel's Special Projects website.&nbsp; They have both an African inspired cane (Knobkerry) and an Irish Black Thorn lookalike that is made of one-piece Poly.&nbsp; Its tough, inexpensive (about $40) and strong.&nbsp; I actually smashed a cinder block with the ball on the African walking stick, (wrapped to prevent too much impact marking.)&nbsp; I used it a week after I got it to teach a local Pit bull that humans are not to chew on.&nbsp; He left the area fast enough once I nailed him in the head!&nbsp; The owner complained and I explained to him that the next time the dog wanted a go a round with me, I then would do to the owner what I would do to the dog!&nbsp; I haven't seen the dog since.<br />
Thanks for that interesting story! In England you'd get arrested for hitting a dog like that . But&nbsp; if it was an illegal breed such as the pitbull, the owner&nbsp; could go to prison and the dog destroyed. You'd probably be hailed as a hero in your neighbourhood! Sweet revenge!<br /> <br /> I get the idea here that Americans are seeing these sticks as dog walking articles. Thats not too common where I live (in a town)<br /> <br /> Thanks for your comments.
Neat concept and good instructable! Thanks for sharing!<br />
Thanks Jay, why not have a go yourself!
Thank you for those neat instructions. I make them out of Diamond Willow (&quot;Pure Art by Mom&nbsp;Nature&quot;) from sticksite DOT com.<br />

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