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Multi-Function Walking Stick - Converts to a Chair

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Picture of Multi-Function Walking Stick - Converts to a Chair
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Wouldn't it be nice if your walking stick served double duty as a chair?  This walking stick functions just as well as a stationary resting device as well as it does as a mobility enabler. 

Trying to find a place to rest on the trail can be a challenge; especially when the woods are wet.
Carrying a camp chair in your pack seems like an unnecessary luxury, however, if the hiking stick you were planning on carrying anyway could serve as a lounge chair, you just might want to indulge.

This Instructable describes the steps for making a convertible walking stick with an accessory seat.  At a height of 6 feet when fully assembled, the walking stick is really more of a Hiking Staff however, the 3 piece design makes it easy to transport and allows it to convert into a seat.

 But there's more...

This is the first in a series of Instructables demonstrating the versatility of this Hiking Staff.  Subscribe if you don't want to miss the next two sequel Instructables:

- Decorative and functional copper shod finial staff ends with storage

- Staff-top provision for an illuminating torch
 
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Step 1: Staff Size

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Walking Stick Material:
(3) 1” diameter hard wood dowels (each 2 feet in length).  I used oak for this project.

1: Cut  (3) three dowels 24 inches long.  These will be referred to as the Upper Section, Lower Section & Middle Section

Most of the new high tech walking sticks on the market today are the short (Trek) ski pole variety. Personally, I prefer a taller staff when hiking.  For me, the trail challenge is not so much the uphill incline, as it is the descent; especially while carrying a pack.

A grip near the top of a taller staff allows it to extend well downhill while the body remains upright during a descent.

The only negative I have found with a Hiking Staff is the inevitable accusation of sheep herding or the resemblance to Moses (which happens despite the lack of beard credentials) .

Step 2: Add the Copper Connectors

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Connector Materials:
(2) 3/4" diameter sweat fitting to 1/2" threaded male copper plumbing fitting
(2) 3/4" diameter sweat fitting to 1/2" threaded female copper plumbing fitting

The outer diameter of the 3/4" sweat fitting matches the 1" diameter of the wood dowel. This creates a nice flush transition at the wood to copper interface.
(Be sure to use  3/4" sweat to 1/2" threaded reducer fitting.  The diameter of 3/4" sweat to 3/4" threaded fitting will be too large to fit through the ring used to assemble the seat.)

(1) Package of two part epoxy adhesive 
      - Brandname “JB Weld Epoxy” adhesive holds well on metal.
      -  Make sure to use the original JB Weld that requires 24 hours to cure.
      - Do not use the quick cure (15 minute or less epoxies - including JB Weld Quick) as these
        do not hold as well to metal


1: Use sand paper (or chisel, pocket knife, lath or beaver teeth)  to reduce the diameter on one end of the Upper Section and Lower Section dowels to match the inside contour of the female copper fittings. The dowel ends should insert to the bottom of the threads on the female fittings. 

Both ends of the Middle Section dowel should be reduced to fit the male copper fitting. This dowel should insert all the way to the end of the male cooper fittings. (The male fitting requires the dowel to have two step diameter reduction in order for the dowel to fit flush to the end of the fitting.)

Reference the last photo in this series.

2: Test fit the dowel in the copper fittings several times as you are reducing the dowel diameter. The dowel needs to press tightly into the fitting. Use a mallet to force the fittings on (be careful to not damage the threads.)

Note: The fitting will ultimately have to be removed to apply the adhesive. This is where the wrench flats on the fitting come in handy. Use them to twist off the fitting.

3: Remove the fittings and “roughen-up” the inside of the fitting with something sharp (like the bent point of a nail or a file.) The deeper the gouges / scores on the inside of the fitting the better the adhesive has something to grip onto.

4: Similarly,“roughen-up” the end of the wood dowel by making grooves to hold the adhesive.

5: Mix the adhesive per the package instructions. Protect the threads on the fitting with tape. Apply adhesive to the inside of the fittings, and the ends of the dowels. - Make sure adhesive does not get on the threads.

6: Pound the fittings on the dowel ends and clean-up any adhesive that oozes out. Again, make sure the threads are free of adhesive.

Step 3: Drill Seat Pin Holes

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Drill holes in the end of the dowels.  This is required to accept the pins on the canvas seat.

1. Drill a 3/16" hole  2" deep into the center of the dowels at the fittings on the Upper Section and Lower Section .

2. Drill a hole in only one end of the Middle Section.   

Step 4: Add Pivot Notches

Pivot Material:
(1) 2" inner diameter welded chrome ring.  (Typically found in the hardware store near the chains.)

This is the Pivot Ring  (reference the last photo in this series) it holds the center of the dowel sections allowing them to flare out. 

Two notches are required In the center of each dowel section to accept the Pivot Ring.

1. Make the the first notch perpendicular, straight across the dowel.  (I used a file to make the notch)

2. File the second notch at a 30 degree angle.

The notches should be about 1/4" wide and 3/8" deep.

the perpendicular notch is for the initial positioning of the dowels when they are loaded into the Pivot Ring.  The angled notch accommodates the splayed position of the legs when forming a tripod.

Step 5: Sew the Canvas Seat

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Seat Materials:
(2) Pieces heavy canvas (approximately 14"x14") 
Heavy duty Polyester thread


1: Cut two pieces of canvas into triangles  (14" per side)
2: Sew the two pieces together along the three sides.  Stop the sew lines about 2 inches short on each end
3: Turn the sewn together pieces of fabric inside-out through one of the openings at a corner of the triangle .
4: Fold over each edge of the triangle to a width of about 3/4 inch and sew.  This will form a "sleeve" along each side of the triangle.

Step 6: Thread the Cable

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Reinforcement Material:
1/8" Stainless Steel Cable (Approximately 24" in length)
(1) 1/8" Aluminum double Ferrule (reference last photo in this series)
(3) 2" long Stainless Steel Cotter Pins

1: Thread the cable through the "sleeves" in the seat fabric.  The cable holds the top of the dowel sections in position preventing them from over splaying.

2: insert the ends of the cable into the ferrule and crimp.  A 5lb sledge hammer worked well to compress the ferrule.

3: Open the three cotter pins and load over the cable at the tree corners of the triangle.  These are the Seat Pins used to attach the seat fabric to the dowel sections.
(The open legs of the pin act like a spring to hold them in the dowel holes.)

 

Step 7: Assemble the Seat

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Load the Upper Section, Lower Section and Middle Section through the Pivot Ring.

Make sure the ring is in the notch of each section as the next section is loaded.

Step 8: Form the Tripod

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Rotate each dowel section in the same direction so that the Pivot ring aligns with the 30 degree notch in each dowel section.

The splayed dowels will form tripod legs.  

Step 9: Insert the Seat Pins

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 Insert each of the three Seat Pins into the holes in the dowel sections

Step 10: Seat Complete

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 This is the seat  fully assembled, and ready to go...actually ready to stay.


I created a logo for our Boy Scout Troop using a graphics program and printed it out on iron-on transfer paper.  (this paper is readily available at any office supply store.)  It bonded well to the cotton canvas fabric.  (Remember that any iron-on transfer needs to be printed in reverse.)

Step 11: Seat in Action

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 The seat is sturdy enough to hold a decent sized adult.  It is as comfortable as any tripod camp stool can be, but it serves its purpose well for a trail side break.


Now if only it reclined and had a foot rest....


Below you can see the Hiking Staff Seat in conjunction with the light weight Backpacking Table described in the following Instructable:  http://www.instructables.com/id/Camp-Table-for-Backpacking/
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juanangel1 month ago

I like this. But on Step 4 you make no mention of how high up the poles the notches should be placed.

jerwhite4 years ago
Would using copper all the way through instead of the wood work? Would it weigh less or more? That way you could potentially use the inside of the tube for storage.
DIYR jerwhite2 months ago

Have you ever been at the top of a mountain when a squall suddenly comes up and the air is full of electricity? I have, it's SCARY, and the last thing I'd want in my hand is a metal rod!

I imagine a copper tube would be harder on your hands; and less springy and 'forgiving' then a good choice of timber.

And even more uncomfortable again during cold weather (needs insulating hand grip..)..

And lightning storms...
ccrow3 made it!3 months ago
Fun build, looking forward to using in Hawaii next week!
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koalagod4 months ago

Great instructable!!! I use a very small drill bit to put pilot holes where the jb weld can really get into the wood, and also I use melted wax on the threads and the threads only! to prevent the JB weld from getting into them. after 24 hours it melts off with very little heat and boom! I've made a few of these with and without the seat option, and all my friends that hike now sweat by them when I put the torch or storage that you've designed. Thanks for posting all of these!!!

koalagod koalagod4 months ago

swear by them... although I'm sure they've sweated with them too.

Great Instructable! I plan on making one using paracord or nylon rope as a handle that I can then unwrap and use to lash the legs instead of the ring (afraid I'll lose it). Question: do the threads snug down when assembling the staff? The pictures appear to show them not snugged down.

Thanks!

BuddyP10 months ago

i nominated you for a 3 mo pro membership for this awesome walking stick series great work

BuddyP10 months ago

Soooooo Cool might even do this in our scout troop!

A++ work man!

This was Awesome. Thank you so much for this wonderful idea.
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rbagdadi10 months ago
Excellent. Brilliant system

i see a problem with the middle section, if you use the chair on anything other than soft dirt, you are going to mar the threads on the male fittings, and it wont go back together. perhaps a rubber foot or something could be placed on the end before use.

Devrimm4 years ago

Hi !!

I love it! It is more than good for a farmer and a sheppard(?) like me !
I made a chair like this some years ago but it was only able to sit on it. That was it.

This is REALLY good. Thank you.

Bushie Devrimm1 year ago

The correct spelling is "shepherd", to answer your question mark on the first line, Devrimm...

(THIS reply isn't rude ~ 'Devrim' did have a question mark in there; that everybody seems to have missed !).
kingzilla3 years ago
needs to glow in the dark
Yes.
A spray can of luminescent paint will only cost a few $$$ ~ then you can spray a spiral pattern down along and around the length of the staff...

AND a 1/4" x 20 t.p.i. bolt screwed into the top of the staff and cut off gives you a "monopod" for cameras and binoculars..

I ALSO add a wrist strap/leash to all of the staffs/walking sticks I make.
RangerJ1 year ago
That's pretty cool, and it beats sitting on the wet ground, too.
has any 1 thought of using a grade 12 washer by chance?
hobobehr1 year ago
a fine looking staff Sir! I may have to adapt and copy your copper fitting joint and stub out tip to craft some support poles for my vintage camper's awning! will look so much better than an aluminum extendo pole
Roran5161 year ago
This is one of the most amazing sets of instructables I've seen in a long time. I love hiking and all of these hiking staff ideas are really wonderful. Have you ever thought of selling these?
Very very cool! I have been looking at putting together a hiking staff. For me it has to have two main things it does well. It has to work well for walking and for self defense. I like the idea of a multi functional staff, but wasn't sure how to do that without compromising the defensive part of the staff. Your copper fitting idea might just do the trick. The staff should be sturdy enough to not break when you hit something. Also, the copper fittings on the end should increase it's effectiveness as a defensive tool. I am thinking of getting a 6 foot bo staff and using that.
Could pvc be used to make this? I don't know if it would be strong enough but it would be lighter.
bstullis2 years ago
So I am larger by far than most people (6'7" 280#) and was thinking of a larger diameter dowel for the legs. I was wondering if anyone else would know if the 1 1/4 diameter legs would fit in the 2" id ring, if not, would cutting the nitches deeper (1/4" to 5/8") would allow the ring to work or if any one knows of a larger ring (HD didn't have anything larger). I also plan on making the whole thing closer to 30-34" folded length giving me a taller staff and taller stool.

I thought I would throw it out to the community at large

Thanks
BenT
Same problem here, not as tall (6' even, 230lbs) but yes, I would use a larger dowel. I would say, having done some tweaking-ish things like this before, that our pest possible option is to scale it up precisely. If you use a 2" dowel, use a 4" ring, or whatever in between. I would probably use a 1 1/2" dowel with a 3" ring. As to finding the ring, Ebay is a wonderful place for random fiddly things like that.
Regards, the Ninja of Suburbia
xrocool2 years ago
Excellent
locospud2 years ago
would you be able to sell one to me ?? locospud@hotmail.com ill pay ya for one
AF_Caveman3 years ago
Many thanks for your post, albeit a couple years ago. This solved a problem I couldn't figure out. After making a Sassafras hiking staff, it was requested it be able to break down to fit into luggage. The hammer-in and screw-in threaded anchors with a threaded bolt weren't machined closely enough to prevent wobble. This should definitely do the trick.
"ThisIsIt" -- you are also correct. I too, noticed the gap, but it was before I even left the hardware store and the guy helping me explained the same thing you did. I, however, did not think about the coupler to cover the gap. Awesome idea! Thanks a ton!
jsawyer3 years ago
This is Brilliant! I was thinking of using spliced 7/64" amsteel instead of the cable to keep it light and strong...

I was thinking bamboo for the poles, but that would prevent the ring keeper notches from being used. I love the Copper fittings!
jerwhite3 years ago
I've been using this for some time now. Stays in the car. It's sturdy and comfortable enough on a long hike. Also has multiple uses or maybe even endless.
AWESOME!!!!!!!! I used to be a boy scout in troop 10 which is on the theodore roosevelt council but my mom didn't let me stay because of all the work in 6th grade.
Kaelpe3 years ago
Oh my god yes.
I'm going camping/backpacking in a few weeks and this is PERFECT.
Great 'ible, soon my grandparents and all their hiking friends will be using these too.
So much better than just a boring old hiking staff.
pro pyro3 years ago
thanks this walking stick is going to be in a boy scout contest
wawhosed4 years ago
I tried a 2" ring and it wouldnt fit around all three dowels. Ideas?
Was the 2" for the outer measurement or the inner? If it's a 2" outer diameter, it won't fit. You need the inside diameter to be 2".

(Wow, can I write 2" any more in this post??)
jerwhite3 years ago
Update. OK, so I got this thing together finally. I have some thoughts and changes that I made. 1. The seat. I didn't/don't find it too small for a seat used for hiking. It isn't a lounge chair. However instead of using the complicated method of the cable, cotter pins, and drilling holes, I used a sewing needle(well my wife did:)). Actually I cut my triangle to about 1" bigger then it would wind up. I purchased material adhesive and sprayed this onto the material. I then folded over a 1" edge on the whole triangle. It doesn't have to be perfect but close. Then I cut three pieces each in a triangle to match the three corners of the seat. The three pieces were also cut bigger and then folded over on the edges. This will give double support later on. Then my wife sewed the pieces onto the bottom of the seat material on two sides of each triangle. The idea once finished is you just slip each pole into the triangle of the seat bottoms. This causes the seat to stick up on the poles a little but it's still functional. 2. I still used two part epoxy but I took extra precaution. After you get everything set on the poles with the epoxy this is an easy addition. I drilled through each copper fitting perpendicular to the wooden sticks(Don't remember drill bit size). Then I used a bigger bit to bevel the edge a little. I purchased a piece of brass rod(actually my father-in-law had a piece). Cut a piece of brass a little longer then the width of the copper fitting. You might have to experiment a little with the length. Put the cut piece in the hole and hammer it over a hard surface. I used the edge of my vice. An anvil would be perfect. Also if you have a ball-peen hammer or jewelers hammer it would work better. The brass fills in the bevel and creates a head on it. This should prevent it from backing out once you hammer both sides a little.
AWSOME!!!!!
facklere4 years ago
Should the 24" cable length specification say 42"? You said to make the sides of the triangles 14", and 14x3=42.
Never mind, I didn't take into consideration the loss during sewing.
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