Introduction: Something About a Man and His Staff

hey everyone, this Halloween i put forth some effort and actually made something that will see multiple Halloweens to come. . . really, i'll find a way.

Well it started off with an idea of a nice staff with lots of carving and wood burn to highlight the carving.  Took me a while to find the right stick, but when i first laid eyes on it i knew i had the right one.  this fine stick was out in the weather and had cured up real nice and the bark came off easily, well i still had to work to get it off but not as much as i assumed.

Once de-barked i had to set up my writing line, good flow and straight lines wrapping down the staff would have a best look in my personal opinion, so i popped out my masking tape and got to work.

Step 1: Runes, Who Needs Futhark?

After looking around at what was available on the internet and in books i noticed that most of the time viking runes seem to be used, the Futhark alphabet just didn't seem right to me, i wanted something a little different, something a little more fluid and less rigid with all those straight edges.

Found a real nice alphabet in the form of draconic script from Dungeons & Dragons, it just looked perfect.

Once the script had been figured out I needed something to write out on the staff, not just a mish-mash of jumbled mess, so i got this nice oath i found online for a necromancer, wasn't sure how far through the list i'd get but oh well.

Step 2: Always Use Pencil

Well, just knew it, not all of it fit, but hey that happens.  Praise the almighty power of the pencil and eraser, with whose power I didest respace things and squeeze in just enough to finish up a sentence instead of leaving it sorta hanging.  But fear not, for I got most of the oath to fit just fine in large and clear lettering with plenty of even spacing.

After the letters where done my last bit was to trace around the masking tape, top and bottom, to make some nice edging.  Already i can see this will be looking pretty sharp.  Really helped how the bark left such a nice smooth surface underneath, like bone smooth.....which kinda fits with the theme.

Step 3: Oh Sweat Dremel and Wood Burning

Once I was satisfied with the placement of everything i took to the surface with a fine carving bit on my dremel, both border lines and all the letter, plus i used a dot for each space between words, something I'd seen used with the viking runes and thought was a wonderful idea to pilfer.  That was a very long while to get it all done, took me two and a half days, but I was doing some other stuff too.

Once carving was done I pulled out the old wood burner and started going over all the carving, darkening and cleaning up my edges and such, that seemed to take up even longer than the carving itself.  After that was down I just looked at it for a bit and said "you know what, you need a sanding" so I popped out some 120 and some 300 and sent a couple passes over the surface to finish it up, this of course was the final clean up, but I'm always tinkering and thought it could look better.

Step 4: Bah, Stain It With the Blood of Your Enemies!

With the staff almost done I felt all that was left to do was to stain it a little darker, so I brought out some minwax red mahogany and laid into that thing, instantly I was hooked on the color, it was perfect, funny how that works.

so with one of those little chair leg protectors for your floor hammered into the bottom of the staff for protection I declared my work a masterpiece and done.

Comments

author
CeliaP1 (author)2015-11-15

Can I use cherry tree wood? I'm 5'8" and I'd like mine to be close to my height. Any other oaths you could recommend - healer or mage preferably.

author
Petra LucieŽ (author)2015-08-30

U are right I use futhark a bit made to work for me better and for my language, but this is much better and looks better, thanks.

author
stormy0314 (author)2012-01-16

Nice staff. I made one and carved a morel mushroom at the top. The real reason for this comment tho is that I cut a short length of copper pipe, 2 !/2 to 3cm and fixed it to the tip next to the ground. I used mine a lot in the woods and the metal tip kept it from being "mushroomed" out or worn at the bottom. A good staff in the woods will surely save your back.

author
PENNY1999 (author)2011-12-22

wow! i would just walk around town with that!

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shakeval (author)PENNY19992011-12-22

well........at this time of year, with the addition of some pine, holly and mistletoe you could use something like that for a Chris Kringle holiday outfit......some stag antlers affixed to the top may also be a great addition or even the whole skull, add some red and green runes across the bleached white skull and you've got a great staff of the horned forest king

author
The Rambler (author)2011-12-08

Very nice. The stain really brings the whole thing together and I have to agree with l8nite, that top curve adds a nice touch. I'm going to have to get back to work on my staff... after I get my current project list down a bit. I recently did some carving on an antler knife handle (which I hope to do an instructable on) and I really wish I had thought of that masking tape idea. :(

author
shakeval (author)The Rambler2011-12-08

yeah, the masking tape gave me a line of reference in regard to the symbols and the length, additionally it keeps a nice steady wrap around the whole length of the staff.

hopefully i'll get to see that instructable

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SharmaWrites (author)2011-11-27

nice work. i've done three walking sticks. the third is the one i am carving... a learn as you go kind of challenge. yours looks great.

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shakeval (author)SharmaWrites2011-11-27

cool, be sure to do an instructable of that work so we can all see the results, looking forwards to seeing it and your other two.

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kurtnotkirk (author)2011-11-21

I have been planning something like this for a few months now, and I am glad to see someone has gone the effort to work out some of the techniques for me! A great 'ible and the end result is very cool!

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shakeval (author)kurtnotkirk2011-11-21

your welcome, if you have any questions i'll try to answer them but depending on what you are planning it may be a trial by error issue

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kurtnotkirk (author)shakeval2011-11-22

Basically the same thing, but I wanted to make the runes larger. I have several "alphabets" that I could use that are also better than the standard norse runes. If you're interested I can send you the images.

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shakeval (author)kurtnotkirk2011-11-22

sure, always willing to see some of the alternatives. with some chisels and fine fine tiny blades you could possibly do runes within runes

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l8nite (author)2011-11-19

Looks awesome ! I like the curve at the top. How long is the staff ?

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shakeval (author)l8nite2011-11-20

well that curve is all natural, part of why i thought it was just perfect when i first saw it. The staff is 4' 4" and has some nice curves on it.

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l8nite (author)shakeval2011-11-20

I figured it was natural, one Im about to start working on I trained while on the tree to give me a nice handle (hopefully it seasons w/o cracking) Having a bad back and knees I use walking sticks and staffs nearly everyday, personally I'd call yours a walking stick, a staff generally comes up above your shoulder but to misquote the Bard, " a rose by any other name"

author
shakeval (author)l8nite2011-11-20

true, although i thought it was just a little too large for a cane.... walking stick i may be, although maybe a little too thick and heavy.

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l8nite (author)shakeval2011-11-20

a wooden cane is usually made from a hard wood that will support a lot of weight but that is difficult to work with so I go for heft with my homemade pieces because I'm rather substantial myself and seriously, who wants to mess with someone carrying a 4'x2" piece of wood !

author
shakeval (author)l8nite2011-11-21

A very good point, although it will sure get you some odd looks outside of hiking trails and your own home, almost as bad as those poor people that have fellow outdoorsy people freaking out when they bring a decent knife with them into national parks

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Kiteman (author)2011-11-19

That is really nice!

Two questions:

Did you dremel through the tape, or press something into the tape to make a mark, then dremel when you took the tape off??

And...

What does the oath actually say?

author
shakeval (author)Kiteman2011-11-20

i dremelled through the tape, actually had tape rap around the shaft just above the cutting sphere and helped "brush/buff" away the dust and scraggly bits.

the oath itself i didn't get carved in full, i think i mentioned that i had to space it out and respace, i got enough of it on but there was some that i would have required a 6ft staff to get it all on.

this is what is carved on:
By blood and ash I swear mine life to this path.
I accept the gift of mine art and the burden of mine art's
duty.
I accept the gift to give motion to the motionless

This is the rest that didn't get on there.
and the duty to bring rest to the restless.
This I do so swear to do by mine blood and this gift!"

it was a necromancers staff afterall.

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l8nite (author)2011-11-19

BTW, I "borrowed" your rune/alphabet pic. It will come in handy for several projects I have in mind

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shakeval (author)l8nite2011-11-20

Sure, no worries about that, wasn't mine to start with. Hope to see what you do with it though, best of luck.

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LMillerCarver (author)2011-11-20

Excellent work!

Those that produce walking staffs and canes use something a bit more robust for their tips. Check out Treeline's products for some very useful bits to use for tips and such: http://www.treelineusa.com/walking-sticks-and-canes/stick-tips

Disclaimer: I am not an employee nor do I receive any compensation for mentioning Treeline. I am, however, a loyal customer and a raving fan of theirs for the way they treat their woodcarving clientele.

author
shakeval (author)LMillerCarver2011-11-20

okay cool, i'll definately check it out, although i've been thinking that i'll grab a copper pipe cap and plunk it on and age it up a bit, but i'll check the address for what is offered.

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kretzlord (author)2011-11-20

gotta say, man, this is super awesome

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ripit (author)2011-11-19

gotta throw a( nice one!) at ya!

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hauntedworkshop (author)2011-11-19

I really like this. I have a staff in my shop that I started carving a while back, but forgot about until now. I'll have to get to work on it again now that I've been inspired.

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