There is nothing wrong with adventuring through the woods looking for a marshmallow stick but what if you could always have that perfect stick on hand?
Using common materials from your local hardware store you can fashion your very own ultimate marshmallow roasting stick and be the champion of the s'more!
Step 1: Materials and Tools
3/4" copper pipe caps (x4)
1" walnut dowel
1/4" steel rod (36")
3/16" steel rod (48")
Food safe oil (I used cutting board oil)
Tools you'll use:
MIG welder setup
Step 2: Making a Ruggedly Comfortable Handle
First I cut the wooden dowel down to 7". This guarantees a comfortable grip that'll keep your hands safe from from the heat. It also provides a good balance from the weight of the stick.
The outside diameter of the copper caps is the same size as the dowel, this will allow our copper additions to the handles give a seamless look and feel. Unfortunately that means our inside diameter of the cap is too small to fit the ends of the dowel so we'll need to take some material away from the wood for a good fit.
I measured the inner diameter, made a template of the same size, and glued a template in the center on the ends of the handle. There are ways to find the exact center of a circle if you want to be precise, I'm sloppy so I just guessed.
I marked the distance on the side for how far in the cap was going to travel onto the handle ends. For this size fitting that ended up being 3/4", mark this distance on both ends. To help identify the mark all the way around our dowel I used masking tape as my line.
Grind away the wood following your tape and template indicators. You'll need a very light hand since we aren't removing that much material. Honestly, if I do this again I think I'd use a hand file instead of the disk sander so I could have better control and cleaner edges. I wanted the copper to look seamless with the wood, but as you can see I accidentally beveled my edges a little using the sanding disk.
Once you've ground down to the edges of your template it is time to fit the caps. I used the barbarian method of hammering them down with a deadblow hammer. Keep in mind that a deadblow will do less damage to the copper than a regular hammer.
After getting all the caps worked into place I sanded the entire handle to baby-bottom-smooth with 500 grit sandpaper.
You could stop at this step, add some rope or chain, and have some awesome steampunk nunchucks....
...if you didn't want to go with nunchucks then I guess we'll move on to drilling the hole for the roasting stick.
I used a 1/4" drill bit and set the drill press to stop after 2". Copper is very soft and easy to drill so you don't have to worry about using oil. Use a center punch to guide the drill bit and then drill away! The stick will fit perfectly into your handle now.
What a great and rugged handle you've just made! Now let's one up mother nature and make our own stick!
Step 3: Build the Perfect Stick
It helps to draw out a sketch or two first to make sure you end up with a style that works for your needs and doesn't get too heavy. My optimal design required a fork at the end for hot dog roasting. It also helps if you design your branches to be narrow so your marshmallow turning ability isn't too encumbered.
The 1/4" rod came in a 36" length so I cut it in half with bolt cutters at 18". This will be the main body of our stick.
Using a vice, I was able to bend a slight curve into the rod by hand. Remember that part of the stick will need to be straight to fit into the handle.
Then, using the bolt cutters again we'll cut down the 3/16" rod into the little branches following our chosen design.
After you have your branches cut to length grind them down with a dull point. Remember, we just want to make it easy to pop marshmallows on and off, we are not trying to make a weapon.
Weld up your branches so they are good and strong, I encourage welding the rod connections from one side, flipping it over, and welding the connections again from the other side. The MIG welder allows us to build up the material and add a natural looking transition from the main body of the stick to the offshoots.
Clean up your welds with a hand file. Make sure to remove any burrs and pointy bits.
I decided to bend the branches after welding them. I thought it would give me more leverage. Instead, I had very little room to move and it was exhausting. I recommend bending before welding.
Finally, I cleaned up the steel with a sandblaster to remove all the surface grime. Sanding with some sandpaper would work as well, it's just a bit more time consuming.
Our ultimate marshmallow roaster is coming together!
Step 4: Finishing Details
I use cutting board oil because it's food safe and soaks into wood and metal really well.
Following the instructions on the bottle: soak the handle wood with the oil, let it sit for 45min, then wipe of the excess.
For oiling the steel you'll want to heat it with a torch to burn out the moisture and open up the porosity of the metal so it can absorb more oil. After heating the steel, oil it the same way you oiled the handles.
As long as you don't use soap on the sticks they should remain well oiled and rust free for a while. If it ever seems to lose its lustre you can always reapply some new oil.
Step 5: Roast Marshmallows and Make a Mean S'more!
You can now enjoy perfect roasting everywhere you go so get out there and roast some S'mores like a boss!