Introduction: Walking Staff
To make a unique walking staff made with natural wood took me into the woods in search of a straight sapling. After a short hike, I came across this tree and decided it was the one.
Using a stove pipe with a cap for base to hold water, I used a small camping stove to steam the sapling.
After about 40 minutes of steaming the staff it was ready to be bent into shape using weights tied to the end of the stick kept stress on for 42 hours. Utilizing a draw knife, the bark was peeled off to allow moisture to escape so the tree fibers would dry in position.
A draw knife does an excellent job of roughing out the wood and the spoke shave clean and smooths the surface.
As it can be seen, the staff is pretty straight. This was accomplished by bending the wet wood in different areas to achieve a straight shaft. The wood fibers in the area that had the most stress (at the bend) had broken apart so I used some adhesive to glue them back together. I am not sure why these pictures don't upload more clear.
Next was drying and hardening the wood. I had a brush pile I needed to burn so, it served a purpose and was not burned in vain. The staff developed several natural cracks while allowing the moisture to escape. I was concerned with the large crack at the center where the wood had been bent but decided to continue.
All the cracks were filled with sawdust and glue and the entire staff was once again cleaned with spoke shave and sanded with 80 grit sandpaper. This Christogram called Chi Rho is one of the oldest Greek symbols of Christianity. I carved out the symbol and utilized copper and turquoise as inlay.
After drilling a 1/2" hole to the base, a copper coated steel rod was inserted to receive the rubber tip.
Two coats of red mahogany stain and few hours of careful scraping the stain from the copper and turquoise resulted in a nice finish. Two coats of Zar outdoor polyurethane created a durable protection.
Thank you for looking and appreciate any feedback.