Introduction: How to Make Your First Walking Stick

About: I love electronic projects and anything to do with a robot. I still have a lot to learn and I love instructibles.

Okay, so let's get this straight, this is my second instructable, so constructive criticism is always helpful. The methods of making a walking stick that I am about to show you were made by trial and error on my own behalf. If you have a better method I would love to hear about it. It"s going to take a lot of time and patience to make a walking stick. I recommend getting some audio books or movies to pass the time while you work. It will take about a week and a half to make a decent walking stick. You can go faster, but it usually doesn't look as nice, so take your time.

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Thank you for your time, please enjoy the instructable!

Step 1: Finding the Stick

For this step you will need:
keen eyes,
Good places to look for walking sticks are government owned trails, because they are constantly trimming the branches over walkways. They simply throw the branches in the grass on the side of the trail. That's my favorite way to find them, because nobody cares if you take them. The stick should be above your shoulder or the shoulder of the person you're making it for. If you have extra time to build the walking stick, take a branch that's still a little green, it will make the next step easier. You can also find a branch that's dry, but not too dry. To test it, whack it against the ground, if it cracks and splinter then you don't want it! As you can see you have to find the branch in a "butter zone," not too green not too dry.

Step 2: Shaving and Sawing

For this step you will need:
a sharp pocket knife,
and a saw.

This is where the green stick comes in handy. Use your knife and press with your thumb as shown. If it's green the bark will all come off in a big strip, if it's dry like mine was, then you'll just have to take a little longer. Follow the grain of the wood and work around the knots up and down with your knife, be careful I'm not responsible for any injuries. Once you have it shaved, pull out your saw and cut off any protruding knots or twigs that you don't want. Don't worry if it looks rough, it will be handled in the next step. Oh, and if your stick is green, once you completely shave it let it sit for a week or two until it's dry and brown.

Step 3: Sanding

For this step all you will need is:
Okay, so now you need to sand the stick so that it's not so sharp, plus it will make it easier to stain. I like to take a big piece of sand paper and fold it in half. To sand, simply slide the sand paper up and down along the stick . Up and down, not side to side. You may need to use a lot of sand paper.

Step 4: Staining

You can skip this step if you just want the natural color of the wood, skip to step five
for this step you will need:
  1. wood stain of your choice
  2. foam brushes or sponges
  3. a place to work
  4. paper to prevent mess
  5. rubber gloves
You can find tons of stains at you're local hardware store. I would recommend dark walnut or something shiny but it's your choice. You're going to need a place to work with a table and some ventilation. I had a spare bedroom with a table, which I covered in thick brown paper. Put on your rubber gloves and carefully open the can of stain,(make sure you close the door and open the window, stain smells really strong!) Dip your brush and stain one side of you're walking stick. Follow the grain, remember up and down, a little goes a long way. As you finish staining the first side you will notice stain begins to run down the sides, spread these out or they will dry and look bad. Wait a few hours for it to dry (do not touch it while its drying it leaves big smudges) then flip it over and repeat the process. Once that side dries, depending on your stain, you may need to add a second coat. Otherwise, just look for any little spots you missed.

Step 5: Adding the Clear Coat

For this step you will need:
lint free rag
clear coat/urethane
rubber gloves
paint stick
This is a very important step. The clear coat protects the stain and keeps the wood from rotting. You need a rag that has no lint so that it won't get stuck on the walking stick. Do not use a foam brush it makes air bubbles and looks really bad. The first step is to stir the clear coat not shake it. If any bubbles appear in the can, wait for them to settle before you begin. Take your rag and dip it into the stain, then simply rub it on, following the grain. Make sure it's all covered and then wait a few hours for it to dry. When it's completely dry, flip it over and repeat the process. It's a good idea to add a second coat for durability. I hope you found this informative. Congratulations you just made a walking stick literally from the ground up! I would appreciate your vote.

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