Here are the original instructions, posted by El Diablo, that I saved in a word file:
Making your own Hiking Staff
Keep in mind that this could be a long process, especially if you start with green wood. So lets start with the wood selection first.
You need to decide what type of wood you want to use. Hardwoods work best such as Hickory, Poplar, Cherry and Aspen. Other hardwoods such as Oak and Maple are beautiful, but too heavy to lug around. However if you just want to make a display staff these will work well. Do not use Pine. The sap will seep out forever.
Where do you find the wood to start with? You want to look for a sapling, not a branch. Most branches are usually too crooked. You can either find one in the woods that has already died and cured, or you can cut a green one yourself. The best place to find a green one is where lots are being cleared for construction. You will often see huge piles of trees where the dozers have pushed them up into a pile.
This is the perfect time of the year to get a green one. The sap is running and it makes it very easy to debark...like peeling a banana. If you get one that is already dead, debarking can be a pain. I use a large utility knife to cut it off.
Once you find your staff you will need to decide the length and diameter. Keep in mind that when you debark it and cure it, it will be slightly smaller. Also cut it at least 6 inches longer than you need to compensate for splitting that normally occurs at the top or the bottom of the staff as it cures. Also if you use a dead one you may find that when you debark it that there are splits that are hidden by the bark...go get another one. You might want to gather up several just to hedge your bets when something goes wrong.
As soon as you select your staff, debark it. If it's green you will need to give it about 6 weeks to cure. While curing lay the staff flat and turn daily to help prevent warping. Select a location that is dry and sheltered from the weather to cure. A garage or shed will work great. If it warps don't panic! I have a cure for that.
These are the tools you are going to need.
1. Sandpaper. Fine and Coarse.
2. A sander unless you want to spend a lot of time doing it by hand.
3. A roll of Masking tape.
4. A Utility Knife.
5. An Electric or Battery Operated Engraver.
6. A variable speed Moto Tool.
7. A small wood carving bit for the Moto Tool.
8. A small can of wood stain, your choice of color.
9. A small can of polyurethane. I use a clear gloss.
10. 1 inch foam brushes. You’ll probably use 3 of them.
11. Acrylic paint. You can use enamel, but I find Acrylic better. You will need the colors of the logo, and whatever color you are going to do your name in.
12. A small artist brush and brush cleaner.
13. the most important of all...a lot of patience!
By now you should have found the staff you wish to work with. After it has been debarked and cured, you need to sand it down to a smooth finish. I accomplish this by sanding first with a coarse grit paper followed by a fine grit to make it smooth. I use a Black & Decker Mouse sander. If you choose to do it by hand you have a lot of work cut out for yourself.
After it is sanded it’s time to put on the Geocaching logo and the name you want on your staff. I used to use a plastic template for the logo that I made. Then I realized that Geocaching.com provided the perfect template for free. Go to Geo Logo and choose the logo you want to use and print it out. You may have to scale down the size to make it fit on the staff. I use the black & white logo.
After you have printed it out, use a utility knife and cut the logo out. Leave a 1/4 inch border around it. Now take and position on the staff where you want it and tape it into place. Now use your engraver to go over the outline of the logo. Remove the paper logo and tape and you should have a perfect outline of the Geocaching logo.
Depending upon the type of wood you chose to work with, either a soft or a very hard wood will decide the tools you need. If you have a soft wood (you can test this by pressing your thumbnail into the wood. If it leaves a dent, it is soft.) You can finish out your carving by using the engraver. Go over the outline several times until you reach the depth that pleases you. If it is a hard wood you will need the Moto Tool. I mentioned above to use a variable speed Moto Tool. The fixed speed Moto Tool is too fast to control. Unless you are better than I am. In which case, knock yourself out. Start off at a slow speed and gradually carve the outline of the logo. This is a critical step, and is where all can go wrong. The wood bit on the Moto Tool will try to follow the wood grain and if you are not careful you will destroy your staff. The same goes for the Engraver. Use extreme patience during this process.
After you have the Logo done it’s time to do your name. Print your name out on paper using the font you want and the size you desire. I use bold print with a size 72 font. Use center justification and type the letters so they run down the page, not side by side. After you have printed it out, follow the same procedures as you did for the logo.
I use small hooks that I screw into the top and bottom of the staff. I then hang the staff from the rafters of my shop on string to begin the staining process. Use the foam brush and stain the staff. Let the stain set for 15 minutes and wipe the entire staff with a paper towel. Repeat this process until you reach the shade desired. You will find the bottom hook useful for turning the staff while doing this.
After the stain has dried, it’s time to paint the staff. When the paint has dried, put you first coat of poly on. The poly will typically take about 2 hours to dry. You will notice that the staff feels gritty after the first coat. Use your fine sand paper to lightly sand it smooth (By hand. Not with a sander!) . Then repeat the poly process at least 3 times.
All you need now is a wrist strap and a rubber tip. You can find those here Treeline USA, who also the sell unfinished hiking staffs if you haven’t found you own yet.