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Make You Own Hiking Staff


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I read through most of this thread...Good stuff!

 

I've been grabbing sticks for the past few years, but have only sanded and urethaned two, from the same sapling.

 

I'm partial to our regional version of ironwood, American hornbeam. Its pretty heavy for a hiking stick, especially the 2" to 3" diameters I like.

 

Anyway, Not only am I partial to just horbeam, I'm partial to beaver-chewed hornbeam. [:)]

 

I usually check along/around beaver dams for sticks. (If I pull from a dam, its ALWAYS an abandoned one). I have found several lying in shallow swamps, from floating just beneath the surface, to being covered by several inches of REALLY powerful septic-smelling muck. Most had the bark long gone, were slimy, and beaver-chewed.

The part that REALLY caught my attention on several was the mottled red & brown colorations in the wood. I assumed its minerals, or bacteria working the tannins in the wood, or inner bark. Unfortunately, the colorations usually fade and disappear within a couple of days.

 

What REALLY surprised me, though, is even though these sticks have been soaking in water for months or possibly a year or more, they seem to dry and season much quicker and nicer than fresh cut or downed stick I come across, with little to NO cracking!

 

I was wondering if anyone might know why this is?

 

So, I have a couple dozen sticks I hope to get creative with.

 

Below is my first attempt at a couple of these beaver-chewed, swamp-soaked sticks. I made both as a donation last year for the raffle at our 9th annual Letchworth Fall Gathering Event.

Oh, and for a grip, I went with a piece of of deer skin leather from my friend Paleoman52, baseball-stitched with some nylon cord. He also donated use of his Dremel and the arrowhead which he knapped himself. I used a 4 1/2" anglegrinder to make the platforms for the lettering and arrowhead. I also used the edge of it to "notch" the edges of the platforms. (Amazing what nice colorations you can get from a grinding wheel spinning much too fast..lol)

I used the Dremel to carve out the "seat" for the arrowhead and the lettering. I then went over the lettering with a woodburner and then black Sharpie. I used a stain a little on the beaver-chews to bring out the individual teeth marks more. I then used the rubber crutch tips at WallyWorld for the bottoms.

On the bottom of the adult one, you can see one large remaining spot of coloration from when it was soaking in the swamp. That spot still had outer bark VERY loosely attached.

 

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Edited by Blue_Stone
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Anyway, Not only am I partial to just horbeam, I'm partial to beaver-chewed hornbeam. [:)]

 

I usually check along/around beaver dams for sticks. (If I pull from a dam, its ALWAYS an abandoned one).

 

I have a small collection of beaver-chewed walking sticks myself. I love the chewed end, although it could be dangerous in case of a fall. I have only decorated mine by woodburning the river and the date I found it on, and drilling a hole for a lanyard.

 

Curious why you seem concerned about taking sticks from an active beaver dam. What is wrong with taking them from an active dam? The beavers are too busy to replace a missing stick?

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GREAT THREAD!!! I have read through the instructions and have selected two pieces of birch from the woods behind my house. I am very excited about making some staffs and will be hard for me to wait for them to dry. I plan to dry them three - six months. There are a lot of birch sapplings near me that were pushed down by lunberjacks trying to get to other trees. My plan is to grab and strip one week so in about six months I should have quite a few good pieces to choose from to complete my first staff.

Edited by GermanyBert
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Anyway, Not only am I partial to just horbeam, I'm partial to beaver-chewed hornbeam. [:)]

 

I usually check along/around beaver dams for sticks. (If I pull from a dam, its ALWAYS an abandoned one).

 

I have a small collection of beaver-chewed walking sticks myself. I love the chewed end, although it could be dangerous in case of a fall. I have only decorated mine by woodburning the river and the date I found it on, and drilling a hole for a lanyard.

 

Curious why you seem concerned about taking sticks from an active beaver dam. What is wrong with taking them from an active dam? The beavers are too busy to replace a missing stick?

 

In NY state is illegal to disturb a beaver dam.

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Hey El Diablo! I remember from back in the day trying to get it together in order to get one of the sticks you used to make. Never did make it though, lol.

 

You still make these hiking sticks? If so, email me and let's see if I can get one, if not, then send me the instructions so I can MAYBE get one built on my own.

 

Mac

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Hey El Diablo! I remember from back in the day trying to get it together in order to get one of the sticks you used to make. Never did make it though, lol.

 

You still make these hiking sticks? If so, email me and let's see if I can get one, if not, then send me the instructions so I can MAYBE get one built on my own.

 

Mac

 

If you read the beginning of this thread, maybe page 2 or so depending on your preference settings, you'll see that he's posted pretty comprehensive instructions on how to craft your own hiking stick.

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