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Hello All,

I am new to this forum. I am the Cub Master for our local cub scout Pack and I am planning the details for each of our 30 cubs (1st-5th grades) to make their own walking sticks. I want to start them out by giving them their stick and some geenral guidelines and then let the Parents work on theirs and their Cub's sticks at home for a few months.

I would like to get some opinions on the best woods to use for the sticks. It should be strong and light, and I would like it to last without splitting. And because I have to buy so many I need to keep the costs in check. Any thoughts and comments are much appreciated.

For the adults I though about a 1"dia. x 6' dowel. For the Vubs I am thinking about 3/4"dia x 4' dowel. Then I am hoping to get some advise on whipping the handles. We are also looking at this sketch from the Boys Scout sketch book: http://www.troop142bsa.org/sketchbook/Hiking%20Stick.pdf .

Thank You and Kind Regards,

ValenciaClay
 

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Your PDF file mentioned "implement" handles -- many of these are made out of hickory or ash, both of which make excellent walking stick wood. You mentioned buying them, but it might be a good idea to find a woods that is available for your scouts to harvest their own; although drying time will have to be considered a part of the process, however, one of the best hiking sticks I ever made, I made while on a long hike and still use it to this day 25 years later.
 

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Welcome to the site! I would stick with a harder wood, like oak. Many dowels are made out of birch, which is a softer wood, relativity speaking. I also would think that 1" may be too small for an adults hand. That might just be my opinion though.
 

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Welcome to the site.

I second Rad on the suggestion to go to the woods and have them cut their own. This would make a fun outing and get them a good hiking stick at the same time. I went out this weekend with my daughter to look for sticks. (It's a good time right now because the sticks have less sap). We found some good dogwoods and Osage Orange. I also found a small persimmon with a vine wrapped around it and it has the makings of another snake stick. These will need to dry for a while before I work on them but you don't have to let them dry out. I've made a few from green wood that I still use even though they developed a few cracks over the years. Still quite functional.

If you want to buy something ready made, you might try a farm supply store and look for good hardwood handles for hoes or shovels. We have a perpetual flea market where I live that always has a few vendors selling hardwood handles for everything from hoes, to picks to axes to hammers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for your reponses ! We live in southern california, so to get to the woods is a few hours drive for us. Our local terrain is chapparal. Plus with (30) 1-5th graders, I think for this project its best to supply them with a stick to start. JJireh, I will contact Kentucky Walking sticks. Thx Again. Kind Regards, Clay
 

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Thank you for this thread.

1. The link to the guy who supports scouting is useful.
2. As a geologist, I now have ideas for a future stick that incorporates measuring marks which I can use to measure outcropping "beds" or layers of rock hen I go on educational field trips.

When some of my curing sticks are made into walking sticks, one will be my field trip stick.
 

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Hi i am from the u.k i have been making sheperds crooks and walking sticks for about 14yrs
I dont know to much about the timber in the wild in the u.s but i use hazel;holly,blackthorn,
The problem is collecting it from the woods it should season,eqivelent to 1inch
Per year thats the thickness of thewood hope this helps.
 

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Thanks to this topic, you gents have sparked an idea. With luck a few Okie rock lickers will become interested. This was published in this month's "The Tulsa GeoSpectrum", the newsletter of the Tulsa Geological and Geophysical societies:

REV_GS-1303_Page_11.jpg
 

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If you want a good light weight shank then you cant go wrong with 1 inch hazel its durable strong and light and shouldnt split as long as you use a ferule.Its the stick of my choice .As for the hieght of the shank it should come up to the armpit as most people find the most comfortable height to hold it is between the armpit and the elbow any higher you will just add extra weight..I have mine for several years and just wipe the shank with a finishing oil a couple of times before use then a couple of times during the year.Theres no need to strip the bark of it just a light wipe over with sandpaper then oil it..

Hello All,

I am new to this forum. I am the Cub Master for our local cub scout Pack and I am planning the details for each of our 30 cubs (1st-5th grades) to make their own walking sticks. I want to start them out by giving them their stick and some geenral guidelines and then let the Parents work on theirs and their Cub's sticks at home for a few months.

I would like to get some opinions on the best woods to use for the sticks. It should be strong and light, and I would like it to last without splitting. And because I have to buy so many I need to keep the costs in check. Any thoughts and comments are much appreciated.

For the adults I though about a 1"dia. x 6' dowel. For the Vubs I am thinking about 3/4"dia x 4' dowel. Then I am hoping to get some advise on whipping the handles. We are also looking at this sketch from the Boys Scout sketch book: http://www.troop142bsa.org/sketchbook/Hiking%20Stick.pdf .

Thank You and Kind Regards,

ValenciaClay
 

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Welcome to WSF! Also... thanks for having sparked what turned out to be a good list of walking stick blank sources!
 

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ValenciaClay,

There should be landscaping and tree service companies where you live that trim trees and shrubs. Most of them run their trimmings through wood chippers, but might be persuaded to pull aside 1 1/2" thick branches to be made into walking sticks, before shredding the leftovers. They might even have brushpiles at their shops, where they can chip the brush without running afoul of noise regulations. Specially if you ask them to keep their eye out for specific species of trees. Lots of former Cub/Boy Scouts are now common working men!

Parks departments, Municipal groundskeepers, CALTRANS landscape maintenance, all deal with the landscape of a modern city. You would be surprised at the diversity of the Urban forest.
 
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