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I have a stick of unknown type. It's very straight and was one of my first to harvest. I debarked it and let it dry and then put about 4 coats of Pure Tung oil. The stick has no character so I thought I'd carve some hand grips. A couple questions
1) I assume the fact that I've applied the oil won't matter on the overall finish if I cut some groves for my hand?
2) I have very few power tools. I have a low end dremel and a palm sander. Can the dremel effectively cut the grooves?

Clearly I'm a newbie. I broke my ankle Saturday and had surgery yesterday to put it back together so I'm looking for something to do.
 

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With your Dremel and a round burr you could do a texture grip. In the picture I used a #8 palm tool gouge but have done the same type of texturing with a rotary tool and a round burr. You can also do a patterns design using a v shaped file. You may have a issue with file or the burrs having to be cleaned out often because of the tung oil finish having already been done. A palm chisel may work best. I have included a link to doing a para cord rap grip you may want to concreter.

Blue Lighting Wood Interior design Art

 

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Being really straight and featureless is a type of character. Neither happen all that often in nature.

I'm probably the exception to the rule here but I prefer a smooth grip on hiking sticks. If you're in rough terrain you will be constantly adjusting your grip on it to suit the moment.

Rodney
 

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This celtic pattern is simple and provides a grip. It doesn't have to be cut deeply and can be to extend as far up and down as you wish. Just outline the pattern with your dremel and then waste away the wood in the squares.
 

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The stick has no character so...
On the other end of the spectrum, I can bypass hundreds of thousands of possible sticks until I find one of sufficient 'character' to be worth my time and effort.

Then all that I have to do is allow it to reveal itself, rather than attempting to impart 'character'.

'Character' cannot be 'glued on' (in my opinion, of course), like in people, it is 'revealed'.

Carving can 'reveal' character that is already present.

Not much help, I realize, but, perhaps in the future when well and strong again to cruise the woods for volunteers... ;)
 
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