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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had hoped to have this stick done by now, but the holiday fuss slowed me too much. When done, it'll be an "homage" to the shillelagh. The stick is white oak, no blackthorn grows around here, and I couldn't find any suitable hawthorn. When finished, I hope it will not be too "pseudo."

What I'm showing here is my own little peculiarity for the style. When I cut the branch, I left a little bit of the place where 2 smaller branches separated, hoping that cutting there would limit checking. As I worked on it, that end looked to me a bit like a shoe. I decided that the stick would have a boot on the end.

The pics show the bare wood. I've been working w. epoxy to strengthen the ground end. I bought some JB weld steel re-enforced epoxy. I saw that it was not meant to bond w. wood, so I bought a "liquid metal" glue suitable for wood. I put a light coat of that on the wood. Then I molded on the steel epoxy, and filed it into a rough boot shape. Then I put on 3 coats of rubber coating.

I'm indulging myself, as I hope that when used, it will leave a small and mysterious foot track beside whoever is using it

DaBoot0.jpg

Daboot2.jpg

DaBoot3.jpg

Daboot4.jpg
 

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Very creative and unique design. I wouldn't expect the rubber to last long. Are you going to test it out for a few weeks? I'd be interested to see the results.
 

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I decided to tip my sticks w. rubber coating rather than replaceable standard rubber tips because I could conform to the sticks natural shape, and use sizes broader than standard. Its mostly an esthetic choice, and may not be utilitarian enough.

My wife used one of the first sticks I made w. the rubber dip coating. While my wife's walks were not arduous, and mostly on earth paths, the single coating lasted about 9 mo.s w. close to daily use. I've since dipped everything at least 3 times.

But I do think extensive use, particularly over pavement, might wear the rubber away. I started adding a layer of epoxy under the rubber several months ago. More recently, I used the steel powder epoxy, hoping that would be even more durable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just about finished. Just learned a day or two ago that shellac is not a very enduring finish. So I still need to do a top coat of carnauba wax. A test area shows the carnauba will not be quite as glossy, which I think would be good.

Specs: White oak. 42"/107 cm tall, 595g/1lb5oz weight.

There were a few small side branches to cut away, and the top knob was rounded. The stick was just debarked and smoothed, with a few small surface flaws filled w. wood filler. . I was trying to imitate the look of a shilelagh, so I used some black TransTint dye on the shaft, and a light golden brown on the top. The dye was mixed w. denatured alcohol. When I went to smooth away the slight raise in grain, I found that the dye had not penetrated the hardest part of the oak grain enough. Worse, the "black" had a distinct violet tone to it.

I'd read here in a post by CAS that the traditional shilelagh was toned by hanging in a chimney, so the fat and soot in the smoke formed a finish. So I got out a bunch of soft graphite pencils, and drew over the whole shaft. (Tedious, you bet.) That made the surface to shiny. So I dug out an old black wax drawing pencil, and put a coat of it over. Better look, but it rubbed off when grasped. Next I put a coat of tung oil on, and sprinkled graphite powder on the wet oil. That I rubbed in. Looked pretty good. Did another coat, and did another light sanding. The hard grain would not hold much of the coatings I put on.

Reading around, I found I could add the TransTint golden-brown dye to shellac to make toning coats. This worked well, but the top knob became to dark. I sprinkled on some bronze gilding powder onto the wet shellac. Did that several times till I had good coverage from the powder.

The images. The stick as a whole. A close up of the knob. A detail shot of the subdued grain figure.

DaBootAll.jpg DaBootTop.jpg DoBootGrain.jpg
 

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