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For me the first thing with the grip is its diameter. I have found that I am most comfortable gripping a stick ,especially for long hikes, if when my hand is closed around the grip the tip of my thumb can rest on the tip of my index finger. That is a diameter of 1” to 1 1/8th “inch or 24.5mm to 28.5mm. This measurement would include any rape or grip materials I my use. However over the years I have gotten away from raps of any kind. I texture the grip using a #9 palm chisel. I almost always wear leather gloves when in the field and the textured grip works very well. However of the many materials I have used for grips over the years my favored is raping the grip using wet rawhide baseball glove lacing. Then after it dries using a beeswax based leather protector, like is used on boors to make them water resistant. I look forward to hearing what works best for others.
 

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Theres something to be said for the diameter , i choose the same . . never tried texturing the grip. but you do have some good designs which is tempting to pinch and have a go and would look good against the hazel and chestnut bark..But mostly i am a fine weather walker and never use gloves whilst walking . If i had to wear gloves then its to cold for me lol.
 

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Excellent article CV3, and especially the rawhide grip solution! I'd like to see a picture of your textured grip if possible?

Most of my sticks are very much of the rustic character, from Douglasfir saplings. So I leave the bark on the top of the stick, and usually a bulge of the whorls towards the top end of the staff, about 41 inches from the bottom, to allow a light fingertip grip for pushing and pulling the stick, ala Nordic walking or pole walking.

This provides me with suitable purchase for a easy grip with the roughness of the bark and bulge of the whorl. And still smooth enough for comfort. For my hand size, about 1-1/4 inches works well, and maybe even a little larger for a bare hand. If using light gloves in cool weather, a little smaller. Heavier work gloves and mittens in cold weather, maybe even a little smaller still.

On my hickory stick with smooth bark and no whorl bulge, I've used a quick and inexpensive solution that has worked well, but it's short on style and good looks. I've wrapped the top of the stick with a flexible cohesive bandage and created a slight bulge for my fingertip control. I get it in the "ranch" store, where it's sold to wrap horse's legs. It adds good texture and holds up well and is a good temporary fix. But now I think it deserves a classic rawhide grip...

My first cardinal rule is always have a stick when walking/hiking in the country...but the second cardinal rule is don't use it if your don't need it. Lightly cradle the stick at it's balance point and let it's gentle swing smooth out your walks and rest your arms.

Hand Wood Finger Natural material Material property

Fluid Wood Finger Thumb Drinkware

Wood Metal Composite material Natural material Steel
 

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Most of the sticks I use are in the 1 1/4" - 1 3/8" range. I have made some that are smaller 1" to 1 1/8", my wife prefers them.

I liked the textured grip that I have seen on some of CV3's sticks so to use Cobalt's expression, I "pinched" the design and have used it on several of the sticks I have made. It enhances the look of the stick, is comfortable and doesn't slip if your hand perspires. I used a dremel with a round grinding stone to texture my grips. I have a gouge of the size required to hand cut the dimples, but I don't have the patience so the dremel works for me.

Another factor with grip diameter,for me anyway,is the weight of the stick. Soft maple, poplar and pine are light woods and a smaller diameter grip doesn't bother me. Oak, cherry and hickory on the other hand are heavier and I feel more comfortable with a beefier grip area.

Good topic Randy.
 

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Agree with comments about shank size, the only time I use small sizes is when making natural thumb sticks and my favourite walking stick is a thumb stick 3/4 inch dia. and 48 inch long made from a A Briar Rose, these grow in abundance in local hedgerows and whrn finished are light and strong, tip - remove the prickles :)

I have never wrapped a grip but could see the benefits for comfort and in some cases to slightly increase grip diameter.

Attached picky of my old faithful, goes every where with me.
 

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I just measured some of the sticks I use for hiking. They average about 1" diameter. One that I am working on, and which has felt too thick has portions around 1 3/8'.

I tend to go the opposite of MJC4. With harder woods, I go thinner because I expect the wood to be strong enough to handle stress, but w. softer like most maple, I go a bit thicker for strength. I have spent a lot of time, tho', shaving down harder woods so they would not be as heavy.

I haven't wrapped anything. I've tried texturing grip areas by carving, but find that I like the smoothest surface possible.
 

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It got me thinking about texturing some sticks , and as i wanted to do a crook as soon as i get the horn intials finished , . i thought i would give the crook some texture for a change , still enought to keep me going with the bull drawing to do yet . its just to dark and cold to get much done in the workshop yet.

a quick drawing of what i had in mind, still using the gothic approach.also intend to try this on a shank but keep as mush bark on it as can

the pencil drawing is a bit light better in the ink, Its all a bit loose yet still at the design stage but not to bad for a quick freehand drawing

Its a bit of a new approach for me

Art Gesture Font Creative arts Pattern
Unicorn Textile Creative arts Wood Mythical creature
 

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The idea of texturing the shank appeals to me been planning on something for a while.

CV3 work on low relief work is pretty good just hope i have the temprement to match it.Leaving the bark on the shank should enhance the design ?

I just thought why not texture the crook as well,The original drawing of a japenese carp gives of a good decorative / textured appearance so will do something on these lines.

The head needs redesigning yet and will get rid of the griffin head and probably go for greek/ roman/ noarse mythology to replace the dragons head .Still searching some dinasours .And have yet to get some suitable wood for the crook

Art Gesture Fish Tail Creative arts
the origanl drawing

Organism Gesture Art Creative arts Font
developing the idea

Wood Grey Natural landscape Twig Grass
drawing guide lines for texturing the shank

Wood Office supplies Tool Gas Office equipment
burrs used. Still needs tidying up with some diamong tipped
 

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It got me thinking about texturing some sticks , and as i wanted to do a crook as soon as i get the horn intials finished , . i thought i would give the crook some texture for a change , still enought to keep me going with the bull drawing to do yet . its just to dark and cold to get much done in the workshop yet.

a quick drawing of what i had in mind, still using the gothic approach.also intend to try this on a shank but keep as mush bark on it as can

the pencil drawing is a bit light better in the ink, Its all a bit loose yet still at the design stage but not to bad for a quick freehand drawing

Its a bit of a new approach for me

attachicon.gif
crook 002.JPG
attachicon.gif
crook 001.JPG
I'd love to see how this turns out!

I'm all about dragons, been looking for a dragon cane for some time.
 

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I will soon be geting around to carving the crook, just been studying some fish scale carving on gun socks i want to use on the crook.I havnt yet decided the exact shape of the dragons head yet as i have been lookinh into roman and greek mythology on sea serpants . And do need the right type of wood for the work .

I am looking forward to starting it as soon as i can . but harvetsing hazel shanks at the moment

I have been given jobs to do so apart from getting my grandson a table tennis set and delivering it to him outting it up in the outhouse and of coarse spent a couple of hours playing it with him i had to come home for a rest.

I have been told we are going to scotland for a few days , dont know when yet. also a trip has been aranged to vist lincoln castle and the magna carter along with a trip around the cathedral should be interesting . the castle about 1000 years old and the magna carter is 800 years , which i have never seen. It gave the common man a lot of protection from the king at the time and is the base of the law not only of england but many other counties arounfd the world .

We are booking a cruise just waiting for a lst minute deal plenty of bargins about either to the med or down the Norweigen Fiords so may not be around for a while
 
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