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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think cobalt had a good suggestion. We all have things to share. Tips or hints that can help those new to the world of sticks and canes. Or answers issues we all may have come up. This can be a place to post them and answer calls for help.

One of the things I did not know how to do was fit a cane for another person. Now there are a number of answers to this but the one that has work good for my for many years is the one below.

Human body Sleeve Gesture Elbow Font
 

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Thats the rule of thumb i follow

Also although not standard is the height of a hiking pole .This should come up to the armpit with a thumb stick half to two thirds btween the elbow and the armpit.

So if a topper is fitted it should sit on top of a stick that site at arm pit hieght?

This is has more to do with peoples jugdement ?
 

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I read somewhere that a thumb stick height should be that of the persons elbow at right angle to the body as this is the most comfortable position.
I find that most comfortable for me as well.
 

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I read somewhere that a thumb stick height should be that of the persons elbow at right angle to the body as this is the most comfortable position.
There are different terms depending on our locations. But the way I learned it there are three different, lengths -cane- walking stick and hiking stick. Your hiking stick being the longer to deal with the larger variations in terrain when off road. I use the location you describe for both walking and hiking sticks as a center point of the grip area. There can be a big difference in grip comfort depending a persons wrist angle or body shape. most hands when gripped can very from 5 to 7 inches wide or 127mm to 177.8mm across. If I am carving or wrapping a designated grip area or not I use 8 inches for a minimum center grip area and I allow a minimum of 2 to 4inches on either side of that 8 inch center grip giving me a total grip area of 12 to 16 inches or 304.8 to 406.4 mm . This has been my experience over the years on grip space I am not sure it is written down any where. But has worked well for most people I have done sticks for.
 

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I use the thumb stick at a right angle to my elbow , but have made somee for friends that have asked it to be slightly taller, theye said they prefered it as it was better for walking uphill and down dale? personal preferance there i think.

As for the hiking pole the hieght i make mine is to the persons arme pit ,then add the topper..I only fit the ferule when the pole is complete.

the crook head has been repaired . i put some 9mm dowel thorough it and glued it together,.it will give it more strengh as the grain of the dowel runs in the oppersite direction to that of the crook head. The dowel should give a bit of contrast to the mahogany shank when its full carved and finished.
 

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Stropping
Once we have achieved a good cutting edge on our carving knives and chisels the use of a strop will help keep that edge sharp and polished. And extend the time between sharpening renewing the edge. You can buy a number of types of strops. Most are made up of a hard surface with thin stiff leather glued to the surface for applying a honing compound. They can be flat or have a variety of shapes to fit the tools you use. They are easy to make and it is worth your time to make a variety of shapes to fit the tools you have. Flexcut makes a small strop block with shapes that work with any palm and small mallet tools. But a flat board strop can meet most of you basic needs. A tip, the thin cardboard of a cereal box works really well as a strop surface. I cut it in to strips about 3 inches wide put it on a flat board holding it down with rubber bands on either end and apply the compound.

Tips on stropping.
You want a hard or stiff surface. If the surface material you are using to soft the edge will sink down and it will round of your edge.

Let the strop and compound do the work. Do not use a lot of pressure.

Maintain the angle of you cutting edge as you pass it over you strop.

Do not role the blade as you lift it off the strop? Many new to stropping will twist their wrist as they take the blade off the stop rolling the edge and dulling the blade. Take the blade off the strop at the same angle or lift it straight up.

Put your compound on lightly smoothing it across the strop.

The strop will turn black as you use it. That is the metal being taken of the tool. When it has built up you can just use the lightly scrape it off the heavy build up. But do not try to scrape it clean, Do that about twice a year.

Everyone has their own thoughts on stropping. We use different compounds and tricks we have learned. I am just sharing what works well for me and hope it is of some help if you are new to all this.
Randy
 

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Had`nt thought about useing thin card , will have to try that. nice idea.

I use a old belt glued to a length of wood
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thought some of you would like this YouTube. It is a basic how to on carving a T handle eagle.

 

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CV3 - Thanks for the tips on stropping. Always seems to be a battle for me. Seems I am forever trying to sharpen my tools, never really seem to get them sharp enough. I use Flex-cut carving tools. Is there a different brand that will hold a edge better?
 

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CV3 - Thanks for the tips on stropping. Always seems to be a battle for me. Seems I am forever trying to sharpen my tools, never really seem to get them sharp enough. I use Flex-cut carving tools. Is there a different brand that will hold a edge better?
I used flex cut for many years. They are good tools and will hold an edge. Take your time with the your tools. There are some good you tubes on sharpening. Chris Pye has a Good book and DVD? I have chosen to go to Drake tools. Drakesknives.com . They are make in Arlington Washington. Nice people to do buisness with. And the tools come carving sharp.
 

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The video was useful would suit any bird of prey

also your sggestion of lookihg up gun stock carving was very good. Managed to look at a few different approaches to carving fish scales . A slow job but well worth the effort and should help me improve my own way of doing it..It should work very well on buffalo horn as well as wood.

I do think most american german and british tools are good but i tend to favour the japanese ones , there not cheap but think they have the best blades.

Trouble is today lots of branded tools are made in china for cheapness and are not always the best. so once you get a brand you like its oftern better to stick with it
 

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Great vid on the eagle head, thanks CV3.

Wish I had access to the black cottonwood bark he is using. I have seen a carver whittling black cottonwood bark in Montana. Easy material to carve and holds detail well. Unfortunately its not a native tree species to the Midwest.

Alaska Rabologist,

I use Flexcut tools almost exclusively. It has been my "noobie carver" mistakes with either trying cut off too much material, cutting through knots, improper sharpening angles etc.. that dull/damage the tools. Also some woods have large amounts of microscopic silica in them that was taken up by the roots that dull tools quickly. I have had to learn how to realign the edges on a dull/damaged gouge with a stone as sometimes stropping alone will not bring a tool back to the proper edge.
 

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When sharpening/stropping I use a series of wet & dry sheets ranging from 120 grit down to 3000 grit, + a leather strop for a final tickle.
 

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Thought some of you would like this YouTube. It is a basic how to on carving a T handle eagle.

Hi CV3, Good little video, after watching it a while ago I had a go with a bit of shank cut off shank, sat looking at it after finished and came up with this idea on how to use it.[
 

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Thought some of you would like this YouTube. It is a basic how to on carving a T handle eagle.

Hi CV3, Good little video, after watching it a while ago I had a go with a bit of shank cut off shank, sat looking at it after finished and came up with this idea on how to use it.[
 

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a good video for those starting carving

I also have look at the video and the oppurtunity of some low relief carving is good ,certainly you could carve the whole bird into the handle making it more decorative .and it could be applied to any spieces of bird.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Nice eagle Gloops. I liked the video because of it simplicity in the basic shaping and detail. As cobalt said it is a carving that can be expanded on if some one wants to.
 
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