Walking Stick Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Brown Amber Wood Rectangle Textile Wood Cylinder Gas Metal Tool

Just completed this stick today. I haven't hade much luck finding vine twisted trees for sticks so I thought I'd just make one. My uncle had given me some poplar wood last summer so I used some of that to make the shank because it would be easy to rasp out a spiral. The spacer, cap on the cow horn, and inlays in the shank are black walnut. The inlays were done by drilling 1/4 inch holes about 1/4 inch deep and filling them with 1/4 inch plugs cut out of some scrap walnut. To finish I used a few coats of boiled linseed oil and a beeswax paste.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
The walnut makes a nice contrast. Well done! I don't know why we like spirals so much - just that they are fun to look at.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
715 Posts
Cool stick, Travis! I like the horn handle especially. Looks like it would be very comfortable to hold.

Those walnut plugs make a very nice contrast to the poplar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
497 Posts
I have a black horn waiting to do what you have. I'm not sure what the next step is. Do you fill the inside?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
I have a black horn waiting to do what you have. I'm not sure what the next step is. Do you fill the inside?
Assuming your horn is dried, cured, and no longer has the core the first thing I do is sand it smooth starting with a dremel for the roughest parts then sandpaper, 80 grit going up to 220 grit or so. Then I cut it to length and with the angles on the ends I want. I use a table disc sander to get the end of the shank and horn flat and able to sit flush with each other. You could use sandpaper and a sanding block, it just takes longer and you need to be careful to keep the sanding block flat.

I use a 7/16 threaded rod to attach the horn and shank. That maybe a little overkill on the size of the rod but it is what I have on hand. Depending on the length of horn I use a 4 to 5 inch piece of rod. Drill a hole half the length of the rod into the shank. I use a little 2 part epoxy in the hole to make sure the rod is in as solid as possible. When that is dry I place the small end of the horn over the rod making sure the horn and shank are flush. I'll pour in fiberglass resin filling the horn to the top of the rod. After that sets up you could fill the horn the rest of the way with bondo, fiberglass resin, or other products. I use wood dust and shavings (we all have plenty of that don't we) and pour in fiberglass resin to soak in. I let that set overnight.

I'll trace the shape of the top of the horn onto a small piece of pretty wood. Cut it a little oversize and glue the cap to the top of the horn after sanding flat so it sits flush. Then using a rasp and files take the wood to the same size of the horn. Before shaping the top of the wood I drill a hole in the middle through the wood into the horn filling. Keep in mind the threaded rod to avoid drilling that far. Shape the cap with a dremel, rasp, files, ect... I use a plug cutter and cut a plug out of the scrap horn (or a piece of wood). Then I drive a short dowl rod into the hole and place the plug on top of the dowl rod and drive that in.

With the horn handle roughed in I sand everything smooth to 600 grit. After that I use a polishing wheel to shine it up but you could use rubbing compound and a rag.

This is just the way I do it. I have seen a few other variations such as having a plug on the underside of the cap that is glued into the horn. The advantage of that would be less wieght but I have a hard time having it fit snug and flush. I started using the dowl rod and plug in the cap after my mom knocked the cap off the stick I gave her. Not sure how many times she dropped it on a concrete floor but I know it was more than once.

If others have better ideas I'd like to hear them. I have some ideas on how to leave a small storage space and a cap that slides open in the middle but I'll keep them to myself till try it and work out the bugs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wood Hardwood Circle Font Rectangle Natural material Metal Ingredient Titanium Blade

Another poplar shank with a spiral stick. I started this one first but it took longer due to a polyureathane finish. This one has a tighter twist, the plug inlays are cow horn, and the cap on top is English Walnut.

Not sure why the pics are sideways, sorry about that.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Plant Wood Branch Trunk Vegetation Wood Natural material Trunk Plant Twig Plant Wood Botany Vegetation Trunk Plant Wood Trunk Flowerpot Tree

Two new sticks. Both are poplar shanks with cow horn, capped with English walnut and hard maple. The first one I gave to a cousin who was told by her doctor to start using a cane. The second is a hiking stick just over five feet tall. There is some really nice figure in the maple, the pictures don't do it justice. Some maple trees were cut to clear some land to build a house and for helping I got a few shanks and saved all the crotches from becoming firewood.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
715 Posts
Very nice work, Travis.

Out of curiosity, where do you get your horns? I've seen them sold as dog chew toys and at craft supply shops. I read that they have to be sterilized before sale which can make them a bit brittle and likely to chip. Any problems along that line? The pack of buffalo horns I bought from a pet shop to make spacers from seemed ok, but just wondering if the cow horn was easy to work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,086 Posts
Nicely done once again. You are perfecting that cow horn grip!
Poplar is a such a nice wood to work with makes a great shank. We don't see much poplar in my neck of Indiana. Couple years ago I found a nice bunch of Tulip poplar that the Yellow wood State Forest had cut down in the campground. Liked working with it so well I have used it up quick!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,925 Posts
Nice work on both of them. I like crotch wood for my cane handles too. You can get some really pretty wood out of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Very nice work, Travis.

Out of curiosity, where do you get your horns? I've seen them sold as dog chew toys and at craft supply shops. I read that they have to be sterilized before sale which can make them a bit brittle and likely to chip. Any problems along that line? The pack of buffalo horns I bought from a pet shop to make spacers from seemed ok, but just wondering if the cow horn was easy to work.
The farm supply store I had been buying cow horn dog chews stoped carrying them so this winter I bought a box of 100 cow horn tips, anywhere from 3 inches to about 8 inches, off of ebay for just under $60. rmckbones was the seller.(Just checked and they still have them but are $65 for 100 now) They all seem to be dry and fairly clean(for cow horn), only two still had the core but they were dry and fell out. Some are in really good shape and some are really beat up and are only good to cut up for spacers, inlays, ear rings, ect... Some time this summer I'll cut some of the beat up ones down the middle, boil them, and try to flatten them. The cow horn is softer and easier to sand and work but buffalo polishes up better. My mom has dropped the stick I made for her more than once on a concrete floor and I've noticed it has about a 1/4 inch crack at the thinner end of the horn so they may be a bit brittle.

Some of the horns have short nails in them, bondo on them and painted black. It looks like the horn was broken, repaired, and grew back togather. It's not to hard to notice if you pay attention.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Nicely done once again. You are perfecting that cow horn grip!
Poplar is a such a nice wood to work with makes a great shank. We don't see much poplar in my neck of Indiana. Couple years ago I found a nice bunch of Tulip poplar that the Yellow wood State Forest had cut down in the campground. Liked working with it so well I have used it up quick!
Small world. The poplar I'm using is from my uncle's place just a few miles West of Yellowwood State Forest.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top