Scom - we don't "make" hiking sticks. As you have noted, all we do is "embellish" what Mother Nature gives us either to make it more utilitarian or just for looks.I thought one of the points of a hiking stick was todo just that go hiking find a good piece taken off the forest floor and make it into something to hike with. I don’t take down trees I only take the fallen branches. It’s all part of the experience.and im sure you have a magic ability to make sticks but obviously you must be beyond me I guess.
the topic of this forum is "walking sticks" which is a different animal all together from the Hiking Stick. Walking sticks, canes, etc. are to assist in support for those of us that have mobility or stability issues when we are "up and about". THEN, some of those are "made" by hand. Sometimes turned or fine-tuned on a wood lathe or with hand and power tools. Some will have decorative ornaments for the handles and different woods and metals in the shaft just for decorative features. (or threaded inserts so they can be taken apart).
Thank You for sharing your projects with us. We look forward to seeing more of your work.
Edit: Alan, Just to clarify the terms we soometimes use.