donderdag 7 augustus 2014

Willow hiking staff with leather grip and paracord lanyard.

While experimenting for my eagle head hiking staff, I made a Willow hiking staff with leather grip and paracord lanyard.

It was interesting to make this stick into a staff, as I learned some things while doing it.

First thing I learned; be patient when you dry your stick. This stick was kept inside the house and because of that, it dried too fast and split as a result of that. I later learned, that you should dry your stick for about six months, either outside (in the shade)  or in an unheated garden shed. I noticed that the wood loses a lot of its weight when drying.

It is also best to leave the bark on during the process, although removing it before, as I did with this piece of willow, makes it far easier to remove it. It leaves a nice light colored wood too.

What I also learned; only hold your knife flat against the wood when removing the bark, to prevent scarring the wood. Scarring also contributes to the wood splitting while drying. Here is a scar near the rounded top end of the staff. You can see the wood just splitting at the scar.

Also: Cut the staff longer that the length you think you''ll need. The ends of the wood tend to split when drying.

This is the grip, made from some scrap leather that I had lying around, and the 550 paracord lanyard. Google 'how to paracord lanyard' for instructions on how to make it; there are literally hundreds of tutorials on Youtube.

The lanyard is mounted through a hole in the staff. Nothing went wrong here, so no real lessons in that ;-) I used 2x 1.5m of paracord. One length green, on length black. The loop fits loosely around my wrist when I hold the staff at the grip.

Also: Make sure that the camera focuses on the subject, not on the background. 

This stick has some interesting bumps at the lower end. I Left them in place and just sanded the whole stick smooth with sandpaper (100/200/400) and treated the staff with oil. It took only 4 applications on this staff. I suspect the it is not entirely dry enough (here comes the 'be patient' bit again)...

So this is the staff, it turned out nice, even if it is only as an experiment, except for the crack in the middle. Maybe I will fill it up later, or just leave it as is and just make a new one.

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