Make your own Ozark walking stick

Make your own Ozark walking stick

Some canes are collected for their appearance and also make a great piece of decor. Apart from being collectibles and wonderful decorations, walking sticks have many other very beneficial uses and have been used for centuries. The poles help the user maintain balance on uneven terrain, such as steep inclines. They can also be used to help cross fast-moving areas of water or simply as a rest support while walking.

Canes, when used correctly, will also help prevent falls and, in the process, reduce trauma and stress on your body. The hip, knee and back joint areas will also be exposed to less shock and stress. They can also be used to defend yourself against attackers, be they human or animal. You can also use poles to mark your way when walking, fixed cameras, and other heavy stable items, as well as support yourself when traversing ditches and eroded soil.

Now that you have an idea of ​​how a cane can benefit you, let’s talk about how to make your own. The first task is to find the club you want to use. Some wood carving stores sell ready-made sticks, but I prefer the satisfaction of finding my own stick in the wild. Several things to consider when trying to locate the perfect club are: size, type of wood, and length of the club.


The best sticks range from 1 1/2″ to 2″ in diameter and the size is determined by the weight that will be exerted on the stick. You should also keep in mind that you will be using the stick for long periods of time and it can become heavy or cumbersome if it is too big.

type of wood

The type of wood used will determine how heavy, yet strong, the cane will be. Some great species of wood for handmade walking sticks are: Aspen, Poplar, Sweet Gum, Maple, Dogwood, Cherry.

stick length

The length of the necessary stick is decided knowing how the whole user is. Measure the distance from the user’s hand to the floor, while the arm is bent at a 90 degree angle against the body. The measurement is where your hand will hold the stick. Now decide how far out of your hand you want the club to extend. Take this total length and add about a foot to make up for splits and cracks.

Now is the time to decide if you want to remove some or all of the bark from the stick. If you want to remove the bark, decide if you want to remove it now or after the drying process of the stick is finished. Some woods split and/or crack worse if the bark is removed too soon. Here are some woods that react well to immediate bark removal: maple, poplar, sweetgum, dogwood, cherry.

There are some tools that are very useful for debarking at whatever point in the cane process you are at.


A pull knife is a straight blade placed between two handles that is used by pulling the blade across the wood towards you. This process results in the bark being shaved off.

carpet knife

A utility-type knife used in the carpet and upholstery industry that has a heavy, fixed blade.

Electric tools

A Dremel tool and power sander are helpful for removing some areas of bark while leaving others with bark in place. The electric sander helps clean up knots and other natural rough areas. When you get to the drying process, it’s important to take steps to prevent the bar from drying too quickly, which could cause it to break and crack. Moisture leaves the wood as it dries and the wood fibers stick together, sometimes causing splits. To prevent the wood from drying out too quickly, you can:

seal the ends

Dipping the ends of the bar in wax will seal the bar and not allow all the moisture to escape too quickly.

fix the sticks

The canes will not only snap, but also bend and flex as they dry. By strapping the clubs to a board you will help the clubs stay in shape and be able to move and roll. Another way to secure sticks is to group them in stick groups, but be careful to maintain airflow around the sticks to prevent mold and mildew. It is generally accepted that you should allow one year of drying time for every 1″ in diameter. Placing it in a cool but dry location is preferred to placing it in direct sunlight. Once the cane has completed its drying process, it’s time to decorate Some ideas for decorations for canes are: feathers, beaded rhythm counters, leather wrist band, burned wood designs

When you are satisfied with the appearance of the new cane, you should complete the finishing process. This process is where you decided how to protect the stick. By coating the cane with polyurethane, you will be sealing the wood and preventing it from losing any more moisture as well as absorbing it. After about 5-6 coats have completely dried, your cane is finished and ready to use. One last addition that will protect the end of the cane and provide some slip resistance is a rubber cover for the chair legs.

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