You can carve beech walking and hiking sticks from fresh beech branches. Beechwood is a very hard and strong wood once it has fully cured. Walking and hiking sticks made from the wood of the beech tree can last for generations. It is much easier to carve beechwood while it is green, then cure the carved stick. Enjoy hiking in the natural landscape with a custom-made and hand-carved beechwood walking or hiking stick.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Measuring tape
- Carving or bonsai knife
- Fine-grain sandpaper
- Tack cloth
- Polyurethane stain or wood oil
- Leather or nylon cord
Hold a broom upside down with your dominant hand so the handle is perpendicular to the floor. Adjust the height of your hold until you are most comfortable. Measure the distance from your hand to the end of the broom handle that was touching the floor.
Saw a straight branch from a beech tree. Ensure the branch is 2 inches in diameter along its length, and cut a length at least four inches longer than the measurement you took from the broom handle. You'll want to trim the branch so that it will ultimately extend 4 inches above where you grip it comfortably.
Carve off all the small branches and burls to leave a smooth surface. Peel off strips of bark to expose the bare beechwood.
Smooth out rough sections along the length of the stick with shallow shaving of the carving knife. Draw creative designs in pencil on the top 4 inches of the handle section. Add relief detail by carving around the pencil lines with the point of the carving knife.
Dry the carved beechwood walking or hiking stick for 120 days in a warm and dry place. Move the walking stick to a more moist environment like a shower room for a three week period if you notice splitting and cracking during the curing phase.
Sand the cured beechwood stick with fine-grain sandpaper to smooth the surface of the entire length. Wipe away all the wood dust with a tack cloth.
Seal the wood with clear or coloured polyurethane or wood oil. Apply second and third coats to the wood after waiting the appropriate dry time suggested by the manufacturer of the product you are using.
Tie a leather or nylon cord onto the stick just above where you grip it. Make a loop with the cord that is just large enough for your wrist to fit through. Tie the end of the looped cord around the stick in the same position as the first section was secured.
Tips and warnings
- Add a rubber foot to the bottom of the beechwood walking stick. The tip cover protects the stick and increases traction.
- Wrap the handle area in soft fabric or a leather strap to add comfort and reduce blisters.
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