Rattan sticks are used in decorating and as weapons in different styles of martial arts. In decorating, rattan can be used in craft projects and is available at most craft or home improvement stores. You can make headboards, tables and many other crafts. Rattan sticks are used by some martial artists in sparring, tournaments and self-defence weaponry. Fighting-style rattan sticks are cured and made to be more durable than decorative rattan and thus, are a little more expensive. However, raw rattan is cheaper and you can use it to make your own rattan sticks to save money.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Rattan poles or precut rattan, 28-inches long
- Handsaw with fine teeth
- Tape measure
- One small hand plane and one medium size
- Flex drum sander
- Heat gun
- One piece of lumber (2 inches by 4 inches or 2 inches by 2 inches)
- Drill with different size bits
- Oven mittens
Prepare to cut the rattan. Use your tape measure and a pencil to mark the desired length of the stick. Put a mark on the rattan where you want to cut it.
Lay the rattan stick flat on your workbench. Use the handsaw to cut the rattan on the mark.
Position the medium size hand plane on top of the rattan stick. Begin shaping the rattan by scraping off a thin layer of the rattan. Once you have your desired shape, use the small hand plane to smooth the surface of the stick. Also shape the ends of the stick into a rounded or flat shape with the hand plane.
Sand the surface of the rattan stick with your flex drum sander or with fine to medium grit sandpaper by hand. Sand the stick until it is very smooth.
Make a jig to straighten the rattan. Drill different size holes that are slightly larger than the diameter of your rattan stick in a piece of lumber. The lumber should be about 5 feet high or a height that is comfortable for you to work on the rattan stick when standing. Place the pole upright in the ground (optional, if you are working outside.). Sand around the holes to smooth the corners with a sheet of sandpaper.
Straighten out any slightly bent areas. Do not use rattan that is extremely bent or curved. Use your heat gun to straighten the bent area by running it up and down the area until the rattan is very hot. Insert one end of the stick into the jig built in step five; and use your hand to bend it in the direction opposite of the bent area to straighten it.
Cure the rattan stick. Set the oven to 177 degrees Celsius. Put each stick on the oven rack and let them dry for about 15 minutes. Check the sticks for steam. If there is no more steam, remove the sticks from the oven with your oven mittens. Place them on a surface that will not burn or melt from the heat to cool.
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