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Old 07-12-2003, 07:31 AM
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Kalibabe Kalibabe is offline
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staff/sticks/project present. a walk through

Ok, I am doing a walking stick as a project/present for somebody . I am going to take pictures all the way through the process and post them on here, a sort of walk through.

The stick was brought from some woods about 100m from the sea. They are all sticks that have been cut down as the woods are 'managed'. You can just go and pick the wood up. I ahve about 4 wood piles in the house at the moment, in various stages of dryness


Anyways, we have the stick full length and the cut stick. It's cut to a specific length as any wlaking stick should be. If they are too long / short, they can cause all sorts of damage.

The other bits cut are, one of them the length of my forearm to tips of fingers... the last bit is the bit left over

I'm not sure what to do with the last 2 bits yet but, the wood usually tells me what to do with it.

I know that sounds really bizzare BUT, if you work with wood, you tend to find out that it can have its own ideas about what's gonna happen to it. If you try to force it, it can split..... just to get back at you

anyways... piccies.... gonna sand this afternoon, sitting in the back yard in the sun, so shall have more piccies later...

That is of course if it's dry enough to sand. It's been standing for about 5 months now.

Ok. I'll shut up now...



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Old 07-12-2003, 07:34 AM
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Old 07-12-2003, 09:43 AM
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ok, now they have been sanded, the 3 bits to different levels.




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Old 07-12-2003, 04:52 PM
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Great idea to do a WIP of your walking sticks. I'll stayed tuned !

I bet you are a great teacher because you aren't afraid to tackle the unknown. Do you teach art ?

Cheers,

Li
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Old 07-13-2003, 04:17 AM
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Oh boy... what a question....

I am a teacher... but i teach science.

HOWEVER, my heart belongs to art.

It would be such a wonderful dream to teach art. I came from an extremely 'traditional' schooling background where they thought that someone with 'brains' was wasting themselves doing art. That was for the less intelligent (in their opinion).

I fought them AND my parents to even take it for an O'Level.

I was weak after that and went into sciences as I just couldn't fight them...

But who knows what the future holds. I would say myself that my abilities lie more in the area of art than science!

Or should I say my pleasure in life!
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Old 07-13-2003, 04:36 AM
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Okies. I took the sticks next and stanied them with a very strong tea solution. It doesn't make them go really dark but, when varnished gives them a richer colour.
I have tried staining with things like turmeric too but, that can look a little 'green' for my liking.



The next step is varnishing.......
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Old 07-13-2003, 04:57 AM
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The sticks have now had one coat of varnish. This is a bit of a departure for me as i have always used matt varnish before.

I went to a country show and someone there was selling staffs that had been done in gloss finish, so I have tried that here.

I varnish them, then sand with very fine sandpaper as, when you varnish, it makes little 'hairs' of wood stand up and they make the surface rough.

Altogether, I think I usuallu put about 15 or 20 thin coats of varnish on.

You could slap 3 or 4 thick coats on but, you get blobs and it starts to peel away really easily.


Just to reassure people, I am NOT going to put up pictures of every single one of the 15 coats

The middle stick, whish is the middle sized one, is lightly sanded.

The length of wood all 3 bits have been taken from is silver birch.

The middle one has some of the 'silver' left on it. It shines like a mirror on it. It is incredibly beautiful. If I can get a decent picture of it, I will post it up.


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Old 07-13-2003, 06:35 AM
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Thanks for the WIP kalibabe..... I'm really enjoying watching how you do it. I bet the silver birch looks absolutely gorgeous with all those layers of varnish....... sheesh girl.... 20 layers....what patience
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Old 07-13-2003, 01:58 PM
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This is a wonderful demo. I have wondered how you worked your walking sticks. I am making this a sticky for the time being, and am warning you that I expect you to turn this into an article The diversity in your work, and keeping to natural elements is something to be admired. I'm watching this thread closely
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Old 07-16-2003, 03:09 PM
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I should have posted these pictures, or at least taken them BEFORE the varnishing one.

The ends need shaping. For a walking stick, it needs to be rounded so that it sits in the palm of the hand.



The next ones are of the middle sized stick, the one with silver streaks. I am going to set a marble ball in the end of it eventually so, it needs a 'dip' shaping into it so that the ball can 'sit' into it.






This last one is the smallest piece. My boy decided that he wants a wand (he's been watching Harry Potter!!). So, I shaped the end to fit a chinese medicine ball into it, so that as he waves it about, it will 'jingle' for him.

He has painted it with basic poster paints so, I hope that the varnish will hold them for him.





so, these fit in before the varnishing. When the 15 coats have been done comes the decorating bit







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Old 07-18-2003, 02:03 PM
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Hi Kali,
Your WIP just caught my eye, don't know how many times I've overlooked it.
Anyway. I'm working on making a trekking stick (basically a walking stick, but to be used while hiking the mountains, balance going downhill, crossing creeks, etc). The branch I'm starting with is a relatively recent fall branch (protected forest, no cutting). My point, oh yeah, I was wondering how to tell that the wood is dry enough. I had to break off a small offshoot and noticed that the join is still a little green, so it's probably not ready, but how can I tell when it is?

Misti
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Old 07-18-2003, 03:41 PM
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people have different opinions on this, some people say allow 1 year per inch of wood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YIKES!!!

Others say allow 1 week per inch of wood.

Personally, I tend to go more for the one week one.
also, if you ahve no idea how long it has been lying, listening for a 'hollow' sound when you tap it will give you a pretty good indication.

Mostly, I tend to collect lots and lots of wood and leave it as long as possible before doing anything with it.

Whatever you do, don't try to speed up the drying! This will cause the wood to split, so putting it above a radiator, or in an airing cupboard is a very bad idea.
slow and sure is the best. I tend to go from the shed to our back room which has no heating in it, and has good ventilation.
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Old 07-18-2003, 04:20 PM
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Thank you Kali!


Misti
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Old 07-23-2003, 05:37 PM
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FINALLY finished varnishing

Okies, have got the 15 coats of varnish done, now for the decorating bit.....



This is the sticks from a distance...

There's a walking stick, something that's going to be akin to a mace.... and a wand my boy wanted to make... Harry potter style.


Ok, I use Epoxy glue to stick things to the wood. It's great for stones and non-porous itens especially. I am setting a marble ball into the mace and a chinese medicine ball into my boy's wand.....



It depends on what I am doing but, I find the rapid stuff can start to cure WWWWAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY too fast for me. I do use other glues, but this stuff I find is by far the best.

I, as mentioned previously, make a 'hollow' or dip in the tip of the piece of wood ready for whatever is to sit in it...

Then, place some glue into it.



The biggest danger here is getting too much glue on.... as I usually do!!!!!!!

It's a devil to clean off if you do but, persistance and a hobby drill will remove unwanted glue......





I quite often wind 'cord of different types around my sticks......



This is my favourite cord, it's VERY tightly woven and waxed so it has a feel of leather thonging but, isn't. It's brilliant stuff.... costs about 28p per metre from a local haberdashery shop.



If I am attaching a 'ball' on top of a stick, i like to attach the cord underneath it. It keeps it secure and gives a great starting point for the cord.

Last edited by Kalibabe : 07-23-2003 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 07-23-2003, 05:45 PM
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next bit..................

next bit, putting the balls on!!!!!

Marble ball.....



Medicine ball....




Then, the ball is placed over the cord and glue. You might want to place another drop of glue onto the cord to ensure complete coverage..




Then, and this is the tricky bit...

It has to be held in place until it has cured completely. I find the best way to do this is with sellotape.

It is far too sticky as it normally is.. so I unsticky it first. I do this by cutting a strip and sticking it onto clothing or, the sofa arm and peeling it off 2 or 3 times.

It is still sticky enough to stick, but not so sticky that it will strip varnish off the wood....



This is the end of the 'mace' finished.
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