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Custom wood walking sticks, wood canes, and wood hiking sticks



US FlagMade in the USA, no rain forest wood, no child labor, and no imports !



The criteria for selecting a walking stick or cane depends on several factors. Metal or wood??? Metal walking sticks and canes are conductive, can be a hazard around electricity or lightening, and look like a medical appliance. Also the metal ones don't have the decorating flexibility that the wood walking sticks and canes do. No carving, wood burning, or inlays. A metal walking stick or cane can have an insulated grip, however they will break down under higher voltages or lightening. My recommendation is to avoid metal walking sticks and canes, unless there is a compelling reason.

Length is another consideration. A walking stick used for off road hiking is usually the length from the ground to above the shoulder. The added length assists you in walking up and down hills. A walking stick used for walking around town is a bit shorter and is about the length from the ground to under the arm. Canes are generally from the ground to about where the elbow bends. I prefer having a cane that has a "topper," rather than a "handle." A topper is an item put on top of the cane, such as a wooden ball, brass ball/knob, 8 ball, cobra head, etc. A topper provides a more stable and secure grip than a handle. The force of your weight is directed in a stable manner, straight down the cane rather than on an offset handle.

The type of wood for a walking stick or cane is a personal preference. If you are looking for a rustic walking stick or cane with lots of a character, as wild as the old West, then western Juniper is the answer. The Juniper has excellent character due to the many cracks, knots, burls, and crevices. It has a reddish color and wood burns well. If you are looking for a very lightweight walking stick or cane, that is strong, then yucca or sotol is one. The yucca or sotol was used by the Southwest Native Americans for ladders, carries, and litters. Both are relatively straight. Yucca has an upside down arrow head looking pattern and the sotol has a U shaped pattern. Neither have "knots." The wood has a slight reddish color and wood burns well. Other types of wood, such as maple, birch, aspen have less character and are light colored. They can be stained or naturally finished. They wood burn well.

Regardless of the type of material, the walking stick or cane can be augmented with gem inlays, wood burning, toppers, antlers, a compass on top, or

So, what are the ingredients for an elegant walking stick or cane??

Well, the cardinal rule for custom walking sticks and canes is that you get what you pay for. Quality, elegance, and artistry does not equate to "cheap." There are inexpensive imported walking sticks or canes, as well as some US made sticks that are "lacking." They are inferior to a custom handmade stick created by a professional artist. The Internet is flooded with them. The elegantly designed, artistically created stick is an heirloom and investment... that reflects the passion of the artist as well as the selective eye of the buyer. A handmade stick doesn't necessarily equate to artistry either. There are mass produced, manufactured, and abused handmade walking sticks and canes out there. They are worked with draw knives, axes, mauls, chain saws, and other large tools. Good approaches for cutting firewood, but not for making an elegant work of art.
Will the artist take time to send a few pictures to you as your stick is being made...or is it a "rush" job??? Is the maker an artist who is proud enough to sign his name and date on the work?? I do. Do you get a certificate of authenticity with your creation that is signed by the maker, or artist in my case, and saying it was made in America with American wood...not from a rain forest?

The first criteria to making a great walking stick or cane is stick selection. The sticks should be hand selected for quality and for suitable walking stick or cane properties. I only use wood from the USA, in order to preserve the rain forest, adhere to safe environmental practices, and to not support child labor. There are cheaply made walking sticks and canes that are imported and resold. I refuse to do that. So a concern for quality stick selection should address hand selected USA sticks only. Green is good:)

The second criteria should be how the walking stick or cane is artistically crafted. Power tools should not be used, even if they make the job faster. Speed is not an ingredient for quality, when it comes to walking sticks and canes. Speed can actually create the opposite effect. The stick should be worked by hand to show the quality that nature has instilled in it over many years. The artist should debark the stick carefully to preserve the cambium layer, when it can be shown in the final work. This is best done with a small razor sharp cutter. Yes, it takes time but the final effect is well worth it. Knots should be carefully cut off with a small hand saw or a fine file, depending on the size of the knots (branches). The stick should be sanded through rough to fine grits with quality sandpaper. Starting with 40 or 60 grit and then 100, 220, 320, 400, and a final 1500 grit polish. The hand sanded aspect of making walking sticks and canes is very important. It is a main factor in giving the stick an elegant finish. How will you know if the artist has sanded as recommended? Well, you have to trust the honesty and professionalism of the maker, or wait until you get the stick and see if it is very smooth. I'd suggest it is better to deal with a reputable artist with a long track record.

A quality wood burning of an image and text requires an experienced professional artist. One who has a professional wood burning (pyrography) system and honed skills. Dexterity is a requirement but also the quality sanding, a professional wood burning system, high quality sharp pen tips, patience, and artistic experience. As with all aspects of making an elegant walking stick or cane, patience and concentration are mandated. Speed does not make for a great wood burning nor a great stick. Does the artist email you a free layout for your comment and review? I do, and sometimes you and I have to do several re-designs.......not a problem. I enjoy the design process. We will get it right before doing the artistic wood burning

An elegant walking stick or cane can be greatly enhanced with a gem, stone, arrowhead, or other inlays. The selection of the inlay should be in harmony with the stick and not look "tacky." I offer a wide variety of inlays, including stone arrowheads, obsidian arrowheads, turquoise, gems, coins, birthstones, scout medallions, gem crosses, and many others. I will work with you to get the right inlay that you will be proud to have.

A quality walking stick or cane should have a comfortable grip. Leather makes for a nice grip and mine are all hand wound leather lace. It looks great as well as having a great feel. You have a choice of black or brown leather lace. I also make a one piece wrap around leather grip that can also be burned with images or text (pyrography).

A quality finish is a must, to bring out nature's beauty. There are many types of finishes that can be used, depending on your preference. Polyurethane provides a shiny finish that some people like. Tung oil provides an excellent finish that is natural and has been used for thousands of years. Tung oil brings out the character of the wood and when topped with a hardening wax, it makes for an elegant finish. Very weather resistant. My preference is to use tung oil and wax because it naturally enhances the natural elegance of the wood. A carefully hand rubbed tung oil finish takes longer, but is worth it. A minimum of 3 coats provides the best appeal. Each coat requires a day to dry. There are rapid finishes out there that others use, but again speed isn't the answer unless you want to make quick money. I take my time, work on nature's schedule, and create a finish that is in harmony with nature. Usually a person uses a walking stick or cane in order to enjoy nature, slowly absorbing the sites, sounds, and smells of our planet. The walking stick or cane should be a blend with those properties. A cheap, quickly made manufactured stick seems to demand that you run with it, and not walk. I make mine for hiking, or walking in harmony with nature. The wood spirits say that is the way they like it. You can sense the spirit of the wood and nature, when you have a patiently created walking stick or cane that is made with reverence.