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Walking stick from kale

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mrbadexample

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Greetings all. :)

I have joined the forum to seek some assistance. Since making a pencil box and a couple of slightly wonky tables at school, woodworking has not been a part of my life. You may therefore correctly assume I know nothing. At all. :oops:

A couple of years a go me and a mate had a competition to see who could grow the tallest walking stick kale - a brassica also known as Jersey Kale. Competition over, I now want to make my walking stick from the stem of the plant.

I've had it hanging in the shed to dry out, so now I'm at the finishing stage. Or more accurately the starting stage, as I've not really done much to it except sand it down a bit.

As a new poster I can't yet post pictures, but I'll get some up as soon as I am able.

I have a number of problems I need to overcome to achieve a satisfactory result. I need to fill in the holes in the handle end, which was the rootball when it was growing. I need to fit a ferrule, or failing that a rubber foot on the other end. I'd prefer a ferrule if possible. It also has a soft, spongy area which I need to attend to. Then all I need to know is how to get a good-looking, durable finish.

I guess that's my first question - is there anything I can apply to the spongy area that will be absorbed and set rock hard, yet be sandable and take a varnish coat (I know, moon on a stick please :roll: ).

I'm 43 now so time's fast running out before I'll need it. :mrgreen:

Cheers all,
MBE
 

paulm

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Sounds like fun MBE !

Soaking the spongy part in superglue may be the way to go, less sure about the holes in the rootball end, depends on size perhaps. Epoxy glue is the other possibility that comes mind,can be mixed with coffee grounds or other things to colour it if necessary (won't seep into the spongy parts though as too thick obviously).

I finish my hazel thumb sticks with yacht varnish, rub down after with wire wool to get rid of the gloss and leave a matt finish, then rub some paste wax over afterwards, gives a good satin type and hardwearing finish.

Post a couple more times and once you are up to three posts I think you should be able to put up some pictures.

Welcome to the forum !

Cheers, Paul
 

AndyT

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For the spongy part, Ronseal make a widely available product sold as Wet Rot Wood Hardener which may fit the bill. (It won't mind if there isn't any rot!)

More info here.

About £6-7.00 for 250ml.
 

mrbadexample

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Cowboy _Builder":3ozbyxf4 said:
"I'm 43 now so time's fast running out before I'll need it".

43...is that all , I have underwear older than you !!!!!
Change it. Seriously, it's time. :lol:

Anyway, I don't do things very quickly, so it should be just about ready by the time I need it. :p
 

mrbadexample

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paulm":35tyy1i6 said:
Post a couple more times and once you are up to three posts I think you should be able to put up some pictures.

Welcome to the forum !

Cheers, Paul
Thanks for the welcome. Three posts eh? Well, this should do it then. :)

Is there any particular reason I'm posting smilies but I can't see them in the post? Can you see them? I'm likely to upset someone if I post a scathing, sarcastic comment and can't put a smiley face to show I'm joking. :twisted:
 

mrbadexample

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Ok, the smilies are now working. Guess it's the three-post rule thing.

Now then, about those pictures:



I hope that gives a general idea of what I'm working with. I'm hoping to get a useable length of about 3'6", which should be about right for me as I'm 6'3". I like the fact it's not straight - that's the way it grew and it adds character. 8)
 

mrbadexample

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This is a slightly closer look so you can see what the surface is like, hopefully.

 

mrbadexample

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The root end will be the handle. I think it'll work ok just as a round lumpy bit to hold onto, but I think I'll need to fill the holes:





That bit is also quite intricate and very difficult to sand. Any tips to make it look good would be welcomed.
 

mrbadexample

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This is the spongy bit. I hope you can see from the photo what I mean. It's quite easily pressed in with the thumb, so I think it needs strengthening.



@AndyT - There is no rot in it so I don't know if the Ronseal stuff would work. Plus it's such a small area I'd be reluctant to part with that much cash on the offchance - mostly because I'm Yorkshire by gum, and therefore a right miser. :mrgreen:

Ok, I hope that gives you all an idea of what I've got to contend with. It'd be much easier if I just asked one of you to do it for me, but since I went to all the effort of growing the damn thing, I've come so far I might as well see it through. :lol:
 

AndyT

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mrbadexample":3hkz7vik said:
@AndyT - There is no rot in it so I don't know if the Ronseal stuff would work. Plus it's such a small area I'd be reluctant to part with that much cash on the offchance - mostly because I'm Yorkshire by gum, and therefore a right miser. :mrgreen:
Just in case - I did mean six or seven quid - not sixty-seven!

I've used it or something similar on windows which just needed patching, not replacing, and it did work. It's probably polyurethane in a lot of solvent. I think you are going to need something like it to fill up the voids and make the whole thing smooth and shiny - but I've not made one and will watch yours with interest.
 

paulm

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Hmmm, sorry to say MBE but that may be one for the shredder :shock: :lol:

Could spend a lot of time and effort trying to make a silk purse and all that !

Would love to be proved wrong though, so good on you if you decide to have a go :D

Cheers, Paul
 

mrbadexample

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paulm":35f6du9u said:
Hmmm, sorry to say MBE but that may be one for the shredder :shock: :lol:

Could spend a lot of time and effort trying to make a silk purse and all that !

Would love to be proved wrong though, so good on you if you decide to have a go :D

Cheers, Paul
Don't be saying things like that! :shock:

I only have this one, so I get one shot at it. Whatever I get, I get. That's ok - I'm not expecting the most beautiful creation in the world. I just want to make it look as good as possible. If as good as possible is actually "pretty rough" then I don't really mind. I like a bit of character! :lol:
 

mrbadexample

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AndyT":228rndta said:
Just in case - I did mean six or seven quid - not sixty-seven!

I've used it or something similar on windows which just needed patching, not replacing, and it did work. It's probably polyurethane in a lot of solvent. I think you are going to need something like it to fill up the voids and make the whole thing smooth and shiny - but I've not made one and will watch yours with interest.
Yeah, I thought you meant six or seven. That's a lot. :lol:

I'd rather not shell out for it, but if that's the best way to go then I will. Would you recommend coating the whole thing, as opposed to just the soft bit? I dare say it could do with a bit of reinforcing.

What order would you do things in? Sand then treat, or treat then sand? Will the Ronseal stuff take a coat of varnish do you think?


Edit: Having had a good look at various wood hardeners, it does seem like it'd be just the job. :)
 

Lons

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Hi MBE

I thought it was a joke post :lol: I had to look it up to find out - you learn something every day :)
There are some excellent youtube vidos on stick making which will help you and some decent small books (Leo Gowan is one).

I haven't made sticks yet but done plenty of reading so just theory from me :roll: It's on my retirement list and I have some decent horn, antler as well as a great hazel as really nice wild rose blanks cut a number of years ago.

Please post plenty of pics. I'm very interested to see how you get on.

Bob
 

mrbadexample

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Lons":1a9gu2jl said:
Hi MBE

I thought it was a joke post :lol: I had to look it up to find out - you learn something every day :)
Great! Been here all of five minutes and I'm teaching... :lol:

I'll keep you posted. Just a word of warning though; I don't do things especially quickly so it might be a while before we get a result. :wink:
 

Lons

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mrbadexample":63v6sus5 said:
I don't do things especially quickly so it might be a while before we get a result. :wink:
Erm... :oops: .. I've been seasoning my sticks for at least 15 years :lol: :lol: :lol:

You will be Speedy Gonzalas compared to that :roll:

Bob
 
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