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How to Carve

Carving a walking stick - Step by Step guide for branch carving | BC Series #19

by Viktoriia T 06 Jun 2019 0 Comments

Let’s suppose you have got an idea to carve a beautiful walking stick. You could make it for yourself, give it as a present or, maybe, sell it. How to choose a tree branch for this purpose? Will any wood do well or are there exceptions? Can you just cut it from a tree and carve a walking stick? These are the questions we’ll answer in this short article, so keep on reading.

wooden grip ideas

Learn How to Carve a Walking Stick or Cane

Walking sticks have been used for centuries as a tool for hiking, exploring nature, and supporting those who need a little extra help getting around. But did you know that carving your own walking stick can be a fun and creative DIY project? But before you get started, having a few basic tools and materials is important. You will need a good piece of wood, a carving knife, sandpaper, and a few other materials like a rubber cane tip to add extra grip and prevent slipping. and a finishing oil or wax to protect the wood and add a polished look.

In this step-by-step guide, we'll show you how to make a stylish and unique walking stick perfect for hiking, strolling, or simply adding a touch of elegance to your everyday attire.

Step 1: Choosing Wood

The first and most crucial step in carving a walking stick is choosing the right type of wood. Look for a sturdy piece of wood that is strong and durable enough to support your weight and withstand the pressure of use. It can be a piece of wood you've purchased from a hardware store, or you can also choose a stick or branch you've found in the woods. Make sure it is free of cracks and insect damage. While you can technically use almost any type of wood, some of the best options for carving walking sticks include sturdy woods such as ash, oak, and maple.

wood for carving

Step 2: Cut the Stick to the Right Size

Once you've found the perfect piece of wood, the next step is to cut the stick to a perfect length. The ideal size will depend on your height and personal preference, but a good rule of thumb is to measure from the floor to your wrist and add a few inches. Measure the length to suit your needs, and use a saw or pruning shears to cut it to the right size.

Step 3: Remove Branches

If you're using a stick as the base for your walking cane, you may need to remove any extra branches or twigs that might interfere with your carving. Use a sharp knife, a small saw, or pruning shears.

Step 4: Whittle off the Bark

Using a whittling knife, whittle off any remaining bark or rough spots from your walking stick. It will expose the natural beauty of the wood and make it easier to sand and smooth out. Take your time and carve slowly and carefully to avoid damaging the wood.

Step 5: Dry the Wood

Once the bark is removed, you'll need to let the wood dry out for a few days to prevent any further cracking or warping. Place the stick in a dry and ventilated area, allowing it to air dry naturally. It will ensure the wood is completely dry and ready to be carved and sanded.

It might be easier to find a suitable branch right in the tree and cut it off. But you will have to wait several months for it to dry before you will be able to start carving.

If you are cutting a fresh branch, leave the side branches on it and let them dry together. It’s better for the stick to cut the side branches later, you will avoid cracks which would have appeared in the places where the branches are attached. Think of bringing parts of these side branches into the design. A part of a branch will make a nice head or a tail of a little animal or a bird.

If you have found a fallen tree in the woods, check it, it might have dried already and might be suitable for making the stick.

The dry wood is harder and when you bang two branches against each other, they will make a ringing sound, not a low, dull sound; the bark may be falling off them. The dry wood should be strong and sturdy, in this case, you can choose it and start making your walking stick. For this job you will need a carving tool.

Step 6: Sand Your Walking Cane

After the wood is dry, it's time to smooth out any rough edges or imperfections on your walking cane. Use sandpaper to sand the wood down to a smooth, even surface. Start with coarse-grit sandpaper, moving to a finer grit for a polished finish.

Step 7: Add a Grip to Your Walking Stick

wooden head

The grip of your walking stick is an integral part of the design, as it's where your hand will rest while using it. You can create a grip by carving it with your knife or attaching a premade handle to your walking stick using materials like leather, rubber, or antlers. Remember to choose a grip that feels comfortable in your hand and matches the overall style of your walking stick.

Step 8: Make a Walking Stick Grip Look Fantastic

When creating a handle or grip for your walking stick, there are endless options for creativity and design. Consider carving a unique shape or pattern into the handle or adding decorative elements like beads or stones. Your walking stick is not only a functional tool but can also be a beautiful work of art that reflects your personality and style.

Tips and Conclusions About Walking Stick Carving

Carving a walking stick is an exciting DIY project that anyone can do. You can experiment with different types of wood to find the perfect fit for your needs. But don't rush the drying process – be patient and let the wood dry out naturally to prevent cracking or warping. Experiment with different designs and techniques to find what works best for you. With some patience and elbow grease, you'll have a hiking companion that will last for years to come.



Roman Law

Wood carving guru

From a childhood enchanted by nature, my passion for wood carving guided me on a path of creativity. With a pocket knife, I uncovered the transformative power of my hands, breathing life into driftwood and forging a lifelong connection with the medium.
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BeaverCraft Company guarantees that:

Each tool is tested and undergoes strict quality control. Our tools are professionally-sharpened and come razor-sharp ready to use right out of the box. Every instrument has a sturdy construction, and its blade is securely glued and firmly attached to the handle. The tool blade is made of hardenable carbon steel and hardened to 56+ HRC. Our tools will not break if appropriately used (only for wood carving jobs).

The warranty does not cover the following cases:

Normal wear and tear of the product. Each customer should independently maintain the sharpness of the purchased tool. Loss of sharpness during operation is not a reason for the repair or replacement of the tool manufactured by BeaverCraft. Misuse or abuse. BeaverCraft tools are designed for hand carving only. Lack of maintenance and cleaning (learn about tool care). Defects resulting from incorrect tool storage are not reasons for replacement. Self-repair, modification, disassembly, and other human behavior that causes damage. Tool loss.

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Please contact our customer service team if any BeaverCraft tool has failed due to manufacturing defects or doesn't match the listing description. Let us know what happened; attach a picture of the instrument that clearly shows the problem, and describe how you used the tool. We also require further information, such as your contact details which include the following: your name, phone number, address, and email address that you can send to We will replace the tool with a new one at our own expense and pay all the shipping costs.

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The ten years guarantee applies only to wood carving tools from BeaverCraft. Always pay extreme attention when unpacking, using, or sharpening any of our tools. BeaverCraft tools are not designed as weapons and should never be used as such. Injuries occurring during the careless use or improper maintenance of BeaverCraft tools are a risk that our customers are aware of. You should never forget safety precautions and follow the correct procedure for using wood carving tools. Children should not use BeaverCraft tools without adult supervision.

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