I wish I had a camera that worked so I could photograpgh the walking stick I made for my uncle. But maybe it is more special this way, as the family said they shall treasure it as an heirloom.
Uncle Frank has trouble walking (although he consistently strayed ahead of us at the park when we went to visit, so it wasn’t TOO bad) and didn’t care for using a cane much, so I volunteered to make him one that he could use that didn’t look like a cane of any kind, but well … a fashionable walking stick. I had him stand and show me where he would want to hold it, and made comparisons to my hieght so when i made it the angle of my arm would measure it correctly.
I selected it from branches cut down a couple of months ago where I live, looking for that right piece that could be used as a cane, yet looked like a typical walking stick. I stripped it down a varying depths, and when it dried out more, darker shades came through in spots so it looks (and is) randomly striped a little. Then I chipped away and sawed off most of the protrusions and rounded out the thicker top, which is where two or three branches met – can’t tell anymore the exact orignial shape. Then came sanding.
Like all the other sticks I have made (a handful total), all of this is done by hand except the drilling of the hole around where the wrist would be. This stick was done single hole with the ends knotted to form the loop, and as my practice, I used wetted leather shoelace, which tightens the knot as it dries.
I used a woodburning too with a calligraphic nib to put the initials above and under where his hand would have been, vertically spaced capitals “FAP” with a small numeral 2 (II) beneath, as he is a Junior. I also put my usual mark on the side of the bottom of the stick, with the year.
I didn’t stain this one at all (I don’t recall staining any of the others either), but put a single thick coat of clear Urethane. I used my bare hands to smooth the surface, whcih often feels gritty after the urethane is applied.
Instead of leaving it in the casket with his body, I talked it over with my cousin, and I will give it to my Aunt tomorrow after the funeral.
Requisat in Pace, Uncle. My wife and I watched the end of the Red Sox game in your honor, and we shall be fans evermore in memory of you.