Attaching Antler to Walking Stick

PSE Composites Limited

landkeeper

Well-Known Member
A word to the wise regarding antler points and walking sticks
I once witnessed a very nasty penerative injury after a fella slipped coming down a slippery bank with his he ended up in a&e
 

baguio

Well-Known Member
I always use blackthorn and oil them. Oil doesn't crack like varnish. Holly is a bit boring and hazel sticks are good for show only as they're just not strong enough to be able to actually use them.
Blackthorn dries in a few months if cut in the winter and the thorn 'scars' look really good. The sticks are rock hard and last years. What's not to like?
Never tried dog rose but that sounds interesting.
 

Stimo444

Active Member
I make quite a few sticks and find the tenon method the strongest. A threaded screw will often crack the wood with use. Most books say both methods but I never use rod. Most woods need about 12 months per inch of diameter and holly will shrink about 15% over that time. This is why the bark breaks up, leave out in wet grass overnight and the remove the bark, very white at first and then goes a nice golden colour.
 

Attachments

  • 1E1BA7C6-4F0F-47E1-BD37-DED06A505855.jpeg
    1E1BA7C6-4F0F-47E1-BD37-DED06A505855.jpeg
    437.5 KB · Views: 39

thorneyglatt

Well-Known Member
I always use blackthorn and oil them. Oil doesn't crack like varnish. Holly is a bit boring and hazel sticks are good for show only as they're just not strong enough to be able to actually use them.
Blackthorn dries in a few months if cut in the winter and the thorn 'scars' look really good. The sticks are rock hard and last years. What's not to like?
Never tried dog rose but that sounds interesting.
Sorry Baguio, have to disagree about hazel. It's my stick of choice, and I've not known one ever break. I've only made forty or fifty admittedly, but I've never heard a user report a failure, and my own have endured some pretty strenuous punishment over half a lifetime.
 

dartmoordog

Well-Known Member
Just my, very inexpert, opinion, admittedly only ever made about half a dozen sticks, but I would never have a Roe antler pointing skywards. A slip, and you could have an eye full of Roe antler spike. Just my opinion/choice.
 

baguio

Well-Known Member
Sorry Baguio, have to disagree about hazel. It's my stick of choice, and I've not known one ever break. I've only made forty or fifty admittedly, but I've never heard a user report a failure, and my own have endured some pretty strenuous punishment over half a lifetime.
Maybe you have been lucky? Maybe I have been unlucky but once because I was introduced to Blackthorn which is massively superior to hazel in every way. Better looking than hazel and just so much stronger and harder. I only make a few sticks a year so hardly an expert but I would never bother with hazel and haven't done for years. IMO people only use hazel because they can't straighten sticks and Hazel comes straight! The price of shanks on eBay says it all really.
Your hazel sticks haven't had strenuous treatment though. I know keepers who go through 2 or 3 hazel sticks every season when used as beating sticks! They don't care though because they cut a bundle of them every winter.
However, each to their own.
 

thorneyglatt

Well-Known Member
IMO people only use hazel because they can't straighten sticks

ooh that hurt, - probably because there's a grain of truth in it ! Don't run away with the idea that hazel needs no straightening though. That's what I think when I cut them, but by the time they've seasoned they've usually developed a few challenges. Granted, blackthorn is harder, - but in my part of the world it's also much harder to find - at least in sufficient length to use for stick-dressing. Regards......
 

Bandit Country

Well-Known Member
but in my part of the world it's also much harder to find

I don't know which bit of The Shire you're in, but it's everywhere around me. It's so prevalent the old County Hospital always got a shout out when blackthorn injury was discussed. Bone & Joint
 

MAH

Well-Known Member
Hi CO1. I've made a few simple sticks from Hazel. Only attached an antler to one and did as you plan to do.
See photos.
The joint is an interference fit. No glue needed.
I drilled the antler 1st, then used a sander to create the spigot whilst rolling the stick.
It squeaks as I fit them together.
The joys of retirement 🙂
M.
 

Attachments

  • 20210109_224054.jpg
    20210109_224054.jpg
    217.3 KB · Views: 25
  • 20210109_224106.jpg
    20210109_224106.jpg
    123.3 KB · Views: 25
  • 20210109_224139.jpg
    20210109_224139.jpg
    247.8 KB · Views: 25

thorneyglatt

Well-Known Member
it's everywhere around me.

Agreed there's plenty of blackthorn around, but most of it near me (south of the river) tends to be too bushy with very few 'unbranched' stems of sufficient length, whereas good hazel
grows like a weed !!
 
Last edited:

Klenchblaize

Well-Known Member
My go-to stalking stick/staff (it’s circa 8ft tall) continues to do everything I imagine would be written on the box had it been supplied in one. Perhaps of most relevance to post #22 is the manner in which I deploy it when crossing fence lines that amounts to taking most of my weight through one arm. Its made of hazel and is into its 11th year of service.

As for holly being boring I accept there is little visible grain once the bark has been removed but have experimented with sanding back the bark to leave a pleasing mottled effect that is made up of three distinct layers.

K
 

Klenchblaize

Well-Known Member
Here is an example of holly as described above. Shank is over 10-years old and I’ve just finished filling the splits & knots prior to final sanding and applying coloured inks and then sealing with polly varnish. That is when I can find a piece of buffalo horn wide enough to make the collar!
038B8678-1911-4839-BBC1-0BA7047D9D57.jpeg Sticks are also very difficult to photograph whatever they are made from.

K
 

baguio

Well-Known Member
Here is an example of holly as described above. Shank is over 10-years old and I’ve just finished filling the splits & knots prior to final sanding and applying coloured inks and then sealing with polly varnish. That is when I can find a piece of buffalo horn wide enough to make the collar!
View attachment 188203 Sticks are also very difficult to photograph whatever they are made from.

K
Can't deny that that looks good K. Looks like you have put a lot of work in to it but holly is strong and hard so I'm sure that it will be worth it. Certainly a very unique stick which is the beauty of sticks IMO. What is the diameter of the thick end BTW?
 

baguio

Well-Known Member
Here is an example of holly as described above. Shank is over 10-years old and I’ve just finished filling the splits & knots prior to final sanding and applying coloured inks and then sealing with polly varnish. That is when I can find a piece of buffalo horn wide enough to make the collar!
View attachment 188203 Sticks are also very difficult to photograph whatever they are made from.

K
If you PM me your address I will send you a slice big enough to do that.
Regards
Baguio
 

Cottis

Well-Known Member
Hi CO1. I've made a few simple sticks from Hazel. Only attached an antler to one and did as you plan to do.
See photos.
The joint is an interference fit. No glue needed.
I drilled the antler 1st, then used a sander to create the spigot whilst rolling the stick.
It squeaks as I fit them together.
The joys of retirement 🙂
M.
That is exactly how I do it. Drill out antler/horn and with a knife whittle away the top of the stick to allow them to engage with each via interference fit.

Nowhere near as nice and neat as yours but functional and strong. Yours are lovely.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MAH

Bowland blades

Well-Known Member
Drill , theaded stud and a collar in some kind of metal over the wooden bit to prevent fracture in heavy use and 24 hour cure epoxy . The collard could be omitted in the case of a " market stick " .
Take care drilling or sanding antler its a carcinogen as dust
 
Top