Stick To It

Got out my inventory of Yucca sticks from the Big Bend area. Need to catch up so here is a few I will be working on.

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Most of these have been in a compartment in the motorhome since we left Alpine. Time to get busy and turn these into usable sticks. 
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Making Walking Sticks

I started making walking sticks when we were out in the Big Bend area. Yucca was plentiful and made a lightweight sturdy stick. Since then I have made some out of pecan, oak, cedar, and working on some out of mesquite wood now.

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This is a Yucca plant. It has a seed stalk that blooms and then dies. That is when you harvest the stalk.
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Fresh cut stalk. Now I need to remove the top layer.
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A sharp knife works great.
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Smooth it all down with a rasp.
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I use a palm sander to make them as smooth as glass before staining.
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Here is from left to right, a cedar, yucca, and stained cedar.
Curved yucca
This is a yucca that grew with a nice curve in it. One of my favorites, I gave it to my Dad later.
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Applying the stain and 24 hours later I apply a coat or 2 of polyurethane.

 

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My Dad with the curved yucca. Gave him some for his Birthday
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Some of the latest ones I have finished, As you can see you can use for walking or hiking. I just give them to friends or family. I gave one to a friend who was very ill and needed some help getting out of bed and walking.
Raw Sticks
Here is some I have cut but haven’t started yet. I always have my saw with me and keeping an eye out for sticks to finish.

Making Walking Sticks

I saw some homemade walking sticks in a state park recently and decided I could make them myself. When we were in East Texas earlier in the year I harvested a few red cedar limbs for this purpose. The bark was stripped off a few months ago and put up to dry out a little. After arriving in the Big Bend I learned that the yucca plants have a flower stalk that makes a great light weight but tough walking stick. Like East Texas has plenty of red cedar, the Big Bend has an abundance of yucca.

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The flower stalk in the middle blooms every year and then dies. Right after it blooms and drops the seed pods is the right time to harvest for a walking stick.

The flower stalk is not a wood, so no grain shows up when staining them, but they are very light weight and will last a long time. The texture is very tough and durable.

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Here is one I just cut and started removing the top layer as seen here on the bottom part.
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As almost all plants out in the desert there are thorns to remove.
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This is a close up after the top layer was removed with my pocket knife.
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A pile of the top layer of the yucca stalk
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Finished stripping it down. This piece is about 6 ft long.

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More later when I have a few totally finished. You can customize them with medallions, lanyards, carvings, and more. We will see how creative I get.(probably not much)