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.

sticks 8-16-17
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. 

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.

This is a Yucca plant. It has a seed stalk that blooms and then dies. That is when you harvest the stalk.
Fresh cut stalk. Now I need to remove the top layer.
A sharp knife works great.
Smooth it all down with a rasp.
I use a palm sander to make them as smooth as glass before staining.
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.
Applying the stain and 24 hours later I apply a coat or 2 of polyurethane.


My Dad with the curved yucca. Gave him some for his Birthday
6 sticks
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.

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.

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


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)