Author Topic: I made a walking stick.  (Read 3572 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 2733
I made a walking stick.
« on: August 06, 2023, 09:29 AM »
My 55 years of heavy weightlifting has taken its toll.  I now have a handicapped parking tag and (sometimes) use a walking stick.  I decided to make my own.

I assembled the components:

12 feet of 1/2” diameter fiberglass pultrusion (arrived in four 36” lengths) from TAP Plastics.

Four 1/2” diameter rubber tips (from Amazon.com).

Two regulation 8-balls (regulation, billiards).

Epoxy (5 minute).

The photo below shows the fiberglass rod prior to applying the finish, and after with the tip attached.

And the 19 second video shows a panning shot to illustrate the finish.  The finish was the most worrisome part of the project and turned out to be the easiest.  (I reveal the finish below the video.) [big grin]

The Bakelite in the 8-ball drilled easily, but generated huge amounts of heat and I had to stop frequently to allow the drill bit to cool.  I drilled it in the drill press. 

I used a Dremmel to create some dimples inside the hole to act as reservoirs for the epoxy.  The bond seems extremely robust. 





Below is the panning shot of the entire walking stick.  I added a wrist strap (very handy).  The entire thing weighs 14.2 ounces.  The fiberglass itself weighs in at 8.4 ounces.  The billiard ball is surprisingly heavy.

I can’t seem to load the video directly into the post.  I have provided a link.  Less than 20 seconds.

The finish applied in less than 5 minutes and appears quite durable.






As promised, I am providing finish details below.


“Finish” is probably misleading.  I used 1/2” nominal (probably 13mm) electrical shrink tubing in cut-it-yourself lengths.  I ordered 20 feet from Amazon.  When heated, it will shrink to about 1/4 inch diameter.  It took just seconds of heat from my heat gun to shrink it tight. 

Luckily the bakelite in the ball is very heat resistant, and the fiberglass is moderately heat resistant so no issues. It won’t chip, but if it ever rips, a length-wise slit will instantly remove it and allow a quick replacement.

Other notes: 

The round ball may be a tactical error.  If I place it on a flat surface it will roll off the surface.  I ground four divots in the ball to prevent that.  It did not turn out as tidy as I would like.

I have enough materials for three more sticks.  I will use this a bit before making the next. 

The advantages (as I see it) are:

1.  Very strong
2.  Light weight
3.  Sleek and elegant (an opinion— not necessarily a fact).
4.  Each stick will end up costing about $20.00 and assembled quickly.

I think I will make a “pistol” grip from hardwood.  (Though I really do like the feel of the ball in my hand when walking.  It allows a swinging motion that matches my gait.)

Ironically, the part of the job that I most feared (applying the finish) turned out to the easiest to accomplish.

Addendum:  I was finally able to embed the video, so no need for a link.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2023, 09:35 AM by Packard »

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4437
Re: I made a walking stick.
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2023, 11:35 AM »
Addendum:  I was finally able to embed the video, so no need for a link.

Ummm...  where did you hide it, @Packard

On a separate note, you might want to have a peek at The Olde Shillelagh for some outstanding options (and self defense might be a good option to consider).   [smile]
« Last Edit: August 06, 2023, 11:39 AM by Sparktrician »
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 2733
Re: I made a walking stick.
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2023, 02:15 PM »
The short video shows up on my iPad looking like a photo with moving parts and not like a video with an arrow to get started.

I was gifted a “self defense” walking stick a few years back.  It is made from a fiberglass golf shaft.  It is a couple of inches too tall for me, and there is no reasonable way to shorten it.

I also bought the Cold Steel African Walking Stick.  It required significant modifications. I easily shortened it. 

It is made from one piece of injection molded polypropylene.  It is made to mimic a black root stick with a large ball head.  I wear a size “large” glove, and I could not comfortably grasp the ball head. I think they made it that large to add mass, much like a lead weighted Irish fighting stick.  The stick is nearly indestructible, but still feels awkward and too heavy.

Surprisingly, Tractor Supply has a decent array of hand made root walking sticks.

Sur

Offline unknown user

  • Posts: 20
Re: I made a walking stick.
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2023, 06:35 PM »
My coworker had a custom bull reproductive organ cane made. We are consultants that work in high stress situations and often find ourselves dealing with clients who like to have a measuring contest if you know what I mean. He has on a few occasions placed said cane on the table making a statement such as "ok people this is my bull ... as you can see I have the largest ... in the room so lets settle down and act like educated adults"

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 2733
Re: I made a walking stick.
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2023, 06:55 PM »
My coworker had a custom bull reproductive organ cane made. We are consultants that work in high stress situations and often find ourselves dealing with clients who like to have a measuring contest if you know what I mean. He has on a few occasions placed said cane on the table making a statement such as "ok people this is my bull ... as you can see I have the largest ... in the room so lets settle down and act like educated adults"

Back in 1972, two things occurred in my life.  The first was that I had just finished reading John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, something that I probably should have been assigned to read in high school. 

The second was that my brother was getting married to a “Farmer’s daughter”. 

I came across the word “pizzle” in Grapes of Wrath and I had to look it up in the dictionary.  The dictionary definition said, “A bull’s penis; a whip made from a bull’s penis.”

Being a suburban kid, I had no concept of these things, especially the size, and I could not imagine it being used for a whip. 

At the wedding, which was being held on the farm, I approached “Pop-Pop” (Grandpa) and asked him about it.  He walked over to the wall and took down from a hook, a walking stick and said, “Don’t know nothin’ about no whips, but they sure make dandy walking sticks!”  When I stared in amazement he added, “heck, when I spend a hundred thousand dollars on a bull, I ain’t gonna throw out his best parts just because he up and died!” [eek]

That bull was still impregnating cows some 25 years after he died. 

Note:  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, $100,000.00 in 1972 is equal to $742,357.66 in 2023.  So Pop-pop was maximizing his investment.