Making a staff, and woodcarving in general!

edited March 2014 in The Pub

Hi all!

Yesterday me and a friend decided that we would make me a staff, of the mage variety. We got as far as whittling off the bark, sanding the surface smooth, and carving the top and bottom of the handgrip, which I plan to make fairly ornate. Later I'm going to treat the wood with beeswax and olive oil to make it more water resistant and glossy.

Anyway, I was just wondering if anybody here had any experience or advice in woodcarving, any cool designs or resources, examples of their own work, or things like that :)

Pictures Below:

This was the original branch as we found it.

Me stood with the whittled and sanded staff.

Starting carving the handgrip!



  • csimoncsimon Acadiana
    edited March 2014

    Hope this helps. I just googled an episode of "How It's Made" that I saw last weekend because I remembered them bending, and shaping, and scoring these things. Enjoy.

  • d3k0yd3k0y Loveland, OH
    edited March 2014

    From what I have heard the most comfortable grip is to be able to touch your fingers to your thumb as you hold it. Since that is what you are working on currently. I have always though a nice walking stick would be good for my hikes, going downhill bothers my knees.

  • RahnalH102RahnalH102 the Green Devout, Veteran Monster Hunter, Creature Enthusiast New Mexico

    The advice I could give depends on what tools you have access to. Tell me what you got access to whether it's just a pocket knife or full on woodshop.

    Design wise, I personally would use a pencil (pen works too but ya know, not erasable, and can dig into the wood) and sketch out a design directly on the staff. Then burn or carve accordingly. Maybe add some holes or sockets to attach "mystical" trinkets and gems to.

    As for resources and designs, I don't have much for that. Deviant Art is generally a good place to look though despit the name or rep. If I need some inspiration for a project I generally browse similar works to get my creativity going. For Example here is a link to a Group on DeviantArt for Wands. Yeah I know, those are toothpicks compared to what you got, but there are some good designs you might get inspiration from in there as well as a tutorial or two that might help with carving them.

    Oh and uhh ... [insert bad joke about "wood"] :nudge: .

  • A sharp knife, hammer, screwdriver and a saw are pretty much the only tools I have access to at the moment, although I suppose I could buy more. I don't have a fancy workshop or anything like that! I did find marking stuff out with a pencil before I started carving very useful :)

    I was planning to make some decoration for the top out of copper and wire, and some gemstones I have, but I guess we'll see what I come up with!

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI

    I made a really nice walking stick/staff when I was 13. I still have it, and it still looks great. Unfortunately, it's about 150 miles away from me right now at my vacation property, but next time I go up there I'll bring it home and get photos of it. I miss it anyway :)

  • RahnalH102RahnalH102 the Green Devout, Veteran Monster Hunter, Creature Enthusiast New Mexico

    Well the knife is all you actually NEED. If you want things to go faster you'll want others, but slow and steady won't hurt.

    Cheap tools I would suggest are a basic woodburning kit and a small rotary tool kit.

    Prices will depend on the power of the tool and the number of extra pieces it comes with. ~$22 per kit would be a rough estimate.

    In this case woodburning is basically what they said in the video; natural staining but you can also design patterns and whatnot into it. If woodburning isn't something you want to do with your staff by all means skip it.

    The rotary tools will provide more ways to carve and sand your work. Good for bringing extra finesse and polish to your work.

    I did some more looking around and found this lady's website. Looks pretty handy for artisan crafts in general. This little section about relief carving should help you out if need be.

    And remember to be safe about your work. Don't cut towards yourself or others. Keep a firm grip and balance on you and your piece while carving. If you can only buy one thing for this it's got to be a whetstone or some other tool to sharpen your knife if you don't already have one. A dull knife is the most dangerous knife.

  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)>

    @RahnalH102 said:
    A dull knife is the most dangerous knife.

    Just to re-emphasize.

  • d3k0yd3k0y Loveland, OH
    edited March 2014

    Sharp Knives save Lives!

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