Diamond Willow w/ Elk Button Walking Stick

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Project by knottysticks posted 08-11-2010 09:23 PM 7058 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Diamond willow walking stick [ 42 inches tall ] topped with a Elk button . The spacer between the two is Caragana . The bottom is protected by a 3/4 ” brass tip which accepts the high quality rubber tips perfectly. I choose not to straighten the top area of the stick as it is at a nice angle to grasp the shaft just under the button . What's an Elk button ? SOLD

Wood – Diamond Willow
Spacer – Caragana
Top – Elk Antler
Bottom – Brass Tip
Finish – Satin Poly
Leather Hanging Strap w/ a Dragon’s Claw [ Jack Pine Cone ]

Thank you for your interest.

-- Everyday above ground is a good day.

10 comments so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3993 days

#1 posted 08-11-2010 09:33 PM

Very nice.

I’ve done a little work with diamond willow. Based on the pictures it looks like you pealed some bark and did some sanding. I assume you did strictly hand sanding.

It also looks like to applied some kind of finish. Could you tell us how you finished this?

FWIW – When I have worked with it I found that I could not do much sanding without compromising the details of the appearance and the only finish I used was multiple coats of very thinly applied spray on lacquer.

Also – Most walking sticks are essentially decorative items and diamond willow certainly is decorative. I would be leery to use it on a walking stick that may need to provide some real support for someone. It does not seem very strong to me. Do you agree?

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25485 posts in 4024 days

#2 posted 08-11-2010 09:37 PM

Very nice! Is the diamond willow from Minnesota?

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View knottysticks's profile


296 posts in 3947 days

#3 posted 08-11-2010 10:59 PM

Thanks Rich , yup sanding is a real challenge with all the bumps and dips and the like in the diamond willow. I sand up to a 400 grit . I do a lot of hand sanding in the hard to reach nooks and cranies . But you can use power sanders in many spots as well . 1/4 sheet sander held at 45* rolling it along open areas of the shaft works as well , also a Dermel detail sander w/ differently shaped heads will get you into tighter spots , but I mainly use a flex shaft Foredom + a Dermel with rubies , mini-drum sanders, mini-flap wheels , ceramic stones and 3M bristles . Using a flex shaft and these small stones and sanding bits really helps to keep the willows’ details in place and not lose them to sanding.
Regarding the bark , I prefer the rustic look of the inner bark left with-in the diamonds , it is darker and stands out more than when ALL the inner bark is removed from the inside of the diamond . But this really depends on the piece of diamond willow you have in front of you at the time . Every piece is different to work with , young willow has more white sap wood [the weaker wood] and less of the nice reddish dead heart wood at it’s centre [which is stronger] . So sometimes it’s nice to leave some/all the white outer sap wood to contrast the darker heart wood or the darker diamonds . Other times you may find a standing dead piece of willow with little or no white sap wood leaving you a dark stronger piece of wood. Refer to - Tom'BUG'Janos's comment here regarding willow's strength . So 1st with a heat gun I straigthen the stick with the bark on . Remove the bark and maybe wood [to reduce the size of a larger stick or just the white sap wood] , then shape the diamonds and work to create a flow down the shaft . The shaping slowly turns into sanding.
I intend or at least hope my sticks will be used and get scatched , so I choose to use finishes the owner could should they wish repair themselves . This stick is finished with wipe-on poly ,normally I apply between 6 or 8 coats of poly . This wipe on poly is easy to repair and reapply , I also use danish oil because of this . I have been favoring a satin finish .

-- Everyday above ground is a good day.

View knottysticks's profile


296 posts in 3947 days

#4 posted 08-11-2010 11:05 PM

Thanks Jim , I find my diamond willow locally here in Saskatchewan Canada , its all over the place.

-- Everyday above ground is a good day.

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 4446 days

#5 posted 08-12-2010 12:14 AM

Nice one!

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View AustininKC's profile


33 posts in 3768 days

#6 posted 08-12-2010 12:36 AM

Very nice work!

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3831 days

#7 posted 08-12-2010 04:09 PM

Very Nice! You are so lucky to have diamond willow, just to be found.
I love your work! I am having trouble finding brass tips I can order them from TreeLine but I don’t like them.
Do you have a source? or do you turn your own.
Thanks and Great Work!

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View knottysticks's profile


296 posts in 3947 days

#8 posted 08-13-2010 04:28 PM

Thanks Woodenfrog I guess we are lucky but 99% of people here still can’t find diamond willow even after you show it to them , I think because one clump of willow may have diamonds but the clumps on all 4 sides of it may have no diamonds at all ! More about finding it here..
Regarding tips you are so right I’ve been unable to find anyone who still supplys the plain brass tip [cap] , I don’t care for these heavy tips with pointy ends and and tiny rubber ends which the customers are unable to replace – I think the old tips may have been shipped over from europe . I use to order mine from Lee Valley but they no longer carry them . Perhaps if enough of us request the old style brass tip from them they may find a new supplier. The old tips would fit the high quailtly rubber tips perfectly .

-- Everyday above ground is a good day.

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4924 days

#9 posted 08-13-2010 04:47 PM

Lovely little cane.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3831 days

#10 posted 08-13-2010 08:14 PM

Thanks knottysticks, I guess we might have to do that.
Thanks for the info on the diamond willow, I have not used it but would like to someday.

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

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