Blackthorn Shillelagh

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Project by Rafe Demers posted 02-18-2014 05:48 PM 1890 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a Shillelagh style walking stick I made and donated as an auction piece for a benefit in support of a good friend who is recovering from a long battle with leukemia. My friend is an amazing musician who specializes in Traditional Irish Music as well as an accomplished Luthier. He actually played at our wedding a number of years back. After hearing of the benefit I thought it would be a great idea to make something special to donate. This Shillelagh style walking stick was made with a Big Leaf Western Maple Burl handle and natural Blackthorn shank. I incorporated a brass collar and ferrule tip and finished it with several coats of Danish Oil and A few top coats of Gun Stock Finish. It was a great honor to do something for my friend and the benefit, the stick was auctioned off and is now owned by a very generous woman who came out to support.

Thanks for looking.


-- Rafe Demers

3 comments so far

View bondogaposis's profile (online now)


5870 posts in 3229 days

#1 posted 02-18-2014 06:50 PM

Really, really nice. Where do you get blackthorn?

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Rafe Demers's profile

Rafe Demers

71 posts in 2863 days

#2 posted 02-18-2014 07:56 PM

Thanks very much. I have an acquaintance in England that I met online a couple years ago. It is a beautiful material and an absolute pleasure to work with but it is very expensive to ship from the UK. I ordered a few small batches and will order when I get requests for it. I also found a nursery in MI that sells the plants and planted 6 seedlings last year. I will have to wait a long time to harvest sticks from them but thought it would be cool to grow my own and assist with the difficulty in acquiring the material.

-- Rafe Demers

View mmh's profile


3680 posts in 4600 days

#3 posted 02-22-2014 02:54 PM

Very nicely executed. The handle looks natural to the shaft even if different materials and looks like it would be comfortable to use.

I like the idea of growing and harvesting one’s wood source. I have always dreamed of doing just that and now I live in a wooded area, but alas, the trees are mostly red oak which is too coarse for my liking. Since I use many domestic and exotic woods, I would need quite a tropical and vast orchard to grow the many specie of wood that I use. Life is way too short and it seems that the trees are always greener on the other side of the fence.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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