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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Eucalyptus Walking Stick With Epoxy

I spent a lot of time this week doing things other than working on my projects so I'm going to write a brief post about a walking stick that I made not too long ago. This is a stick that my son and I found while walking around a creek near our house. There are a lot of eucalyptus trees in the area and also a lot of sticks naturally. This stick is about an inch in diameter (more or less) and about 4 feet long. The end that eventually became the handle was "crackled" and dark as if it had been used as a poker in a fire.
My son and I thought that it looked neat and we walked around with it all day. Since there are so many sticks around the creek area there we figured that taking one home wouldn't be a problem. Once we got it home we sanded it smooth and got all the loose bark off of it.
Walking Stick With Epoxy Back Fill
Once we got all the loose stuff off with rough sanding and a stiff wire brush we did a bit more smooth sanding with #200 grit sandpaper. There are a lot of neat little crackled features (and a few big cracks) in the stick that made it a bit rough ever after the sanding. To fill those in we mixed up some grey two part epoxy and smeared it all over the wood, working it into the cracks and leaving it as smooth as we could leave it with gloved hands.
Click the jump below to read a little bit more and for a close up picture of the handle end of the stick.


After letting the epoxy dry for a day we then started rough sanding it again and finally working down to #400 grit paper. At that point we switched over to wet sanding with #600 and finally #1200 grit. At this point is is really smooth and the epoxy effectively sealed the wood to make wet sanding possible. It has a very smooth and porcelain finish to it.
Walking Stick
The picture above is of the handle end and you can see the epoxy in the cracks. The contrast between the epoxy and the wood gives it a really neat look.
Sorry that I don't have more pictures of the "in process" making of this but as I mentioned I made this awhile ago and didn't have anything else to blog about this week - being a bit busy with other things. Have a look at the Site Index of Projects or scroll back and read some other interesting things that I have written about.

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