Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Prudent Prepping: Spear Handle Part 2

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping.

In last week's blog post about finding a combination spear shaft/walking stick, I mentioned wanting to have a durable end for my stick after finishing the spear end. Like most of my plans, this one changed quickly; a local friend read that I was making a walking stick and that the down end would be finished after designing and shaping the spear end. He asked "Why didn't you ask me about making walking sticks? I do them for the Scouts all the time!"

So my walking stick is getting finished in exactly the opposite fashion than I expected. Typical.

Lee Valley Staff End
I wanted to use the Lee Valley Staff End marked "F". I like the look of brass, and there was no other reason for choosing it over the stainless steel version marked as "C".

Possible Choices

In the description of the tips it says,
"Measuring 1-3/4" long, the largest tip fits shafts with a 1" or larger end diameter and mounts with an included screw. To fit the large cane tip to the shaft, you can shape the shaft end freehand to match the tapered tip socket, or to apply a close-fit taper, you can use our 5/8" Veritas tapered tenon cutter (our #05J61.09)." 
My friend had a brass tip on hand and offered it to me, along with the use of his
taper cutter used primarily in chair making to taper legs, arm supports and back spindles. I decided to use the existing tapered end as my starting point, since major wood removal is involved in shaping the pole to accept the spear head.

Tapered Tenon Cutter
Taper Cutter In Action

Yes, the tenon cutter works just like the old school pencil sharpeners I had as a child, except this one weighs most of a pound and has a blade that can be resharpened. I originally tried to hold the cutter in one hand and twist the pole in the other to start cutting; this didn't work very well even with a razor-sharp tool, since the wood is very dense. I ended up placing the cutter on the floor between my feet and using both hands on the pole. This allowed me to push as hard as necessary and turn the pole at the same time. 

Half Way

It took most of 30 minutes to get the taper cut. 

Not all of that time was spent cutting, though. Since I'd never used this tool before, I stopped regularly to do test fits on the end and see how well the cutter worked. Interestingly enough, the cutter will NOT stop working when the proper amount of wood has been removed!

I did have one small problem with the cutter: the blade was loose when I borrowed it, because my buddy sharpened it before loaning it to me. That is entirely my fault for not checking the tool before use.

 Rubber Tip

The instructions says to drill a 1/8"dia. hole 1" deep into the center of the pole, so the included screw can hold the staff end onto the pole. I waited to drill the hole until after shaping the wood in case I had to call a 'Do Over' and chop off part of the taper, which seemed pretty wise when I discovered the loose screws holding the blade down.

This wood screw that anchors the cap to the pole  takes a #1 Robertson drive (also known a square drive) to install. I think this is used to keep someone from thinking this is a normally removed part.

The rubber tip is held on with a machine screw, not a wood screw. The machine screw can be bought at your favorite hardware outlet, but the rubber tips need to be ordered from Lee Valley.

Spear Point

The metal spike point threads into the same hole used to mount the rubber tip, but there is an extra step involved to make the spike secure: it has a hole through the base that requires a smaller than 1/8" dia. tool to really wind it down.

I used what I think was a 2-1/2" 6p finish nail. It is going into a pill bottle, along with all the parts, since I need to strip the existing finish and shape the spear mounting end. 

In the future, I am buying spare screws, rubber ends and possibly a spare spike, just because!

The Takeaway
  • I don't have the funds to buy everything I need, let alone the things I'd like to have; that means I need to ask around more to see who has tools and the expertise to make my jobs easier.

The Recap
  • Nothing was purchased by me for this project, but I will be replacing my friend's staff end. 
  • One Brass Staff End from Lee Valley, $19.50 each. This is not listed on Amazon.
  • If you are really serious about making lots of walking sticks, you could buy the 5/8"Tapered Tenon Cutter, also from Lee Valley for $39.50. 
Just a reminder: if you plan on buying anything through Amazon, please consider using our referral link. When you do, a portion of the sale comes back here to help keep this site running!

If you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Fine Print

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License

Erin Palette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to