Waxing a Walking Stick
I was pretty desperate for something on this, day eleven of my 30 days of creativity. Fortunately, I was able to come up with something. The previous project (Moleskine-like notebook) involved the use of some beeswax that I had previously misplaced. Now that I knew where it was, I could put the final finish on a project I started over six months ago.
|Figure 1. Rubbing on beeswax|
|Figure 1. Melting beeswax with a heat gun|
I prefer natural finishes on my walking sticks and previously had good results with beeswax. I think I read about doing that in a book somewhere. The beeswax feels good in the grip (ever so slightly sticky, but not too much) and gives the wood a subtle but pleasant luster. Sooooo, I got out the old beeswax and rubbed it all over the surface of said walking stick. It almost looked good. Almost.
|Figure 3. Willow walking stick|
Heating the Beeswax
You see, cold beeswax does not spread evenly on wood so the surface of the stick was covered with little globules of wax. Rubbing the stick hard with the palm of my hand to warm the wax did distribute it a little better, but not very well.
It was some time later (a couple of months) that I hit upon the way to get it to look good. I heated the wax with a hot air gun and that melted it it right away, distributing it evenly and in a very thin coat all over the stick. This heating process darkened the wax it slightly too, giving the walking stick a nice warm look. Done.
I might even make some more of these and sell them for ten or twelve bucks on Craig's List. I must have at least a dozen more branches of suitable dimensions for some pretty cool walking sticks.
Since revisiting my willow supply I have also tried turning willow on a lathe and it comes out well. It is light and easy to work material.