The "Walker Stick"


November 26, 2012, 08:51 PM
One of my hobbies is making walking sticks. I got a little bored over Thanksgiving. Between watching a little TV - well a lot of TV, I ventured into the man cave to work on a walking stick project. Recently, we have gotten into watching AMC(s) "The Walking Dead." Never thought I would get into a Zombie series, but the story line is great.

A few weeks ago, I purchased an ice axe walking stick handle from Treeline Woodcraft for $15.95. The shaft is a piece of oak that I cut about 35 years ago and had been sitting in the back of a closet. Guess you say its cured. The stain is Minwax Dark Walnut and the rubber tips I got off of ebay.

I spent a couple of hours rasping and sanding until everything fit. Then came the stain, followed by 5 coats of polyurethane. The axe head was a tight fit, but, I secured it with Gorilla Glue Epoxy.

A lot of folks have started carrying a cane for self defense as well as a medical device. My "Walker Stick" fits the bill for aggressive dogs, well as the occasional "Walker Zombie" LOL.

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November 26, 2012, 08:59 PM
Nifty website and nice work.

Owen Sparks
November 26, 2012, 10:41 PM
Nice work.

Any idea what it weighs?

November 26, 2012, 10:50 PM
That is nice!

Is the ice ax head actual polished brass, or is it plated something else??

Did you use the 3/8" all-thread, as well as the Gorilla Glue to attach it??


November 26, 2012, 10:53 PM
Very nice.

November 26, 2012, 10:53 PM
Well done.

November 26, 2012, 11:03 PM
Not sure on weight - its solid brass. Not too heavy for a walking stick handle, but has some heft.

rcmodel - It has good depth in the collar portion. About an 1.5 inches. I sanded the shaft down to where it was a tight fit. The Gorilla Glue Epoxy is some of the best, liberally applied to the inside, I really doubt it would ever come loose. I didn't see the need of using the threaded rod.

November 26, 2012, 11:08 PM
It sure would have added a lot of strength if you ever needed to whack a zombie though!!


November 26, 2012, 11:10 PM
What a novel idea for the head. I've always appreciated the functionality of the classic ice axe and in miniature on a walking stick would be a great nod to a mountaineering past for someone.

November 26, 2012, 11:35 PM
Very nice walking stick.

November 27, 2012, 07:44 AM
Really nice idea. I might make one myself, either to keep or send to my relative in Italy who was climber. Hmm, maybe I'll make two.

November 27, 2012, 08:36 AM
I like the way you worked it into a work of eye candy as well as being functional.

November 28, 2012, 05:37 AM
It's a variation on the Shepherd's Axe, ( which used to be a common tool in eastern Europe. Called variously fokos, ciupaga, or valaska, the Shepherd's axe was carried by - - you guessed it - - shepherds and others who traveled outdoors often.

Bram Stoker mentioned the Shepherd's Axe in Dracula:

Now and again we passed a leiter-wagon--the ordinary peasants's cart--with its long, snakelike vertebra, calculated to suit the inequalities of the road. On this were sure to be seated quite a group of homecoming peasants, the Cszeks with their white, and the Slovaks with their coloured sheepskins, the latter carrying lance-fashion their long staves, with axe at end.

United Cutlery has a "Kommando Survival Axe" ( that is obviously a Shepherd's Axe. I've been hoping that Cold Steel would make one, but so far no such luck. A good woodworker could probably make you one by using one of Cold Steel's tomahawk heads.

Among custom makers, Joseph Szilaski will make a Shepherd's Axe (and charge ABS Master Smith prices), as will Walk By Faith 777. (

You can also find them on eBay, both antique Shepherd's Axes and modern, hand-forged axe heads. (

They're a great tool.

Owen Sparks
November 28, 2012, 12:27 PM
A similar weapon on a long shaft was used to pull mounted knights off their horses in battle.

November 30, 2012, 11:53 PM
Double posted

November 30, 2012, 11:58 PM
Looks great! I'm with RC though, the all thread would make it stronger...

November 30, 2012, 11:58 PM
How does it feel in the hand after using it for a day? Is it comfortable? Does the angle of the handle feel correct when walking? Some of the hames I have tried don't fit my hand or the angle isn't comfortable to use all day. I ask cause I assume you attatched it square on the shaft, it is possible to make an angle when putting it on but if it would be more comfortable if it was a couple degrees off straight it might work better. Just asking in a round about way if straight works well or if it would be better angled a few degrees?

December 1, 2012, 08:00 AM
grumps - It really doesn't feel that bad. I've had a few friends look at it and like it also. I think Treeline is going to get some business from this one.

Just personal - but, I like the flat side to the rear better when carrying it. I wanted something unique, functional, different, and a nice conversation piece. It definitely fits the bill in all areas. Does it have the feel of some of the modern ergo style cane handles - NO. But, its in a class all of its own.

December 1, 2012, 08:40 PM
I just got one of these tops. Wondering what type of wood it should go, cocobolo, purpleheart, jatoba, or hickory.

December 1, 2012, 08:49 PM
I'd say you need 3 more handles :-)

December 11, 2012, 04:46 PM
Ultimately I went with the Jatoba. They make martial arts sticks out of it so it's plenty strong. Like the color with the brass too.

Mounting, I opted for a 3/8" bolt that I sunk into the wood (pilot hole then turned with a pipe wrench), then hack-sawed off the head and screwed on the handle. Will have picks once the finish is done.

December 12, 2012, 05:45 PM
PRM, you did a hell of a job on that walking stick, you should be very proud of the outcome of you labor:).

December 12, 2012, 06:11 PM
looks nice

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