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Contact Info
Ian Caldicott sticks@wolston.com

Care of Wooden Headed Crooks & Walking Sticks

Your new shepherd’s crook or walking stick has a handle or head made of wood.  All my sticks are tested when finished to be sure there is no fatal flaw in the wood but unlike a horn handle where the fibers of the horn follow the curve of the head, the grain of the wood does not and some spots will be weaker than others.  Sticks are typically finished with several layers of an oil finish (typically Tru Oil or Tung Oil) to bring out the color and the grain and then, in some cases, a couple of thin coats of polyurethane to protect it from the elements.

Here are a few tips for using your stick that will help you get many many years of use out of it.  

  1. Over time you may see the finish start to wear. If your stick has an oil finish simply apply several coats of the oil using a clean cloth. If the stick has a polyurethane coating then a good semi-gloss spray-on polyurethane can be used to restore the finish.
  2. When holding the stick out and waving it, be sure to hold it where the handle starts to curve away from the shaft or shank with the nose down not up. For walking sticks hold it by the center of the head in line with the shank 
  3. When leaning on your stick be sure to do so such that your weight is applying pressure straight down the shank (hold it at the start of the curve as above for a crook).
  4. Avoid holding the stick at or near the nose (the end of the curve on a crook) or by any protrusion for a walking stick.
  5. Don’t use your stick as a wedged barrier for blocking animals, if they run into it when both ends are fixed it will break.
  6. It is not recommended that you use your stick for catching livestock by the neck or foot.

I hope you enjoy your new crook as much as I enjoyed making it.  Thank you.