Hiking Stick Maintenance
Maintain your hiking stick when necessary according to the following guidelines:
1) After several months of use, your hiking stick may need maintenance. If the surface looks dry or faded, as if the oil finish has worn, use a linseed oil based finish. Birchwood Casey tru-oil offers excellent outdoor protection. Our Natural Finish Oil is all natural food-grade alternative. Pay particular attention to the area of greatest wear and water immersion near the carbide tip. Don't overdo it! Finish oil treatments aren't needed if the original finish is still in good shape! Use very thin coats. Avoid a heavy build up of oil.
2) Warp: all wood is subject to internal stresses. This is caused by atmospheric moisture changes. Kingfisher Appalachian Hickory (and no other kind of wood) can be easily adjusted for straightness. This may be necessary for seasonal changes in your area or items shipped to differing climactic zones.
Consider that the wood has absorbed atmospheric moisture and the swelling or shrinking of fibers has caused an internal stress at the cellular level. By over-bending in the opposite direction of the warp, the stresses will be relieved.
First, sight down your hiking stick for straightness
A tree branch structure is is handy for leverage
With a thinner staff, it's often possible to straighten the wood by hand alone as shown above, however, this may take quite a bit of strength.
Above, Benny straightens a thick Iwama bokken however, this method is also fine for hiking staffs. We use the shop vise with softwood blocks to protect the surfaces. Notice in all of these photos that the wood is over-bent in the opposite direction of the warp. At first, try a bend, sight the weapon for straightness and repeat if necessary. If you've bent too much, simply bend it back.
If you have any trouble, send the hiking stick back to us and we'll fix or replace the item if it can't be adjusted.