Project - Feather Sticks

Status
Not open for further replies.

Wentworth

Bear Mears
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
2,664
Reaction score
117
Location
Blue Mtns
Task: Make a Feather Stick

Author/Instructor: Wentworth

Tools: knife

TIP: use a strop or stone to ensure your knife is sharp before starting this project.

See the following links for information on stone sharpening and stropping:
http://bushcraftoz.com/forums/showthread.php?5345-Sharpening-knives-with-stones
http://bushcraftoz.com/forums/showthread.php?5245-Stropping

Materials:
1 stick 20 to 30cm long of thumb thickness. The wood must be bone dry. Standing deadwood can be split to form the thumb thick piece.
The stick should be free of knots and side shoots.

Description: To use specific knife grips to make a feather stick

Learning Outcomes: Ability to select suitable timber to produce a featherstick. Ability to use and control a Forehand Grip to shave timber

Assessment Criteria: To successfully complete this project you must present :
- A photo of a feather stick which shows (5) complete curls (feathers).
- Each curl must form a complete circle
- A photo showing a bushcraft knife being held in a Forehand Grip position
- You must include the date on which the task took place

Skills required: Selection of suitable timber. Forehand grip

Time needed: 5 minutes

Take a stick 20 to 30cm long and of thumb thickness. Standing deadwood is best.
Strip the bark from the stick.

Tip: A stick that has a right angle formed along the length will be easiest to carve. These angles will naturally be formed with each knife stroke, but you can carve these "facets" onto the stick before proceeding.

feather1.jpg

  • Clear the ground of any rocks or sticks.
  • Kneel on the ground, holding the end of the stick in your non dominant hand.
  • Push the end of the stick against the ground in front of you.
  • Hold your knife in the forehand grip
  • Keep the dominant arm straight.
  • Carve a thin "feather" down the length of the stick, maintaining a constant angle between knife and stick.
feather2.jpgfeather3.jpg

If the angle formed between the knife and the stick is too obtuse, the blade will dig in too much.
If the angle formed between the knife and the stick is too acute, the blade will slip on the stick.


After carving a thin feather, angle the spine of your knife away from the stick. This will force the feather outwards, where it will not be accidentally cut away by the next knife stroke.

feather4.jpg

Your first knife cut will have created two new "facets" or angles along the length of the stick. Use these angles to carve the next feathers.
Continue until you have a tightly packed group of feathers.

  • If the blade is kept at a right angle to the stick, the feathers will curl in a tight, uniform loop.
  • If the blade is angled tip down, the feathers will spiral to the right (for a right hander).
  • If the blade is angled tip up, the feathers will spiral to the left (again, for a right hander).
feather5.jpg

The more curls or spirals, the better it will be for fire lighting.

feather6.jpgfeather7.jpgfeather8.jpg

By using the tip of the knife, tiny curls can be carved. These can be lit using the sparks from a firesteel.

feather9.jpg

The following photo shows three grades of featherstick.
feather11.jpg

  • The featherstick on the left has no curls and is unsuitable for wet weather fire lighting.
  • The featherstick in the middle is moderately useful, but must have preprepared tinder to light it.
  • The featherstick on the right has tiny curls at the base (hidden) which can be lit with a firesteel.
Your Assessment:

Date: This project was completed on {insert date here}

Picture 1 Showing a featherstick with 5 complete curls :

{insert your picture here}


Picture 2 Showing a Forehand Grip in use :

{insert your picture here}
 
Last edited:

Wentworth

Bear Mears
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
2,664
Reaction score
117
Location
Blue Mtns
Sample Assessment:

Date: This project was completed on 13/05/13

Picture 1 Showing a featherstick with 5 complete curls:

stick1.jpg


Picture 2 Showing a Forehand Grip in use:

stick2.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top