Each piece of wood is individually selected for its unique characteristics. All carvings you see, including the distinctive spirals and grooves, are individually hand carved. Each piece is discreetly signed near the bottom and we will happily personalize it by adding "Hand carved for ??" with the users name. I do not use machine power tools, such as a lathe or duplicator, to produce the designs on my pieces. I occasionally use power tools, such as a table saw, to rough out wood to width, such as when I re-saw premium woods.
When starting a new piece using a premium wood, which represents the vast majority of the woods I carve today, I use the table saw to remove a long, slender sample of a suitable size from the source plank or slab. This piece of wood is then squared to about 1.5" x 1.5" and cut to length. The squared blank must then be rounded and tapered to produce a carving blank. After I shape the handle area(s), I lay out the carving design on the raw wood using masking tape, which I measure frequently as it is wrapped around the blank to ensure accuracy. Hand carved doesn't mean "winging it" for me. I use a variety of rasps, files and knives to produce the desired design and then use a succession of sand paper grits to produce the smooth finish.
After the sanding has been completed, I sign each piece before applying the various coats of finish. For protection from the elements, multiple coats of tung oil are hand applied.
When I started carving walking sticks and hiking staffs many years ago, my primary source of wood was sapling trees recovered from forestry silviculture thinnings. Most clients now request pieces carved from the many premium woods I offer. However, I continue to carve sapling pieces when requested and the photo's below show the sequence of steps involved when saplings are used. The hand tools shown are still the primary tools I use to carve all pieces.