Posted by: Michael Keller Woodcarving | April 3, 2012

Rattle Snake and Dragon Walking Sticks

Recently, I completed 2 of several walking sticks that I will be doing before the summer.  Both are carved from aged Alaska Yellow Cedar and are approximately 67 inches high.
Aged Yellow Cedar is quite a bit harder than newer wood and so these are particularly stout.

One thing we have all experienced in carving walking sticks is holding the things so we can get tough with wood removal. This was a particular issue with it being hard wood.  Of several holding methods, I think the best that I have experienced is the Rockwell Jawhorse.  It is stout as heck and has hard rubber jaws.  In the very earliest stages of wood removal, I secured the sticks between the bench dogs on my carving table which works well.  The negative with that is that, I am bent over and it gets old.

When carving walking sticks, I don’t like adding head pieces… I would rather have the stick be all one piece.  Not only does it look better but it also makes a stronger stick.

These sticks are treated only with Howard Feed’n Wax which produces a nice patina on the Yellow Cedar.

Well Confucius is credited with saying “a picture is worth 10,000 words” so this blog is a bit of a photo essay rather than text.

First, the Dragon…

Dragon 1

Dragon 2

Dragon 3

Dragon 4

And, the Rattler…

Rattler 1

Rattler 2

Rattler 3

One cautionary note about carving rattle snakes;  they are a feisty critter so carve the head last so as not go get bitten.

Thanks for the visit and please also visit my web site at

Stay sharp and happy carving!


  1. Oh my God the dragon carving is amazing.

    • Thank you much! Dragons are lot of fun to do and seem to be quite popular.



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