How to: Make Saami-Inspired Ski-Poles

Category: Shelter / Difficulty Level: 1
Posted: 2018-08-09 12:08:39
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Here I am cataloging the process of making ski-poles to match the Saami inspired traditional skiis I made at the North House Folk School, in beautiful Grand Marais, MN. With resident instructor Ian Andrus leading the instruction.

These are made from square birch staves that we whittle and shape down to round 5ft long dowels - I would prefer to find the saplings that are already round to save this part of the process. I am sure starting off with milled rectangular stock helps ensure a consistent outcome for the students.

Traditionally the tips of the ski-poles were capped with reindeer antler. But that resource is scares and so we are capping off with cooper fittings. The basket of the ski-pole is made of a rawhide disk and laced in with rawhide strap around a birch wheel.

The wheel is steam-bent from a straight piece of birch.Twisted willow can be used in its stead. Lastly, we carve out a slot in the handle and add leather straps secured with a copper nail lodged in the carved out slot, and then sew leather on around the pole to finish off the grip.

The pole can then be finished with pine-tar to make it further water-proof and warp-resistent in wet winter-time use.

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