My routine in preparing a staff only varies slightly in reaction to the type of wood and the uniqueness in the way the stick has grown. I first remove the bark and shaping vine with a three inch dull bladed whittling knife. I find a leather golf glove is a prudent tool to have at this juncture. I then lightly sand down the rough spots with 180 grain sandpaper and apply Winsor Neuton Artist linseed oil as a sealant and moisturizer. From this point on, the owner will have a “blank” which awaits the touch of individuality.