While making Rat Puck Sticks for myself and my Maddy Adventurous, it occurred to me that if her little minion, I mean sister, didn't get her own that she would 1) Loudly and Consistently protest, and 2) Attempt to take others sticks from them. *SO* I decided to make her a Rat Puck Stick of her own, and document the process.
The first step of making your own custom Rat Puck Stick is to measure your height. We have a bathroom door reserved for this purpose (3 generations now) but you may have a door jam, a measuring stick, or poster reserved for this. Whichever is fine, but you need your height. In *this* case our measurement was 33 3/4". To get the length of your Rat Puck Stick you need to add 12" (or 1 foot) to your height. In our case we rounded up to 34, added 12, and got a total of 46".
The second step is to find a grove of trees small in diameter to scrounge your stick from. You dont want a stick off the ground, as it will be rotted and will not withstand the roughness of play. We used persimmon wood from this small stand growing in the West Pasture. We used a chainsaw to cut down 4 young trees who didn't make it through the Winter, but hadn't fallen down. They are not only still plenty strong, but also dried out.
Drag your tree home, cut the top off, measure your length from your stick's top, mark it, and cut your stick to size. You measure from the top because you don't want the bottom to be too thick and heavy.
Here's where it get's a little tricky. Decide how it's comfortable to hold your stick sideways (each stick is different), and cut a slot up from the bottom of your stick, in the middle of your stick, a few inches. I used a circular saw for this and it worked like butter, but a jig saw would also work very well, maybe even better. In a pinch a hack saw would also work, but I pity your arm muscles when you're done. After you make the first cut in the bottom of your stick you need to make a second cut so you have a ledge on the bottom of your stick to balance your cloth Rat Puck on while you toss it. I made my second cut at an angle to make it snazzy. but you can make your cut perpendicular if you want.
At this point you *could* "theoretically" be done. But you aren't, because YOU want an *exceptional* Rat Puck Stick. SO, next you then sand your rough Rat Puck Stick until it's as smooth a a baby's bottom. I used an orbital sanger for this, and it did a GREAT job! There is NO WAY little hands will manage to get a splinter of any kind while handling her Rat Puck Stick.
Leave plain, shellac, or paint. *thumbs up*