Making a hockey stick isn’t that challenging and could be a fun DIY project that will help you better understand this piece of equipment. It’s relatively cheap, and dare we say, a fun way to obtain a hockey stick.
The real fun lies in the customization hockey sticks. While professional players have to adhere to rules and regulations, amateur players do not. And you can definitely sneak a one-inch curve on your blade to the recreational play with friends.
So, without further ado, let’s get started on how to make a hockey stick.
Table of Contents
Materials and tools
Here’s a list of tools and materials you’ll need to make a hockey stick:
- Rectangular hardwood lumber (ash, maple, or oak)
- Hockey blades (optional)
- Band saw, jigsaw, or a handsaw
- Wood rasps, sandpaper, Scotch Brite pad
- Boiled Linseed Oil, Wax, or Lacquer
- Athletic tape
- The hardwood lumber should measure 1″ x 2″ nominal size if you’re using store-bought fiberglass hockey blades. This lumber measures ¾ “x 1½” when dry, which is slightly larger than the cross-cut dimensions of a hockey stick (¾ “x 1⅙”). The lumber should be 63″ long.
- If you’re making a wooden OPS hockey stick (single piece), you’ll need a 1″ x 15″ if available. A wooden board of those or higher measurements will work as well. As long as it’s 63″ long, you’ll be able to trace the hockey stick to create a cutting pattern.
In this section, we’ll walk you through the cutting process and the assembly of your DIY hockey stick. We’ll go through two different builds for hockey sticks, one two-piece build, and another one-piece build, so you may decide what works best for you. And we’ll start by drawing a hockey stick shape on our 1″ x 15″ lumber. So you can learn how to create diy hockey sticks for you or anyone else.
Step 1: Draw a hockey stick shape
This step requires you to draw a hockey stick shape or at least trace an existing stick. Tracing an existing stick is easier, but you can always download the hockey stick shape of the internet, print it, and trace it onto the material.
Eventually, you can draw the hockey stick shape by hand, but we wouldn’t recommend it because of the blade lie angle. However, if you choose to do so, here are the exact measurements:
- Shaft length: 63″ max
- Shaft cross-cut height: 1.16 inches on a pro stick, our measurements sit at 1.17 ( 1⅙”).
- Shaft cross-cut width: ¾”
- Blade curve angle (lie): anywhere between 43° and 47°
- Blade length: 12″ – 13″
- Blade height: 2″ – 3″
- Blade width
On the other hand, if you’re making a two-piece hockey stick, you can skip drawing or tracing the shape and immediately proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Cut out the pattern
Once you’ve drawn or traced the hockey stick shape onto the material, it’s time to move onto cutting. For OPS (one-piece-stick) build, we advise that you use a jigsaw because it’s exceptionally good at cutting curves. A traditional handsaw will also work, but it will require additional effort when cutting the blade.
Once your initial shape is cut, it’s time to do some rough shaping. Use wood rasps to rough-shape the shaft to the appropriate size. Progress down the shaft until you reach the blade area. The blades are usually thinner than the stick’s shaft, so you’ll have to create a taper towards the blade section.
We would recommend that you taper down to the blade area and make the blade thickness of ½” – ⅝”. You can leave the blade at ⅝”, and then carve the slight curve to avoid the hassle of bending the wood later to create the blade curves.
The steps are pretty much the same for the two-piece build, except you’re just shaping the shaft. Use wood rasps to get the lumber to approximate measurements. Taper the corners of one end down to create the socket profile for the store-bought fiberglass blade.
Once everything is cut and roughly shaped, it’s time to move onto sanding.
Wood rasps are great for rough shaping and creating profiles in wood. However, they have a big bite for faster material removal, leaving rough marks in the wood. So, it’s best to smooth everything out using sandpaper.
For this, you’ll need:
- 120-grit sandpaper
- 220-grit sandpaper
- Some water, preferably in spray-bottle
Start by sanding everything down using 120-grit sandpaper until you smooth out the marks left by the wood rasp. Once that’s done, sand everything down once again, using the 220-grit sandpaper. You don’t really need to go higher than 220-grit, because you don’t want a super-smooth surface that would impede your grip.
Once the sanding is done, clean the entire piece of wood with a brush or blow it with compressed air. Next, spray the whole piece with water, and leave it to dry. You want to use a moderate amount of water to get the wood wet but not drenched or soaking wet. Spraying the piece with water is crucial since it lifts the loose wood fibers when it dries.
Once the piece is dry again, you can then sand everything down again, without applying much pressure, to remove those fibers. That way, you’re reducing the formation of splinters and cracks in the material. You’re also preparing the material for oil application and/or waxing. You don’t need to spray the wood with water and re-sand it if you’re applying lacquer to your hockey stick.
Our next step includes applying a finish to the wood. If you’re making a two-piece build, now would be a good time to glue the store-bought fiberglass blade to the end of your wooden stick. You can gradually heat the blade using a blowtorch and apply pressure to create the desired blade curves.
Lacquer the stick
There are two different finishes you can apply to your hockey stick:
- Boiled linseed oil and wax finish
- Paint or lacquer
Boiled linseed oil and wax are the easiest but the most time-consuming process. Use a brush, roller, or a cloth to apply the first coat of linseed oil to your wooden piece. Generously coat the wood with linseed oil until the surface is wet but not puddled.
Keep the surface looking wet for the next 30 minutes. After that, your wooden piece should be saturated with oil, and any excess should be wiped off. After applying the initial coating, watch your piece to see if any excess oil is bubbling to the surface, and wipe the excess off with a cloth.
Once the surface is no longer tacky to the touch, it’s time to apply the second coat. It would be best if you gently sanded the wood with some high-grit sandpaper, or some Scotch Brite pads, beforehand. Reapply the oil as we described above, and leave the wood to dry. Once the piece dries, do not sand it down.
Just apply the third and final of the few coats of boiled linseed oil, and watch for any excess. Wipe off the excess, let the oil cure, and then apply some wax finish to add depth and smoothness to your wooden stick.
Painting is much easier, as you can apply the primer to the wood and then apply the paint once the primer cures. The same goes for using lacquer. Just make sure to clean any dust off your wooden stick before applying any type of finish.
Wrap the handle
When the finish on our hockey stick cures, it’s time to wrap the handle. Use some athletic tape to wrap the handle, using the following method.
Start by applying a layer of the athletic tape on the butt-end of your stick. Pull out some extra tape, twist it into a cord, and then apply it down the shaft towards the blade, creating a spiral. Once you’ve satisfied with the length of your grip, you can use the flat piece of tape to secure the end of the tape-cord. Then just tape the stick up back to the butt-end of the shaft, applying tape like you usually would.
Twisting the tape into a cord and spiraling it down the stick shaft at a certain distance creates a grip texture for your handle. Applying the tape over that secures the spirally-wrapped tape-cord in place, creating a textured grip for your DIY hockey stick.
You can additionally coat the blade with athletic tape to reduce its wear and any chance of chipping. Furthermore, if you really want to challenge yourself, use a wood veneer as a base material instead of lumber.
You can stack different veneer types and bind them using flexible resins or other types of adhesives to create a wood laminate. This would significantly increase your hockey stick’s flex, especially if you coat them using some kind of resin. Also, if you’re feeling up for it, try out a slap shot with the new stick.
Making DIY hockey sticks can be an enjoyable project. We’ve explained the basic process, so it’s up to you to take it, improve it, and step into the rink wielding a sword you forged with your own hands. Well, it’s a hockey stick, but still – you made it.