This section is from the book "The Boy Mechanic Vol. 2 1000 Things for Boys to Do", by Popular Mechanics Co.. Also available from Amazon: The Boy Mechanic, Vol2: 1000 Things for Boys to Do.
A ski staff will greatly assist progress over level stretches and is an aid to the ski runner in preserving his balance. A homemade staff that is easy to construct is shown in Fig. 1. At the upper end is a narrow leather loop for the wrist; at the extreme lower end a spike is placed for use on icy ground, and just above this spike is a disk, or stop, which, in deep snow, prevents the staff from sinking in too far and gives the necessary leverage for steering, propelling or righting oneself as needed.
The staff is made of a piece of bamboo pole, 1 1/4 or l 1/2 in. in diameter, and 4 1/2 ft. long. The leather for the loop can be made from an old strap, shaved down thinner and cut to a width of about 1/2 in. The stop is a disk of wood, 1/2 in thick and 5 in. in diameter. This material should be well-seasoned white pine or spruce and coated with shellac. A hole is bored through the center of the disk to let it pass upward on the staff about 6 in. Here it is fastened with two pieces of heavy wire, A and B, Fig. 2. In this diagram, C is the staff, and D, the stop or disk. The wire A passes through the staff below the wire B and at right angles to it, wherefore the wire B must be bent as shown. Both wires are fastened to the stop with staples.
Ill: The Staff, being Made of a Bamboo Pole, is Strong as Well as Light
The lower end of the staff, as shown in Fig. 3, is plugged with hard wood, which is bored part way through its center to admit a wire spike. Slight recesses are made in the sides of this hole to anchor the lead which is poured in around the spike. The point of the latter is sharpened and then the bamboo wound with waxed twine, or fine wire, to prevent its splitting.
([Fine emery cloth, glued to both sides of a piece of bristol board, makes a handy tool for cleaning the platinum points of a vibrator.