I found a beautiful old walking stick at a second-hand store—a natural growth branch from some exotic hardwood.

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I found a beautiful old walking stick at a second-hand store—a natural growth branch from some exotic hardwood. The handle was broken off and was obviously going to require a dowel, but without a single straight or flat surface, lining up dowel holes proved next to impossible.

So, I drilled holes freehand as straight as possible and improvised a "dowel" from a bundle of bamboo cooking skewers. After adding epoxy to the holes, I poked the bundle in place, and fitted the pieces together. The skewers flex to offset any inaccuracies in my drilling.
—Thomas Rockey, Northfield, Minn.