"Semi-Old Fashioned" way of making a pole
With some spare time during late August, I finished off the carving with the crooked knife. Of course, the pole isn't perfect like a machined rod, but I'm happy with how it turned out. Following the advice of some online plans, I left the bottom 4 feet in an octagonal shape for looks and rigidity and then did my best to round out and gradually taper the remaining length.
Carving out by the fire pit
While I could've made a hardware store style copper pipe shoe, I ended up "splurging" for a specific accessory (and support the fledging canoe poling shoe industry) by ordering a cast bronze shoe from Bruce Hooke. A beautiful looking tip arrived promptly in the mail.
Bruce's Bronze Poling Shoe; Dimensions on rear
With a basic saw cut and then back cuts with a knife, the tip was worked down to fit to shape. This took some trial and error, but eventually, I got a nice tight fit.
Shaping the tip for the poling shoe
The left-over edges were then worked down to meet the edges of the shoe for a relatively seamless transition. Before mounting the shoe with the included screws, the pole was given thorough soaking in oil which really brought out the grain. Here is the result.
Mounted Brass Shoe
The finished product
There's a bit of warping at the other end of the pole, but there's a chance that I might shorten the length once I get a feel for its use and cut a portion of this upper part off. It seems many folks use a pole around 12 feet or so, but I've read some other sources that mention a length of 10 1/2 feet might suffice depending on technique and water depth. Now I just have to paddle to the nearby shallow creek and give it a try before the end of the paddling season creeps up.