Inspect the stilts, especially the feet, regularly. Sand any nicks or splintering. Refinish with Varathane or Spar Varnish as needed. Left untreated, they allow moisture to permeate the wood, which will eventually weaken the stilts.
Unless you have purchased additional finish, Frog Legs Stilts come with a single coat of teak oil (or when requested varathane or spar varnish). This first coat seals the wood from moisture.
with Three Coats
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TEAK OIL: At least once a year consider applying another coat of teak oil (or tong oil). Then you can also apply and buff a good wood wax for shine.
If you feel it necessary, you can also add spar varnish or marine grade polyurethane over the tead oil to give more harness to the wood.
VARNISH: If your stilts were varnished, adding additional coats of either varnish or paint will increase wear-resistance and protection from the elements. Three coats of Spar Varnish or Varathane make the stilts look very nice. (If you prefer, we will add two additional coats of finish for a modest fee.)
If you decide to add additional finish yourself, there are a few things you should know:
Ideally, you should repeatedly sand and coat all the wood with Varathane or Spar Varnish for at least three layers - four or five would be best. You must lightly sand between each application using at least 300 grit paper. Several layers of Spar Varnish or Varathane make the wood look REALLY nice. You can expect this process to take several days, however, since you must wait for each coat to dry.
Or you can apply any sturdy paint of your choice. Again, three or more coats are recommended for a fine finish.
Personalize your Stilts
There are a number of fun things a young one might want to do to his or her stilts. Adding pinstripe, bicycle tape to the handles, painting their name to the stilts, or adding decals will all add a very personal touch to their stilts. We wish there was some reason to clothes-pin playing cards to them (like we did to our bicycle spokes when we were kids), but we just can't see one right now.
Protecting the Feet
Splitting stilts bottoms: When the bottom pads for the uprights eventually wear away (this would likely not happen for a long time) you could do one of two things: (1) you could attach a new pad to the bottoms with glue and a screw. This would renew that feature of the stilts. Or, (2) you could do nothing more than tightly wrap glass tape (the tape with glass strands embedded in it) around the bottom-most tips of the uprights. This will add strength to the vertical grain, and will help to reduce vertical splitting.
Another approach would be to coat the bottoms of the uprights with epoxy resin, and maybe with fiberglass as well. This will give the bottom tips great wear-resistance, but you must never walk on fine floors with these tips.
To make the ends skid-resistant for use in the house: Adding rubber cane tips was an early idea. We did searching at pharmacies and on the Internet. The result was: They make such for canes and crutches, but we could find nothing that would work for our stilt tips. Too, the cost for the tips for canes and crutches was about two to three dollars. To keep the cost of the stilts down, we were forced to abandon that, and other, ideas.
Another idea you may try is to get any "sheet" rubber (bicycle inner tube rubber may work) and simply glue a piece to the bottoms. This would benefit in two ways, (1) the tips will be slip-resistant, and (2) the rubber will help to prevent sharp rocks from splitting the tips.
Coating the bottom tips with Shoe-Goo should add a measure of protection against slipping on very smooth surfaces. Re-coating may be necessary from time to time.
Here is another very good possibility! I am currently experimenting with a plastic rubber compound that may do just what we need. The brand I have found is called "Plasti Dip" and it's made by Performix. I bought my can at a Home Base store, but it should be found at other hardware outlets. It is easy to apply. Please let me know how this, or other such applications work for you.
Do you have pictures of stilts that you have decorated? Send them to us and we will post them in our upcoming Stilts Gallery
Tell Us About It!
We are still learning about the stilts design, stilts materials, and how to package our toys. If you find anything that works best, please pass on to us any helpful suggestions. It would be great to hear from you. Please contact us!
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