Canes to Walk For
“Walking canes are not hard to make, in fact, they are very easy, enjoyable and rewarding. It depends on how much detail or carving you want to put into your creation. The sticks I use generally come from the woods in my back yard. I find them in the winter time when the leaves are off the trees. All you need are a few tools: a measuring tape, hand pruning cutters, and a hand limb saw. Not to mention, a creative imagination!
Before you determine the length of your cane, you might want to get a store bought cane as a sizing guide. A standard size cane is approximately 36” to 38” long and the diameter is 1” with a slight taper towards the foot. Also, before you start cutting away at the trees, you will want to look for the handle-to-be and think about the amount of carved features and shapes you will want for the handle: an angle, a ball, short or long angle, a curve or some other unusual form.
The limbs that seem to work the best for me come from Crab Apple, Hickory or Hard Maple trees. The limbs should dry for one season. Rasps and hand files can be used for shaping your handle, making sure to sand off any sharp edges! The foot of the cane can be completed with a brass or rubber end cap. To finish your cane, you can leave it natural, stain it or spar varnish can be used to protect your completed piece.
I hope this little story helps inspire woodworkers to try cane making. It really makes for a fun project!”
Happy Cane Makin’
George “The Cane Maker”