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Thread: Walking cane information needed (Updated with Pics)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Lafayette, Indiana

    Walking cane information needed (Updated with Pics)

    Hello everyone. A couple weeks ago I was involved in an accident and although most of my injuries were minor I did come away with a broken ankle. I've been using crutches to get around on but my Dr. advises me now to start putting weight on my ankle as I learn to walk again. I would like to be able to get rid of my crutches soon and start using a cane. So I think in an effort to keep myself busy I thought I would try to make a walking cane myself. I have been doing some reading about it but most of the projects I've read about use a single solid piece of wood then shaped to size either by hand or turned on a lathe.
    My question for you is do you think a cane would be just as strong if I were to glue up several different contrasting woods together then shaped or turned? I'm thinking maybe walnut or cherry and some other exotic wood in the center? As long as the grain all runs lengthwise wouldn't a glue up be strong enough. I'm just thinking if I'm going to make one I would like it to be special.
    Any ideas or tips?
    Last edited by Tom Baugues; 07-13-2015 at 09:03 PM.
    It's not what you achieve in life...It's what you overcome!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Since, typically, long grain glue-ups using modern glues (like Titebond, etc.) are stronger than the woods themselves, your laminated cane ought to be plenty strong enough.

    Lee Valley has some nice cane hardware in their catalogs.
    Jim D.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Thank you Jim.
    It's not what you achieve in life...It's what you overcome!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV
    Hey, Heal up soon Tom! Sorry to hear about it, but I'm sure you'll make an awesome stick!
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    S E Washington State
    It was the motor cycle, right? Hope you heal quickly. I have a cane, ready for when or in case. It was my Grandfathers, that my folks gave him when he got feeble enough to need one. That was back in 1946. I have had to use it for a short while when I had back surgery. I know it works.

    Please post what you come up with.
    "We the People ......"

  6. #6
    I have several canes (I got run over 44 years ago). Two have solid shafts, one is acrylic and the one I used most is laminated. Actually, I walked with that cane for three years. In addition, I glued up a walking staff, walnut and maple in a cross pattern. That one went backpacking and hiking for maybe 15 years and is still good to go. The biggest thing to keep the laminates intact is to keep a good rubber tip on it. Also, a stick with no tip can be quite slippery on any solid floor.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Yorktown, Virginia
    Heal quick, Tom. I hope you don't need the services of a cane for very long. I just use a strong branch from a holly tree that I cut just for this purpose years ago. Works great when I need it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Sorry to hear you got banged up. Heal quickly. I'll second Jim's comment about a laminated cane being strong enough. Properly glued, it should be stronger than solid wood.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    I'll add my thoughts to the glue up... I don't think I would do an end to end type of glue up... maybe slats glued together and over lapping the joints.
    Should work just fine and will be a nice looking cane... you'll likely get lots of comments on it.
    Tellico Plains, TN
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    If you want to make something fancy and/or special that is fine. But, for just a temporary cane, hickory ones can be purchased very inexpensively. As for piecing, I have made several using brass couplers and they are fine. But, just glueing end to end is probably an unsafe idea. I have joined end to end using hanger screws then turning the joints smooth. You may glue also for added strength. You can have a lot of fun making canes and walking sticks.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

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