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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone ever heard of cane handles being made from dental stone? Shafts too, for that matter. It's like plaster of paris, but way harder. Even though the compression strength is incredibly strong, I'm thinking chipping issues could conceivably be a problem, but no more than one of your teeth chipping. You know, it happens, but not every day.

I'm considering the stone because it can be reproduced by a mold. Also, it's sandable, drillable, and can be cut with power tools. Also I think it would look really cool tea-stained.
 

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Never Heard of it! Where do you get it -- How expensive is it -- and how did you hear of it?

Do you have any pictures of one?

Can it get cavities?

If i think of any more questions I'll let you know! :)
 

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I'm unfamiliar w. dental stone. Looking it up via search, it appears that there are several kinds. They appear to have been developed to replace plaster of paris. I would suppose they are less brittle than plaster of paris, and be less likely to become powdery w. time.

I suppose casting the dental stone around a wire core would provide more resistance to shocks.

The people I've known doing casting in the past few years have used various kinds of resins. They can be cast to high detail, have metallic powders added to simulate real metal casts, and are fairly strong. But the things I knew about were just being used for interior architectural detail. Don't know how well the materials stand up to weather and heat.

I do see commercial canes that appear to be cast acrylic. That can also be cut and polished, but I wouldn't want to rap anything to hard w. it.
 

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I've done one cast acrylic cane on my lathe -- and it could hold up to a lot of punishment!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You can get it at dental supply houses that specialize in dental stone and things like that. I have a company in Oregon picked out because of price. It's actually surprisingly affordable. It's about $25 for 50 lbs, but that doesn't include shipping. The expensive part is getting set up with a mold. I'm looking at about $150 for the mold after I get my first prototype shape ready.

You ask if I "have any pictures of one." I'm assuming you mean cane handle. Well, no, which is why I asked here. I want to create a prototype cane handle and be able to repeat it again and again. Silicon mold technology and dental stone can used to manufacture bone-like handles with very exacting tolerances.

"Can it get cavities?" Oh yes, but with a good sealer on it, I doubt it. I know I mentioned tea-staining, and with a clear coat that would be great. Yesterday however, I researched siliconizing the handle in order to give it a non-slip surface. This would make it easier to lean the stick against a wall without slipping, make the handle more non-slip for hand, and give the handle a layer of shock absorbing silicon to protect it from chipping (which I think is possible, but unlikely). But then the teas-stain idea goes away, so I might as well use something else, like fiberglass or carbon fiber.

Finally, you asked about where I had heard of it. Well, I'm a contractor, and I've spent a fair amount of time researching the various kinds of plasters available in the building trades, and through that research I learned about dental stone and mold making. The stone is incredibly hard, like teeth without the enamel. It might even be stronger than that.

Technically, cured plasters are metals, and the harder versions can actually actually ring when you strike them, like a tuning fork. Dental stone is the hardest kind of plaster there is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@rad

I think you posted pics somewhere on this site, turning a piece of clear acrylic stock. I thought that was a great idea.

The trouble with this site is there are way too many great ideas for making sticks! I want to try all of them, but only have the time and budget for a few. Plus, my knowledge of wood is pretty poor compared to the people here.
 

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As for siliconizing for non-slippage, check out the awesome Sugru. http://sugru.com/ Handles like modeling clay, cures to rubberized silicone. If it was only more abrasion resistant, I'd use it for cane tips. I've thought about incorporating a webbing of overlapping "strings" to a handle to make it more comfortable and slip resistant.

It's also a lot of fun checking out the hundreds of ideas people have had for using the stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@AAAndrew

Wow, that's some neat stuff. I really like the idea of putting bouncy corners on a cell phone. I need that. Now if only they can make something that keeps them from falling into buckets of water. I've done that 4 times!
 
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