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I picked up a string of fish/shark vertebrae at a historical reenactors' trade fair and thought I would try running a threaded rod through them and making a cane or two inspired by historic examples. Any one try this, or have tips on making sticks from stacked material?

Depending on how well they seat together I'm toying with the idea of putting leather washers between the bones. They range from about 7/8" in diameter to just under 3/4". I'll have to enlarge the hole that the spinal chord went through for the supporting rod, but having the existing hole as a pilot should help keep it in line. I think I have a couple stray pieces of ebony laying around to make a foot and a knob.

Here's a vintage one as example.
3791_12474_med.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Usually it's said to be shark, but I don't know if it might have been other large fish occasionally as well. Some of them are said to have been crafted by whalers / sailors in the 1800's.

Here's another vintage example

4324_14542_med.jpg
 

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I've also seen snake vertebrae used.

I've never made one. I think you're on the right track to make it. I may be over thinking things but standard hardware store threaded rod might bend over that long a distance. I'm not sure of a better alternative. They might make a harder/better grade that you can order.

Rodney
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've also seen snake vertebrae used.

I've never made one. I think you're on the right track to make it. I may be over thinking things but standard hardware store threaded rod might bend over that long a distance. I'm not sure of a better alternative. They might make a harder/better grade that you can order.

Rodney
Yeah I was thinking about that and whether it might be better to get some solid rod and just thread the ends if I use nuts to hold the bones in place.
 

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Never tried one,have seen some examples though. I did own a stick made from stacked leather,almost more of a long riding crop. It was quite flexible and "whippy". I am wondering.. I would guess the vertebrae weight is minimal? Will you have to use a heavier topper to balance the rod?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, they are pretty light, although the iron rod down the center should help a little. I've got about 38 inches worth of them without any spacers, so I'm toying with making two sticks, maybe with some walnut spacers between bones every so often.
 

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Never tried one,have seen some examples though. I did own a stick made from stacked leather,almost more of a long riding crop. It was quite flexible and "whippy". I am wondering.. I would guess the vertebrae weight is minimal? Will you have to use a heavier topper to balance the rod?
Those stacked leather ones were supposed to be pretty nasty weapons. I've thought about trying to make one one day. The right piece of steel for the core has been the biggest hang up. I think it would pretty much need to be spring steel to get that little bit of flex without developing a permanent bend.

I've also seen examples on the internet of canes made of other stacked washer materials including one made of postage stamps.

I think there are a lot of ways to be creative with one.

Groomporter can you post pictures when you start on your stick? I would love to follow along on that one.

Rodney
 
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