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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I roughed out a few handles today to try them before destroying some really fine wood. I still have a lot of shaping to do before I decide which pattern to use first. Having seen some discussions on weight I will be trying to whittle these down to make them lighter without hurting the strength or appearance. The shaft is going to be African Blackwood which is a heavy material. I don't want the combination to be to heavy. I am also working to see what feels good to my hands. I test both left and right because you never know which side you may have to use it on.

I cut the thickness of the wood down to 1 3/8" before band-sawing. Should I start with an even thinner piece?

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The thickness of the handle I would think depends entirely on what feels good in your hand or the hand of the intended user. I used to make ball handled canes the 1 1/4" diameter felt good in my hand. I made one for a friend and he liked the 1 1/2" diameter. I have carved T handles from 1 1/4" up to 1 1/2" finished diameter. U can always thin a handle down if it feels to big, can't add too after it's been cut. If it were me, I would finish one of the test handles completely and see how it fit my hand . Or if U are looking to produce canes for sale then I would check the diameter of handles at the local pharmacy and perhaps base my finished handles on that. Just my .02

Mark
 

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For my larger handles I start with a 1 1/2" blank. My smaller ones, 1 1/4 to 1 3/8. The finished sizes end up slightly smaller.

Your top handle looks like it has too much of a rise in it to me but it's a very subjective thing.

Rodney
 

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Most of my handles have an 11/4"to 11/2" Grip then tapered to fit the shank which in most cases is near 1". I have found if I square up the bottom and drill the hole for the connecting rod in the wood before cutting out the handle It is easier to insure a straight connection to the shank.

I like the Dery shape handles also but I think you will find that you will want more of a hook on the back of the handle. I found one of the issues with carrying a cane is what to do with it when you're not using it. I have put straps on handles but they always seem to find something to get hung up on. Hanging it on the back of a chair can work if no one bumps into it, I have tried a number of shapes and I have found the for me being able to hang it at the table I am sitting at works best. I give the back of the handle a bit more length and a rounded end that will sit flat. The picture is just one. Not all have the barrel on the end just a shape that lets them sit flat on the table with enough of a hook to hang if needed. Try one and see what you think.

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I've made my handles the same thickness as the top diameter of the shank I guess I never thought they were too thin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good idea on predrilling. I don’t plan on using these for anything other than trial fitting so I wasn’t worried about keeping them square. It might be a better test if I actually attached them to a shaft to see how they feel with weight applied. Adding the stud would give me something to mount them with for shaping.
 

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Good idea on predrilling. I don't plan on using these for anything other than trial fitting so I wasn't worried about keeping them square. It might be a better test if I actually attached them to a shaft to see how they feel with weight applied. Adding the stud would give me something to mount them with for shaping.
Some use dowels to attach handle and shank. Others prefer threaded rod. Both work well. I like the treaded rod. I use a 5/16th rod for my canes.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is my roughed out and slightly sanded handle made from snake wood and the first piece of the shaft which is African Blackwood. I have the other two sections of the shaft roughed out and waiting on my order of a couple metric drill bits to put in the connectors. The handle is attached with a 5/16" stainless threaded rod. I will epoxy it together when complete. I will also consider epoxying or putting LocTite on the joints depending on how strong they feel at assembly.

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all of us have a preference for a different shape mines the cardigan handle and tend to work the handle to the thickness to the top of the shank

cardigan handles always look good if the ends are capped with buffalo horn .

the cardigan handles allows a carved animal to fitted to the front of the handle without interfering with the grip ,just gives it that individual finish but there's no right or wrong shape or way of doing things
 

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Handle shape and size can be based on a "standard " or bespoke to owners hand so basically whatever suits is right. I use 8mm studding and use 2 part epoxy.

I always epoxy the studding into the handle as soon as the blank is cut this allows it to be used for holding during shaping and a simple multi positional jig is as simple as a piece of square/rectangular timber approx 8" long with a 8mm drilled hole drilled at one end, the handle is fixe in the hole using washers and a wing nut - the timber can be clamped in the vice using all 4 faces at any angle and the handle rotated into any attitude via the wing nut - a carvers vice costs a lot of money to give a similar function.

When taking the handle down to size for the shank I fix a oversize washer (Nearest ize larger than shank) at the base of the handle - this ensures that a- it is kept central to the stud and b- you dont get carried away and take it down too far (yes it does happen). I have also drilled the shank and cut a 5mm thick washer from it to use as a guide.
 
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