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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been working on a new stick and it's coming along nicely, but I'm a bit worried about the orientation of the grain in the handle. The limb from which the stick is made was growing almost parallel to the trunk of the tree so the grain in the handle is (for the most part) parallel with the shank. It seems to be sturdy when I put some weight on it, but I really think it needs some cross-grain strength so I want to cut a slot in the handle and glue in a thin bit of wood with the grain going the other direction.

I can't decide, though, if it would look better with a piece of the same wood (an off-cut from the bit of log where the handle came from) or maybe a different color ( I have a 1/4" piece of walnut or some pieces of assorted veneers). It would be more difficult since I would have to cut it down and plane it to the right thickness, but I'm leaning toward the same wood.

The wood is maple, by the way. It had been sitting in the garage for 15 or so years. The bark on the shank was really lumpy and ugly, so I decided to peel it. I had a notion that the ugly bark might be hiding some nice bird's eye figure in the grain and was very happy to find I was right. I think I might add a tiny bit of color to the first coat of finish to really make the pattern stand out.
 

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Short grain can be an issue. The other option I can think of would be to get a long drill bit (1/4" diameter should be fine) and drill a hole in from the shank side almost to the end of the handle and insert a steel rod then plug the hole with some matching wood. Using a plug cutter the same size as the hole so you can match the grain orientation would be best, but it's a small hole and will be hard to spot anyway.

Nice looking cane so far.

Rodney
 

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If the handle feels solid to U I wouldn't worry about it. Do U plan to keep it for yourself? If so I wouldn't bother with reinforcement. Now if U intend for someone to use it as a therapeutic cane might be another story.
 

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I can see your worry abut shearing along a grain boundary, this is more likely to happen if dropped on a hard floor (Experience talking). the normal way over here in the UK would be to drill and glue in a dowel along the grip length. Looking at your handle this could be done from the shank end thro' the dark area and stained to blend, alternatively sink below surface and make a covering plug from parent material, or even add a badge or coin to cover, if you do not have confidence in the handle this would be worth doing for piece of mind.

ps. Nice looking stick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The stick is one that I plan to sell (if I ever get my finger out and start an Etsy page or something similar) so the grain issue does worry me. While rasping the handle a large chip came off. Luckily, it was at a stage where that wood would've had to come off anyway but the suddenness caused a fair bit of swearing.

I'm going to try to straighten the shank a bit too, I think.

I think the dowel or steel rod trick will be the way to go. Probably a lot easier than my plan to saw the handle down the middle.

Thanks guys!

Dana
 
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