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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I talk a lot but the truth is I've only finished 3 sticks to date.

Here's my first two canes.

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Not the greatest picture. I'm going to have to work on that.

The one on the left is made of mahogany salvaged from an old windowsill turned down with a roughly octagonal center section. I used a hand plane to cut the flats for the octagon. It's not that even.

It has a holly spacer and the handle is a natural crook from a dead Oregon white oak branch I found. It's stained using vinegar with steel wool dissolved in it. I didn't like the dark stained outside next to the freshly cut end. The fresh wood on the end turned a really pleasant shade of brown with this method. The ferrule is a 1/2" copper pipe coupler with a turned down rubber stopper for the tip.

The cane on the right is the first one I made. It has a hazel shank. The handle is spalted western red maple with holly and cocobolo collar and end caps.

I have a 1/4" steel rod running the length of the handle to support the spalted maple.

The handle isn't as comfortable as the grip on the first cane with the natural oak crook. The bump in the middle is a little high. I don't think I have enough material to take it down more without really messing it up. It's a good example of what happens when you start shaping something without a firm plan in mind.

The ferrule on this one is a section of brass pipe I turned a slight taper on with another stopper tip.

You can turn brass and aluminum on a wood lathe if you take really shallow cuts and are patient.

I'm not sure how the rubber stoppers will hold up to actual use. They might be too soft. If that happens I'll cut some new tips out of an old tire.

Rodney
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well it is January. I know I'm a lot less motivated to go out to my shop when it's cold out. No heat out there.

Thanks for the encouragement everyone. I'll keep plugging along and see what else I can come up with.

I'm having fun with it and walking sticks are a comfortable medium to work with. The size is good and there's not a lot of investment in materials so far. Gathering sticks is an enjoyable pursuit in itself. There's also a good degree of instant gratification. Only lathe work is faster.

I plan to branch out into other materials like antler and horn for my handles too.

Rodney
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nice looking canes Rodney, being your first two, I'm impressed. Nice design and execution. For you vinegar and steel wool stain, did you paint the handle with tea first?
No. The oak has enough natural tannins in it that it wasn't necessary. I'm really happy with the brown on the oak. I also tried the mix on a cherry wand I made for my daughter. It darkened up but had a weird tint to it. Not a pretty color at all on that example. The tea would have helped there.

If you want a more ebonized look then soaking in some tea to add tannins would be absolutely necessary.

Here's a great article on the process.

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/techniques/ebonizing_wood

I waited about two weeks for the steel wool to dissolve. Looking back washing the steel wool with a little detergent would have helped remove the oils and speed up the process. Any rusty metal will work. I like steel wool because it's so fine that it dissolves relatively quickly.

Rodney
 
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