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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so, i have ms and am increasingly using a cane, but i hate all the ones that are commercially available, so i hunkered down on ebay and finally walked away with a cane head that my girlfriend has nicely informed me looks exactly like a turd. and she's right. but it's too late now. anyway, now i'm tasked with coming up with a body for the darned turd and am wondering if ya'll could point me in the easiest direction. i have no carving skills nor any other woodworking skills nor any woodworking tools; and, in fact, i'd be a danger to myself if i attempted anything that called for sharp knives. seems i might have gotten into something that's way above my pay grade. that being the case ...

my first, and only thought, so far is to waltz around thrift shops until i find a cane that seems like it'd fit, cut off the head already on it, and hope my piece fits with no trimming necessary. any other thoughts? i'm just looking for a straight shaft, nothing fancy, the less fancy the better, actually.

thanks!

pix:
 

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apart from buying a shank perhaps the thrift shop would be a good idea but buy one longer than needed to allow you to fit it and you can cut it to the right length then you would need a brass ferule then a rubber one it to prevent it from sliding on pavements

Some chemist also sell them there cheap enough
 

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you may it cheaper to buy from a stickmaker supplier .In the past i have found it cheaper to buy 4 shanks at once .but most of the people here can advise better as i am from the wrong side of the pond . but most of the time i buy shanks around 5- 6ft for hiking poles

I don't know what woods are available to you i like hazel and chestnut but don't remove the bark of them think mayby you would have problems getting them.

American ash is a good wood although i am not so keen on the colour of the bark , but i would only use turned American ash to replace croquet mallet handles its has a better grain than ours and is strong and it takes a lot of abuse

generally speaking for a walking stick the length should be from the floor to the wrist joint some like it longer as a lot of stick makers use them at chest height several of my friends use this height as it helps them to get over ***** whilst training there dogs also the tend to lean on them whilst chatting to dog trainers etc . it all depends what you want from a stick, as there is no hard and fast rules
 

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It wouldn't be the prettiest shank in the world, but a simple wooden dowel from Home Depot or other hardware store might work. They sell different diameters so you could pick one that would fit with no trimming.
 

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Second the Home Deposit dowel.

I have made canes from 1" red oak dowels purchased from Home Deposit. Took a Dremel to one and turned it into a spiral and another I wood burned tracks up to the duck's head handle I had carved. The oak dowel after final sanding & stain is a very nice looking piece of wood. Attached is a pic of a red oak dowel as a cane shank in gun stock stain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
great stuff, guys, thanks very much.

mjc4: that's a great looking stick. two questions:

where do you get gun stock stain?

what'd you put on the bottom end of the cane? have a pic of it you might share?
 

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The dowel isn't a bad idea. After you cut down a different cane it's pretty much what you would have anyway. From the looks of the handle you have, it may have had a dowel to begin with. Don't buy the cheap dowels. They're too weak. Pay the extra for an oak one. Look for a dowel with the straightest grain possible. Ideally the grain will be continuous from top to bottom and not sweep off to the side.

A lot of guys use rubber chair tips from the hardware store for the bottom. Drug stores will generally have crutch tips. You can also order nicer cane and crutch tips online. Lee Valley is one of several suppliers. Ebay is a good place to look too.

I think Mark was referring to the color, not the type of stain. Regular hardware store stains work pretty well on oak. Since you're trying to keep it simple and inexpensive a combination stain and finish wouldn't be a bad way to go.
 

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If your going to spend a lot of time and effort in making a walking stick for your self don't you think purchasing a shank would be better

If you want it to last fit a brass ferule on it then a rubber ferule on it

I use one hiking pole all the time okay i change the toppers just for the sake of it but always use the same shank had it a long time . i do oil it regular and it still looks good so it is worth the effort
 

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The hole for the shank looks to be small maybe a could be 3/4". It is hard to tell. But you will want a strong shank. I would recommend you get a quality wood. Oak , walnut maybe cherry. Bell Forest wood is a good resource . http://www.bellforestproducts.com/wood-dowels/.
 
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I take back what I said about it not being pretty after seeing Mark's duck cane made from a dowel. That's a sweet stick.
 

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great stuff, guys, thanks very much.

mjc4: that's a great looking stick. two questions:

where do you get gun stock stain?

what'd you put on the bottom end of the cane? have a pic of it you might share?
floyddd,

As Rodney said I was referring to the color of the stain it is Minwax gunstock. Red oak takes oil stain very well. I have another cane done with special walnut and another in golden oak, these were then finished with satin polyurethane. Lately I have been using Watco Danish oil and Howard's Feed N Wax. I sand to 220 grit then apply stain or oil.

Red oak dowels are normally 36" in length and available at the big box stores. For an average sized person the 36" dowel is long enough to make into a cane. Canes that fit me are in the 33" range.

A 1" diameter red oak dowel is darn near impossible to break, (I've tried), so strength is not an issue.

I also use the rubber chair tips, they are inexpensive, readily available at any hardware store and when they wear out easy to replace.

Mark
 
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