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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, my name is Tony. I'm new to cane making. I just ordered some seasoned cane blanks from Gilmer wood. My question is what is the best way to taper and round the blank? I've seen things about using a router table, a lath, and other power tools. I'd like to keep it simple, and maybe use hand tools. I've seen Spoke shaves, and draw knives, and shaving mules. I don't want to spend $500.00 on a shaving mule. I'm not going to be doing this professionally. I just want to make a few canes. I have a table saw and an angle jig, so I can maybe do the taper on the table saw. I can make a long piece of wood to clamp the blank to and use a spoke shave to round it. Or a draw knife. This is all conjecture, since a never made a cane before. So actually, what I'm asking, is what would be the best way to round and taper a blank with out having to spent a fortune? I can afford a draw knife or spoke shave, but don't want to invest in a shave mule or a lath. Thank you for any help.
 

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Man! You're just kinda jumping in in there! Well.. I don't really know much about shaping blanks. I just dig up saplings and cut branches out of brush piles! The most experience I have is when I shaped a piece of pallet with just carving and a lot of rasp work. As far as a lath is concerned, if you're handy with tools(I am not) you can probably find plans and\or videos on how to make a simple one yourself.
 

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Most of us here duck the question and use natural shanks.

A tapered octagonal blank would look good.

Another thought is to make a router jig to round and taper your blanks.

Rodney
 

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Welcome, I only use naturally grown shanks, harvest them, season them straighten and use mainly with "bark on". If you are wanting to have a go rather tha usin dowell type materials look for second hand Snooker (UK) or pool cues as the shape is inbuilt and they make good sticks.
 

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I have made a number of canes using milled lumber. I have rounded them using a jack plane fallowed by a small block or hand plane by planing down the edges.With a compass draw a circle on each end of your square blank. I held them in the large Black and Decker workmate with the edge up and took each edge down tell I had a octagon shape. Then with the small plane took those edges down. Set the plane shallow. It takes more passes but it is easier to make long passes with a shallow setting and you are less likely to do any damage to the blank by taking to big a bite in the wood. work with the grain. You can finish it off with sand paper. It goes pretty fast. If you are skilled on you table saw and can cut a squared tapered table leg you can plane that in to a round shank.

You can get good exotic and hard wood 36" dowels blanks up to 1 1/2" in diameter from "Bell Forest". If you want to try some natural shanks Tony there are a number of places to look on line. 'Tree Line USA", " Kentucky Walking sticks", "Northern Wildwoods", they just sells diamond willow. Depending on where you are you have a lot of woods to chose from in Calif. I live in southern Cal for many years. Apple is a great wood pear, most citrus woods Red wood. and more.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for your fast reply's. CV3, thank you for the names of the suppliers. I will check them out.

LilyPads, Thanks for the link to the shaving horse plans. Maybe when it cools off I'll try building one. However, I would be very interested in your router jig for making tapered octagon shafts. Again, thank you all very much.
 
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