Walking Stick Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Retired engineer
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've gotten into making canes using kiln-dried timber that I turn on a lathe to create spindles. I've used ash, maple, red oak and birch for the shafts, often with a contrasting wood for the handle. I generally aim for a shaft diameter of 1 1/8" at the handle, tapering down to 7/8" at the tip. The problem is that my lathe has a short bed that limits the spindle length to 12-14" depending on the fixing I'm using. So I've been making cases in sections that I join together with dowels

I typically use 1/2" dowels turned from red oak, and that are 4" long, with 2" embedded in the shaft on either side of the joint. I try to size the dowels to the holes so that the joints are reasonably snug, and apply Titebond glue in the holes as well as on the dowels

So the question is - are these joints strong enough?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
133 Posts
a hearty welcome to the forum, Louie. what part of the world are you in ?
there are many different methods of joining pieces together. personally, I like threaded metal rod and epoxy.
Vacuum cleaner Fluid Wood Drill Gas

Table Rectangle Wood Art Font
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigJim

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,087 Posts
Hello and welcome to the forum. Using 1 1/8th" stock you amy want to consider goine to 5/8 or 3/4 on you connections. Another option is turning a peg on one end of the last 2 1/2 inches of you sections. It would be stronger with Just one side drilled. This is a chesnut staff that will be fitted to a mahogany cane handle. I have carved a 5/8th, 2 1/2 inch peg that the handle will be fitted on. I also use 5/16th all thread for connections. I drill a 19/64th hole in the handle and shaft. it is just enough smaller that I cand thread the allthead into the wood giving a tite fit with no play. Just some option you can consider.
Natural material Wood Wood stain Creative arts Tints and shades
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
954 Posts
Welcome, Louie. I tend to do the same thing CV3 suggested, creating a dowel on the end of the shank and fit it into a corresponding hole. Works great for me.
Automotive tire Wood Bumper Automotive exterior Automotive wheel system
A walnut handle for a yellow birch shank with deer antler spacer I did a while ago.
 

·
Registered
Retired engineer
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the feedback - very helpful.

The first time I made a cane, I initially planned to turn a tenon on one end of each section as CV3 suggested, but when I thought through the sequence of turning and mounting, I realized that the bed of my lathe was too short to allow that approach - while I could mount and turn a blank with the tenon on one end, there was no way to drill the hole on the other end. So I opted instead for the oak dowel approach. I've generally made those dowels 1/2-5/8" in diameter, and long enough to provide 2" of long-grain glue joint on either side of where the shaft sections come together.

In a couple of cases, I've taken John's approach on the middle joint and used threaded rod so that the cane can be disassembled for travel. Rather than using commercially-available couplers which are typically brass, I opted to use all-thread rod in combination with threaded-inserts. That way, I could control both the length of the exposed thread and the length embedded in the shaft.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,087 Posts
Thanks for the feedback - very helpful.

The first time I made a cane, I initially planned to turn a tenon on one end of each section as CV3 suggested, but when I thought through the sequence of turning and mounting, I realized that the bed of my lathe was too short to allow that approach - while I could mount and turn a blank with the tenon on one end, there was no way to drill the hole on the other end. So I opted instead for the oak dowel approach. I've generally made those dowels 1/2-5/8" in diameter, and long enough to provide 2" of long-grain glue joint on either side of where the shaft sections come together.

In a couple of cases, I've taken John's approach on the middle joint and used threaded rod so that the cane can be disassembled for travel. Rather than using commercially-available couplers which are typically brass, I opted to use all-thread rod in combination with threaded-inserts. That way, I could control both the length of the exposed thread and the length embedded in the shaft.
Was wondering how long or tall you are making your canes? Most cane hights very from 30" to 36" with handle. Thats using the top of the wrist joint to the floor as the preferd distance. I have done a lot of custom fitted canes and very few are higher or lower. With your !2" to 14" spindle length + handle you would have room for makeing a peg on most cane length. Just a thought.
 

·
Registered
Retired engineer
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Randy

My lathe nominally has an 18" bed, but the maximum spindle length that I can turn between centers is about 14" (allowing for both the drive center and a 60deg cone-type live center).

But to make cane shaft sections with an integral tenon, the spindle must be held in a chuck, and there must be room at the tailstock for a Jacobs chuck and the drill bit. That tooling consumes another 9-10" of the axtual 18" of space, so the largest spindle that I can hold in a chuck and drill is 8-9" including the integral tenon. If the tenon is 2", that means the largest section I can make is 6-7" which means that I would need five sections for a typical shaft. Most of the canes I have made have had four sections, and its possible to get by with as few as three - but only by using dowels rather than integral tenons.

I know that I could get around this limitation by drilling the blank off the lathe, but I prefer the more accurate approach of drililng on the lathe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Randy

My lathe nominally has an 18" bed, but the maximum spindle length that I can turn between centers is about 14" (allowing for both the drive center and a 60deg cone-type live center).

But to make cane shaft sections with an integral tenon, the spindle must be held in a chuck, and there must be room at the tailstock for a Jacobs chuck and the drill bit. That tooling consumes another 9-10" of the axtual 18" of space, so the largest spindle that I can hold in a chuck and drill is 8-9" including the integral tenon. If the tenon is 2", that means the largest section I can make is 6-7" which means that I would need five sections for a typical shaft. Most of the canes I have made have had four sections, and its possible to get by with as few as three - but only by using dowels rather than integral tenons.

I know that I could get around this limitation by drilling the blank off the lathe, but I prefer the more accurate approach of drililng on the lathe.
You might look to make an extended bed for your lathe. I'm looking at a vintage lathe that its bed is made of 1 1/4" pipes so that to extend it I just need to buy longer pipes. Some of the newer lathes have beds made of angle iron, again easy to extend. DR
 

·
Registered
Retired engineer
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You might look to make an extended bed for your lathe. I'm looking at a vintage lathe that its bed is made of 1 1/4" pipes so that to extend it I just need to buy longer pipes. Some of the newer lathes have beds made of angle iron, again easy to extend. DR
Good point, and extensions were available at the time I bought my lathe. But that was ten ago, and I don't know if the extensions for the current model would fit my older model. But a more fundamental issue is that I don't have physical space in my shop for a longer lathe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Some guitar necks are made with a tension rod running up the length. I'm sure a steel rod running up the length of your stack of pegs would be strong. with a nut on each end you could keep tension on it too. Just a thought. DR
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top