Fancy Cane #099: Figured Koa, Cocobolo, Brazilian Ebony & Jatoba w/ Pearl

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Project by mmh posted 08-16-2010 02:42 AM 3123 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a “T” style cane using a very nice piece of figured Koa that has a nice consistently tight pattern. The tight grain also makes this a very hard piece of wood, as some straight grain Koa can be much softer. The hardness of the wood allowed me to make a thinner design that still has enough strength to give ample support.

I tried to give a basic “T” shape some unique character and still be as ergonomic as possible, as I believe a well made cane should be comfortable, sturdy and stylish. This also follows my theory that a cane user should not have to feel embarrassed or self conscious because they need to use a walking aide. My canes are made to give the user a sense of style and I approach each as a work of art that will also give them a sense of pride to use the cane proudly. One has enough hurdles to deal with on a daily basis and feeling inhibited in using a cane should not be one of them.

The Koa handle has a nice pattern that changes in every angle and I embedded a freshwater pearl on the top to give it a subtle flair. The collars are of Cocobolo and Brazilian Ebony on top of a Jatoba (Brazilian Cherry) shaft. It’s a very sturdy, yet thinner cane than I usually make but it is made of some very durable hardwoods.

Comments and inquiries welcome.

For more information on my work visit:

Available for purchase at:

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

12 comments so far

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4651 days

#1 posted 08-16-2010 03:23 AM

Oh wow. This one is wonderful, as they all are, for a fact. That koa, though, is unbeatable. Nicely done! (again)


View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4631 days

#2 posted 08-16-2010 03:25 AM

You are a true craftsman. I really admire your talent and one day I will make a cane for myself. I am having so much trouble with my knees that it won’t be long, so maybe I better get started :-)).

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3478 days

#3 posted 08-16-2010 03:56 AM

You never fail to amaze me with your projects!
Beautiful work! Thanks for sharing.

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View lew's profile


12901 posts in 4321 days

#4 posted 08-16-2010 04:29 AM


Your cane is magnificent, as always. I notice your last couple of posts have had canes with two different woods for the collars. Other than aesthetics, is there a reason for this?


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View mmh's profile


3679 posts in 4287 days

#5 posted 08-16-2010 06:58 AM

Thank you for all the wonderful praise.

Lew: The double collars are mainly for aesthetics of using two colors and pattern of woods. Sometimes I do need to make the collar thicker to join the handle and shaft together and get the right curve so the connection is not awkward. I want the lines of the entire cane to flow as part of the unified design.

A stub on a stick can be called a cane. BUT, it is NOT a creation of Big Stick Canes.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View mafe's profile


12189 posts in 3654 days

#6 posted 08-16-2010 10:38 AM

Yes again you amaze us, I love the balance in the colors an shape on this one.
Really a true beauty.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View michelletwo's profile


2783 posts in 3581 days

#7 posted 08-16-2010 12:50 PM

On a personal note: this is the style I prefer to use..I like to center my hand directly over the feels much stonger to me than when the handle is behind the weight bearing portion. Aesthetically is it not as pleasing as many of your others.(not because of what you made, but the limitations in this designtype) but form/function for the user is paramount. It is excellently crafted, as are all your canes. I would not feel self concious using this , except that it is so gorgeous, I think it would draw tons of attention!!! Might spend many hours talking with others about Big Stick Canes! Thanks for sharing all your beauties with us woodwhackers!

View mpounders's profile


941 posts in 3460 days

#8 posted 08-16-2010 05:24 PM

Beautiful work as usual! I agree completely with your feelings regarding style and a sense of pride! A cane should be as unique as the individual who carries it! As you are playing around with different types of handles, might I suggest you experiment with a ball shape? I was surprised at how comfortable they feel in your hand and I think they lend themselves well to turnings and beautifully figured wood.

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View mmh's profile


3679 posts in 4287 days

#9 posted 08-16-2010 08:12 PM

Michelletwo & Mpounders: Thanks for the input.

I try to get my clients to tell me what they need and want in a cane and create the most comfortable and secure handle possible. Each person’s situation is unique to them so even if it’s “just a cane”, it really isn’t. I like to compare a cane to that of a person’s shoes. Each person’s foot is unique, so why shouldn’t hands be just as unique? If you have to depend on holding youself with your hand as you do supporting yourself with your feet, then the hand should have as much attention to it’s grabbing power as possible. Unlike a shoe that is tied to your foot, your hand needs to grab and move around a cane handle and shaft for the right position for that moment so it also calls for more options to be available for a good grip. At least this is my insight and I’m always open for commentary and suggestions, as I said, each person’s needs are unique.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View bibb's profile


327 posts in 4096 days

#10 posted 08-17-2010 04:01 PM

Number 99? Wow that’s a lot of canes Meilie! This one is very nice, keep it up. Were you ever ably to make one out of your rosewood?

-- you may only live once, but if you do it right that's all you need

View MisipiBob's profile


11 posts in 3616 days

#11 posted 08-17-2010 05:08 PM

Absolutely beautiful. I notice that you use dowels as a security twixt handle and shaft. What size tenon to you use to join shaft to handle? I have been using 3/8 hickory and tite bond glue. Would appreciate hearing from you.

-- James, Mississippi

View mmh's profile


3679 posts in 4287 days

#12 posted 08-18-2010 07:45 PM

Bibb: I am still fondeling pieces of the rosewood I acquired from you and will be creating something very soon.

MisipiBob: I have previously noted my Instrucables posting on How To Make a Fancy Cane on this LJ project: This should answer any basic questions and give you a sturdy end result.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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