Fancy Cane #1

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Project by knottysticks posted 09-06-2010 07:26 PM 3071 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been admiring the turned canes here , for some time now . There are so many woodworkers making beautiful canes I thought I’d give a fancy cane a try , as I got a deal [I think?] on a new Delta midi lathe w/ a bed extension for $ 299 cdn . I didn’t want to get too fancy my 1st time , just turn a straight shaft w/ a celtic knot. I found turning the shaft straight forward but I somehow ended up w/ the knot slightly off centre [ any advise here welcome ] My blank was much larger than a pen blank so I think my band saw blade wandered slightly making the cuts . As the knot is made up of slices of purple heart cut through the shaft , to reinforce the shaft after I made sure the dowel that connects the handle travels well down past and below the knot . The shaft was made from reclaimed fir , salvaged from a 1920’s old school hand rail , so I felt this wouldn’t be a huge loss when I messed it up. I was suprised how easy the handle was to shape , and I must say that never having worked w/ zebra wood before , zebra wood finishes out to a beautiful iridescent finish . I did learn that next time I will try to marry the hardness of the woods being turned more closely , just to make it easier to turn .
I was commissioned to make a cane for a 94 year old lady who is almost blind. I felt that if I had limited eye sight ’ pretty woods ’ where of less importance than the ’ feel and shape ’ of the cane . So after turning the shaft I textured the shaft w/ a foredom to give it a contrasting feel compared to handle . But in the end I decided a diamond willow cane held more character for someone w/ limited sight . [ see cane here ] This was a fun project and a great way to learn how to use my new lathe , although this almost felt like cheating as everything is straight and w/ right angles and is so easy to sand up .

Handle – Zebra Wood
Shaft – Fir
Knot + Spacer – Purple Heart
Bottom – Brass Tip
Finish – Satin Poly

Thank you for your interest.


-- Everyday above ground is a good day.

8 comments so far

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2797 posts in 4126 days

#1 posted 09-06-2010 08:35 PM

WOW!!! Beautiful Cane, & it’s your first. Great job.

-- Dennis Zongker

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 4061 days

#2 posted 09-06-2010 08:36 PM

WOW, that’s fantastic! Really beautiful, great design, it’s all good! That bottom shaft piece is cool, knots cool, handle is awesome, like I said, it’s all good…...................Nice….............

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3447 days

#3 posted 09-07-2010 01:28 AM

Wow! Gary! Great work! I really like it!
Since you are going to making turned canes from now on… I`ll take all that old DW of your hands HAHA:)
I think you should do both kinds, some turned, some not.
Great one I really like the woods you chose,and the fact that you re-used some old fir….AWESOME!
Look forward to seeing more.Thanks for sharing.

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

View davevan's profile


54 posts in 3397 days

#4 posted 09-07-2010 04:36 AM

Very nice, beautiful knot.

-- Dave Arizona

View michelletwo's profile


2783 posts in 3550 days

#5 posted 09-07-2010 01:09 PM

wow, amazing first cane. I do have a small concern..where your grain is flat at the 2 ends of your handle. I don’t see any reinforcement there. Ususally this area is reinforced, as breakage here can occur. Other than that this is just a super first..very elegant and well crafted. The second is great too

View mpounders's profile


938 posts in 3429 days

#6 posted 09-07-2010 05:08 PM

Very pretty! Did you need a steady rest to turn the shaft? And I would be interested in how you did the knot.,...haven’t seen one like that on a stick. I have several sticks with texturing on the shafy similar to yours, but I love the way you transitioned into it…..much better than the way I’ve used.

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View knottysticks's profile


296 posts in 3563 days

#7 posted 09-08-2010 02:55 AM

Mr.pounders’ I did use my ‘new’ oneway steady to turn the shaft , I don’t think one could do this with out a steady. I must confess I borrowed the 'knot' idea here which was intended for a turned pen . I wouldn’t use a band saw again to make the cuts . The blank for the shaft is much larger than a pen , so it is able to wander slighly I think a table saw could be my choice next time , unless you have another suggestion ? If you have a go at this knot make sure you reinforce the shaft/knot area with a dowel down thru the inside of the knot .

Thanks Michelle2 for the advice , I tryed to keep the 2 ends as wide as the handle for strengh , but I’m not sure how one would reinforce the 2 tip ends and not change the look?

Mr.Woodenfrog , my wife would be tickeled pink if I cleaned out all diamond willow shanks from our yard and sent them to you , ’ but ’ , then your wife would be upset with you [and me] for filling your yard up with old branches , so we don’t want that to happen do we – :}

Thanks everyone for the kind and thoughtful comments.

-- Everyday above ground is a good day.

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3447 days

#8 posted 09-08-2010 09:30 PM

All right Gary I understand! I will be looking forward for more of your great projects.

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

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