First Cane, or Wife's Attitude Adjuster for Husband

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Project by Dallas posted 09-01-2013 04:30 PM 5019 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I posted in the Forums awhile back about a quick router lathe I had put together to round out some black walnut and other wood.
A few years ago I promised the wife portion of this team a cane, just her size, (She Altitudinally Challenged)!
she wanted one, somewhat like mine which is just an old hickory stick with the brass duck’s head from a fireplace tool set and a 1” black rubber foot.
I looked at a lot of different branches, sticks and even solid wood, but nothing really struck me as right for her.

A few weeks ago I got a care package from Shelly_b containing enough black walnut 5/4 and thicker, rough, along with some sycamore.
I decided to make a standard gentlewoman’s cane using a picture I found from New Orleans and another one SanFransico circa 1860’s – 1880’s.
This helped because lately we have been watching some old episodes of Bat Masterson with Gene Barry in the afternoon.

I didn’t have a nice diamond studded knob or even a solid gold cane knob. My junk box contained a couple of old Hames knobs from a draft horse harness.
The one I chose was really UGG-A-Lee! But the the other alternative was even worse.

I ran the walnut through my little router lathe that I slapped together with clamps.
The first piece didn’t work out so well and I found that 5/4 was a bit small to make a finished product of what I needed.

I tried again, and used a bit larger piece, but it still had a flat spot on one side.
This worked out because the wife saw it and opined that it would make a great cane if only it were the right length.
Wow! I’m a hero I thunked! I took that piece out of the table legs I was making, (Pure Propaganda, I didn’t want her to know what I was making), and used sand paper from 150g to 220g to sooth off the rough spots after I used a couple of my block planes to remove the rough edges from the junk router bit I was using.

I thought the wood looked a bit light so I tried out some new dyes I bought on eBay, These are JE Moser powdered dyes for water.
I used W1310 Dk. Chippendale Mahogany as a base, let it dry and put a coat of sanding sealer on. Sanded that off pretty aggressively and put on a layer of W1410 Bright Red Cherry. Let that dry, added another coat of sanding sealer, let it dry and sanded that down lightly with 220g-800g wet fry from HF…. Hey the stuff works pretty good if you keep it dry and use it lightly!

Final finish is Formby’s Tung oil finish, (I always wondered what they did with all those people from Finland that couldn’t talk after they sold their tungs!), I used 5 coats, sanded in between and rubbed it down on the final coat with 4 ought steel wool and then a piece of light weight brown paper sack.

The flat spot on the stick still bothers me but SWMBO said that it makes it much easier to lean against the table.
The hame ball I chucked up in the drill press and sanded out with 220g-2000g wet dry from HF… again keeping it dry.
The ferrell is a piece of 3/4” decorative brass pipe I found laying in a cart outside Lowe’s. It had been paid for I’m sure, so I tossed it in the car when we came back out of the store an hour later….. Funny how no one picked up the 300 or so carts in that time.
I cut it off at 1 1/4” and recessed the wood just a bit so it would hide the rough edges of the ball a bit more.

Enjoy! Thanks for looking! sorry I took so long to get this description into words!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

7 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118334 posts in 5072 days

#1 posted 09-01-2013 05:38 PM

I thunk this is cool,nice work. Time to buy a helmet just in case the”Altitudinally Challenged” one gets a little wild. :))


View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5592 days

#2 posted 09-01-2013 06:03 PM

Very nice.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


24942 posts in 5170 days

#3 posted 09-01-2013 07:13 PM

Nice work. Do you need an adjustment?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3502 days

#4 posted 09-01-2013 08:00 PM

I think it came out great, but let’s face it… MY opinion doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in this case, because I wont be the one using it! :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View leafherder's profile


2019 posts in 3447 days

#5 posted 09-01-2013 10:27 PM

Great Cane! I really like the finish.

Did you mean “altitudinally” challenged or “attitudinally” challenged ? :) I would say it will work well for both conditions – and being sensitive to the first can help you avoid the second.

-- Leafherder

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3982 days

#6 posted 09-02-2013 12:46 AM

Leafherder, yeah. They are interchangeable. Except, she only comes up to my chin. The problem is…. She comes up wayyyyyyy to often!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 4007 days

#7 posted 09-02-2013 01:55 AM

Nice looking cane Dallas

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

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