Custom Tall Cane #144: Macawood, Black Walnut & Cherry [A Gobsmacker of a Cane]

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Project by mmh posted 09-29-2013 04:27 AM 3230 views 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is an extra tall, extra LARGE cane made for a client who is 6’4” tall. He originally purchased a cane of a similar shape but it was cut much too short for his stately stature, so I needed to convince him that I could make him a cane suitable for his needs. His original response to my Questionnaire that I use to inquire of the needs of the cane user, were somewhat vague when it came to the height he needed for his cane. This is partially due to the lack of proper height in canes that are readily available at the store. The average cane height is 36” tall and they are made for average tall people, probably around 5’10”, but what if you are 5’3” or 6’3”? How can you possibly use a cane properly if it is way too tall, or even worst, way too short? You can shorten a cane, but how do you lengthen one past 36”?

Note: Wooden canes can not grow longer.

This is where I pride myself in being able to accommodate the tall (and less tall) cane user. Using a cane that is too short can cause additional muscular and skeletal issues on top of what you’re are dealing with. If you use a cane, you already have physical issues that you wish you didn’t have. So let’s not add any by using an ill fitted cane.

I have also come to understand that since many tall cane users don’t have access to a proper height cane, they do not know what height they need. I highly suggest that anyone who uses a cane to be fitted by a professional such as a therapist so that they can purchase a cane of the correct height. I also try to instruct them as to how to measure their proper cane height and if necessary, I will send a cane slightly taller than may be needed, as they can cut it down themselves. It is not difficult to saw off 1/2” or so, but it is quite a problem to add on the extra length. Difficult enough to the point of having to remake the cane.

I mention this because sometimes I have to repeat my inquiry of the proper cane height needed if the person is taller than what I think they are requesting their cane to be made. If one is not used to having a custom made item, especially something to be worn to fit the size of their body, then they may not fully understand how important it is to be measured. So, if you use a cane or request to have one made, I highly suggest having yourself measured for the proper height to suit your needs.

[To determine the proper height of a cane: With elbow touching the side of the body, move forearm forward 45 degrees. With palm open facing down to the floor, measure from palm to floor.]

The handle of this cane is made from a lovely piece of Macawood that has a medium fine grain and is somewhat dense like that of Padauk, but with a finer, less porous grain. It is not too difficult to work with, but does require a bit of elbow grease, but not nearly as hard as an ebony. The collar is made of Black Walnut and the shaft of Cherry which are both moderately dense hardwoods, but the heft of this cane allows for these woods to bear the weight of this user without problem. If there is more of a weight load to bear, I use denser woods, but keep in mind that the denser the wood, the heavier it is, so it can become a burden if the user is not strong enough to carry a heavy cane.

When I looked at the photos of this cane, I realized that it really is quite a weapon and the word “Gobsmacker” came to mind because of the English slang used to describe someone dumbfounded or shocked. I don’t think there really is such a word, but I found it amusing to think that if someone were “Gobsmacked” that this surely could be the weapon of offense. It looks offensively bird-like and a bit opposing and canes can be used as weaponry with the proper knowledge and moves. If I offend the proper English language for this muse I apologize, but with grimace, as it’s all in fun, as after all, I am laughing at my own work!

As posted at Word Detective:
“There are two interesting things about “gobsmacked,” meaning, as the Oxford English Dictionary defines it, “Flabbergasted, astounded; speechless or incoherent with amazement.” The first is that “gobsmacked” is, thank heavens, not a mystery. It’s simply a combination of “gob,” very old English slang for the mouth or face, with “smack,” meaning “to strike with a slap or a blow.” (The roots of “gob” are, alas, slightly vague, but it probably comes from the Gaelic “gob,” meaning “beak or mouth.”) So to be “gobsmacked” is to be as surprised and amazed as if you had been struck in the mouth.”

Comments and inquires welcome.

Please visit Big Stick Canes for more of my work or Canes for Sale

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

7 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4853 days

#1 posted 09-29-2013 01:06 PM

Very nice cane, and an excellent write up on the issue of sizing one properly.

Dare I say I’m gobsmacked? :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3548 days

#2 posted 09-29-2013 01:06 PM

Very nice!!!!!!
Beautiful cane!

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

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

669 posts in 2837 days

#3 posted 09-29-2013 04:19 PM

Wonderful, caring work to be engaged in!

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4732 days

#4 posted 09-29-2013 04:22 PM

Love it. I will be sure to stay out of range if I see it on the street. :)

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

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4701 days

#5 posted 09-29-2013 06:02 PM

Another beautiful cane. Finding myself in need of a cane (bad knees) I can relate to what you are saying about the height importance. Happy to see that you put so much care and effort in your product.

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

View Woodbridge's profile


3712 posts in 3053 days

#6 posted 09-30-2013 01:31 AM

beautiful cane. I really like the shape of the handle.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3439 days

#7 posted 09-30-2013 01:31 PM

I’ll bet that is a superb fit in the hand. Very nicely done.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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