Help with fixing an old piece

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Forum topic by kyngfish posted 04-24-2020 05:35 PM 218 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View kyngfish's profile


115 posts in 897 days

04-24-2020 05:35 PM

Hi all,

Couldn’t really find the appropriate forum to stick this in, but I inherited my great great grandfather’s cane, and I wanted to fix up some minor things if I could before putting it on display. It’s over 11 years old, gold capped, not sure what type of wood, but i think covered in real horn or tortoise shell. It has two issues.

- There is a slight crack in the shell/bone near the bottom, I want to glue it down, i was just thinking wood glue – injecting with a syringe, then taping it down with masking tape until it sets.

- it’s been sitting in a corner for years, and has developed a slight bow in the wood. Any way to fix that bow/warp without damaging or ungluing the shell/bone?

Pics below.

3 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2518 posts in 971 days

#1 posted 04-24-2020 08:14 PM

great great grandfather’s cane and is only 11 years old ?
( I think there is a typo there somewhere).

how do you intend to display it ?
personally, I wouldn’t do anything with it. build a nice plaque for it
and a brass tag for the history and hang it on the wall and call it a day.
you WANT this item to show its age and show that it has been used.
not like a restored furniture piece.

I have two of my great, great grandfathers canes and I plan to do just that.
they are hand carved by him with a pocket knife and heavily used.
I also have a photo of him and one of the canes in his hand.

but – this is your project = your call.

and as a followup note: the rubber cap on the bottom is not original to the cane.
personally, I would remove it to show the original brass cap.


-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View kyngfish's profile


115 posts in 897 days

#2 posted 04-24-2020 08:38 PM

The patina is fine. But the crack / ungluing of the shell is concerning because it can expand. My grandfather used this cane and I also intend to when my trick knee inevitably goes to hell. And yeah. I meant over 100 years old.

View LesB's profile


2576 posts in 4251 days

#3 posted 04-25-2020 05:23 PM

I would suggest using CA glue to repair the the crack. Get the medium thick type as it takes longer to set (average 30 seconds or so) and it gives it time to seep into the crack. If you need to compress the crack to close it figure out how you can clamp it before hand. You may end up with excess glue on the surface which you can carefully scrape off after is cures…..don’t try to wipe it off before it cures or you could smear across the surface.
If you haven’t used CA glue before practice on some scraps of wood before working on the cane.

-- Les B, Oregon

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