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Forum topic by Canine posted 05-17-2021 03:05 AM 485 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Canine's profile


5 posts in 51 days

05-17-2021 03:05 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’ve been making walking sticks from twisted tree limbs by hand. So I bought a lathe. My question is with the wood is longer than the the lathe can handle. So can I turn the head and secure it only with the chuck or anything else you might think.

9 replies so far

View therealSteveN's profile


8009 posts in 1693 days

#1 posted 05-17-2021 04:42 AM

A lot of really nice pool cues are 2 piece, and there are a lot of different joints, and joiners that are used to make them solid. Just one such place below.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Wildwood's profile


2959 posts in 3254 days

#2 posted 05-17-2021 11:28 AM

Assume already have a 4-jaw scroll chuck or one on order. Might want to go back to HF and pick-up one of their drill chucks too.

Forstner bit(s) would also help if going to use billiard joints or recess & tenon joints.
Might find home made steady rest invaluable too.

-- Bill

View Kudzupatch's profile


214 posts in 2328 days

#3 posted 05-17-2021 11:47 AM

Short answer, NO.

You will have to have some support on the end of the wood it going to ‘whip’ on you. Even if you had a long enough lathe, depending on the wood and speed it going to ‘whip’ in the middle too. You would need to use a steady rest support the middle.

-- Jeff Horton * Kudzu Craft skin boats*

View Phil32's profile


1449 posts in 1023 days

#4 posted 05-17-2021 03:10 PM

If you were making walking sticks from twisted tree limbs, why did you decide to make them with a lathe? Some of the charm of natural walking sticks comes from twists, knots, blemishes, etc. The uniform shape of a lathe-turned shaft destroys all that charm. I would not use a billiard cue as a walking stick.

-- Phil Allin - There are woodworkers and people who collect woodworking tools. The woodworkers have a chair to sit on that they made.

View LesB's profile


3011 posts in 4562 days

#5 posted 05-17-2021 04:47 PM

Search the internet for “walking stick joints”. There several options available.

I’m with Phill. How are you going to turn a twisted limb? Also anything over about 24”+ long will need some support in the middle to stop the “whip” as the piece flexes from centrifugal force.

-- Les B, Oregon

View MrUnix's profile


8638 posts in 3318 days

#6 posted 05-17-2021 05:14 PM

I’m with Phill. How are you going to turn a twisted limb? Also anything over about 24”+ long will need some support in the middle to stop the “whip” as the piece flexes from centrifugal force.
- LesB

Not only centrifugal force, but the force from the cutting tool will cause a thin piece to flex away from the tool, which will cause all sorts of other problems. A following rest/steady rest can be made to work, however if the piece is longer than your lathe accepts, none of this will really matter anyway :-(


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View AlanWS's profile


141 posts in 4677 days

#7 posted 05-17-2021 08:41 PM

Many small lathes have extensions you can add to make them longer. You can even make extended ways out of wood to clamp your tailstock. Just make sure your lathe and extension are bolted solidly to the bench.

You can certainly turn full length canes from all sorts of wood, and yes it does take some care to make sure the middle does not whip around ruining the cut. A skew is the tool to learn. If you do get resonance that gives you a spiral that you can’t fix with a gouge, a jack plane as a lathe tool will make it behave.

A steady rest is helpful, but not essential (assuming you use a tailstock, which you should.)

Or a two-part approach would work with a shorter lathe.

Turned canes are charming in a different way than are those from gnarled branches. Both can be quite nice.

-- Alan in Wisconsin

View Wildwood's profile


2959 posts in 3254 days

#8 posted 05-18-2021 07:07 AM

Handle or head can buy or carve one! Canes or walking sticks can be one piece or multi piece depending upon maker. Think OP is talking about his HF 34706 model spindle wood lathe with 12” swing & 33 3/8” between centers. Not aware of bed extensions made for this lathe.

Depending upon design handle/head certainly can use a lathe or not. If my Treeline link works video explains inexpensive hardware some folks use. Nothing says cannot use recess & tenon joint if want to.

-- Bill

View Canine's profile


5 posts in 51 days

#9 posted 05-18-2021 03:56 PM

Thanks for everyone’s input. That’s exactly the information I was looking for. Thanks Wildwood I will definitely be checking out those links.

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