Danish Version of this page:

http://sciencelakes.com/en-rigtig-paen-made-at-tjene-canes/ by Einar Solbakken.

A Really Neat Way to Make Canes

John Gilbertson in MN was kind enough to want to SHARE his findings with the world so he snail-mailed me a CD with a lot of super photos, a letter and a wood template for a cane handle. THANK YOU, John!

Here is the letter John sent with the CD which had 43 full-size photos on it:

"A few years back, I developed a method of attaching a handle to a diamond willow shaft. I prepared a pictorial to demonstrate this method. I thought you might like to look at this and maybe share it with your fellow woodworkers. I don't have the skills to add commentary to he pictures, but they are pretty much self explanatory.

The first part is shaping the handle. A solid, approximately 3" piece of d. willow is necessary. The 6 1/2" cutoff is flattened on two sides. A template is used to trace the shape on the cutoff. A bandsaw cuts the shape and the sides are tapered.

Using a 7/8" forstner bit, a hole is drilled in the handle.

forstner bit Next, the end of the shaft is rounded. Use a 1 1/16" deep holesaw with a quarter inch pilot bit to do this. A preliminary centered hole is drilled (very shallow) to locate the holesaw pilot bit. With the shaft clamped tightly to a work surface, carefully cut all the way to total depth of the hole saw. Trim the outer excess, again very carefully so that you do not nick the rounded surface.

The shaft end will be slightly too big to fit into the 7/8 inch hole in the handle,so, using a sanding block with 50 grit abrasive, round the end to make a perfect tight fit.

When satisfied with fit, mark the handle and shaft to line up the cane for best balance. Insert the shaft and make a mark for depth for when you glue the pieces.

deep hole saw Cut a piece of quarter inch threaded steel to insert* in hole made by the pilot bit. Using a sharp knife, make some glue relief grooves on the rounded shaft end. I use yellow carpenters' glue. Make sure the handle goes all the way down to your depth mark and stick 'em together.

Now, the finishing is up to the individual. Grinders, sanders, carving knives, whatever works. Just be very careful to NOT remove much material away from the space immediately below the joint."

Later, John told me this:

"Ken, I don't have the technical knowledge to set up a website. But I do want to share the technique with other stick people. Perhaps you'd like to slip it into your site alongside your other cane making tutorial. Whatever suits you best if you'd like to use it. Otherwise, try it on your own pieces if you want. I've had a lot of success with the method, not only on diamond willow, but with many other kinds of wood, domestic and exotic. My best known customer was King Hussein of Jordan who purchased a black ash cane of mine when he was a patient at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN. ( This was back in '92). The handle was approved by the orthopedic division at that clinic.
Anyway, use it any way you wish.
Sincerely, John"

Here are the photos John provided; NOTE that I had to make them a lot smaller and also had to REDUCE the quality of them so that you would not have to wait until the cows came home before this page would be loaded.



* Later, John said "The purpose of fliling the holesaw hole with threaded steel is simply to reinforce the joint between handle and shaft. It could also be filled with a wood dowel."

NOTE new page for Diamond Willow sticks FOR CANES at this page:

http://www.sticksite.com/cane-sticks/index.html.




As John said, the pictures pretty well speak for themselves.

I can see making a binder of all the pictures printed out, as a teaching guide.

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how to make a cane As for the tip at the BOTTOM of the stick, John said: "

Ken, I use rubber furniture tips for cane ends. They are inexpensive, last as long as more expensive cane tips, and are easily replaced at almost any hardware store. The tip can be removed to adjust the length of the cane. And, they are available in many sizes; I find 7/8 inch to be the most popular diameter for my uses.


AND That's It, Folks; Thanks again to John.

Personally, I use the same rubber tips and get them in BULK from Astro-Tex Company in Plano, Texas. Here is a pic:
how to make a cane

P.S. Here is the wood template John included for the handle; his is 6 1/8 inch from tip to tip.

how to make a cane

I asked John what he thought about using a piece of BIRCH for the handle and he replied:

Your second question poses an interesting problem. Do you want a "pure" diamond willow cane, or is it OK to combine different kinds of wood. I know the birch material would be easier to find in the thicker dimensions, and it would probably be stronger than willow. But I prefer willow on willow. I cut thick live willow as rot free as possible and dry it for several years with the bark on. I don't worry too much about diamonds on these pieces because when you slice deeply into the wood, you get the rich heart wood color and usually enough sapwood contrast to match the colors of the shaft. Any diamonds or other depressions are bonuses.

So, with that in mind, I'll offer a piece of birch in SOME of the packages of Diamond Willow, 36-inch cane sticks I'll offer at http://www.sticksite.com/cane-sticks/index.html.








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