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Wood Carving Tips and Techniques

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  #1  
Old 04-26-2006, 09:22 AM
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Default HOW do you Attach a cane topper Properly

I have thought about carving a cane but without finding just the right root ball on a sapling i wouldnt feel safe giving a cane to an older person for support and find only that the handle or topper broke off..

im sure i could saw the top end into thin strips steam-boil it and bend it into shape and glue it back togather with epoxi. but your so limited in these 2 methods.

or just get some rattan and steam it into a curve.

do they make a brass ferrel that could be pressed into place? to hold the topper on the stick?
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Old 04-26-2006, 09:50 AM
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Default Re: HOW do you Attach a cane topper Properly

You could use a hame from a horses harness, I have done several of those...or you can mount the handle using a dowel and polyurethane glue, or you can use an "anchor bolt" which I have also done numerous times, some say the anchor bolt is not satisfactory as the steel expands and contracts at a different rate than the wood causing problems, I have had no problems, but who knows? I am also in a very dry climate so?? there are a number of stickcarver sites and forums, join one and ask away, they are as helpful as any other type carver group.
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Old 04-26-2006, 10:14 AM
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Default Re: HOW do you Attach a cane topper Properly

Dave has some good advice about the hame.....they attach with three brass screws or one screw and a long rivet. I made my own rivets from brass rod, and just piened the ends over.

Lee Valley www.leevalley.com and several other suppliers can provide you with brass cane toppers and all the attachment hardware. They carry a brass eagle head and a stylized brass log type topper.

If you live where there are old railroad or road "cuts", check these for saplings that have taken root on the "cliff sides". These will have started growing horizontally to get clear of the side, then taken a turn to vertical, chasing the sunlight, providing a natural hook for the top of a cane. Some steep hillsides will also provide these cane stalks.

I know of several cane makers who go out in the spring and bend down some small saplings, and then wait a few years while they grow into canes.

Al
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Old 04-26-2006, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: HOW do you Attach a cane topper Properly

Thomp, I'm awaiting to hear more on this thread you started. My mother who turned 80 last year asked for me to make her a fancy cane. Carving is one thing but asking me to construct a weight baring device is quite another. Look forward to reading more comments.
Patrick
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Old 04-26-2006, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: HOW do you Attach a cane topper Properly

Treeline has hames etc as well, I personally prefer the minto hame.
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Old 04-26-2006, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: HOW do you Attach a cane topper Properly

I carve the heads and drill and dowel it into the shaft using carpenters glue. I use 3/4" hardwood dowels and haven't suffered a failure yet. I depend on my canes for walking, so I'm comfortable with the system. I have one cane using the brass system that Lee Valley sells, and it works, but I'm more comfortable with the dowel system. I'm not comfortable with the two way lag bolt system that some use, I don't think it offers enough strength. The glue and dowel form a good strong uniform bond, as strong or stronger than the original solid wood one.

Bob
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Old 04-26-2006, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: HOW do you Attach a cane topper Properly

After trying each suggestion, wooden dowels, threaded steel rod, anchor bolts, etc. I settled on mortice and tenon joints and carpenter's glue for my canes.

I am a BIG fellow and have not had a mortice and tenon joint fail. I figure that if it is good enough for quality furniture it is good enough for me.
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Old 04-26-2006, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: HOW do you Attach a cane topper Properly

Thanks fellers,
LOTS of good ideas here,

Im on the understanding that a cane is used to steady yourself if you stumble are dizzy or just need a little help keeping upright,
But some folks tend to believe that a cane is a third leg and should support your full weight.
in that case i think thats where a crutch is needed...

but i got a big ole gal wanting me to make her a cane she can use, and for the life of me without steam bending a cane i cant figure out how to be assured a joint could possibly hold up this 400+ woman..
i have made walking sticks and staffs with joints of copper and brass sleves even made one with acme thread brass connector, but i cant see where that would even garentee not to break..

i found some hickory sapplings and weighted them down last year, over some logs and they are doing fine, but there not big enough yet for this project.

anybody have any experiance with boiling hickory to bend it. i understand after a few hours of boiling the wood becomes much more managable??
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Old 04-26-2006, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: HOW do you Attach a cane topper Properly

I have used all threads in my canes and three are being used daily for support. Granted, none are in the range of weight but all have bad knees or backs and not had a bit of problems with the all thread and epoxy.
Still working on the Eagle head cane and it will be used daily also. Now, The medical field would not approve them for people but then, these are the same people who approve pills that gives you heart attacks and other illness. So you judge!
I do have a 1 1/2 inch dia cane shaft that I am going to mount it in to the handle of a cane to see how it stands up. A mortise joint. A first for me and I believe it will hold up.
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Old 04-26-2006, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: HOW do you Attach a cane topper Properly

I think if you have a specialty case, where you have a very large person and really need a load bearing cane, you might consider a store bought that will handle the weight, and take a stick, cut it length ways and hollow it to fit around the store bought....kind of the best of both worlds?Smile
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