Advice on Cane Making

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by mmh posted 06-15-2010 03:49 PM 4109 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve enjoyed posting my work on Lumberjocks and have grown quite a bit through the exposure here and I’m flattered that my work has stimulated others to make their own canes. I’ve even received a few inquires on “How to make/design a cane”, but unfortunately time does not allow me to go into much detail as I could spend hours trying to give advice to all the inquiries which would take me away from my chores and workshop time.

I do have an Instructables posted through one of my projects and you are welcome to follow the instructions There are other ways to make a cane and this is only one of them, but hopefully it will help. There are issues of strength and design that you will need to figure out and many of them are common sense issues, but using the Janka hardness scale will help you decide if your wood is strong enough or not.

The design of a cane should be comfortable, sturdy and aesthetically appealing. Think of your needs and design around them. Take in structural concepts and use some of the wood techniques that are incorporated in heavier pieces such as furniture. Remember a cane is going to be used to assist a person who may weigh 150-350 lbs. Take in consideration of that person’s needs. Is a person using their left or right hand or both? Create a comfortable handle that works for this. Start with a soft wood and create the shape until it feels good, then redo this in a harder wood. You may even try using a polymer clay to play with shapes. Take an old design and add to it. Just make sure you add your own interpretation to an idea and make it YOURS! Be creative and push the envelope. Don’t be a mimic, make it your own! And above all, have fun!

I will try to add more to this as time goes on, but please be patient.

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

8 comments so far

View mmh's profile


3676 posts in 3717 days

#1 posted 06-15-2010 03:54 PM

BTW: I had an e-mail from a fellow LJ-er and have lost it, so please resend it if this does not answer your questions.

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

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4000 days

#2 posted 06-15-2010 04:05 PM

Cane making is tough because it’s an area that requires a balancing act in compromise. Too much attention to strength and the design looks bulky and unweildy. Too little attention to strength and you risk catastrophic failure. In my experience, the canes i’m most pleased with are about creating superior joinery that makes the clever design almost defy its actual strength.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4122 days

#3 posted 06-15-2010 05:12 PM

A well-crafted cane can be both useful and artistic. Your personal expression of your art is obviously well thought-out and beautifully designed.

Well done!

-- 温故知新

View lew's profile


12052 posts in 3750 days

#4 posted 06-15-2010 05:15 PM

Thanks, Meilie, this answered a lot my questions about the shaping of the materials.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3571 days

#5 posted 06-15-2010 06:26 PM

Thanks for this very helpfull blog Meillie

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3281 days

#6 posted 06-16-2010 12:19 AM

Meilie, because of the same time constraints, I seldom comment on projects. I just want you to know I frquently look at your work and find it very impressive.

Thanks for your contribution here on Ljs


View mmh's profile


3676 posts in 3717 days

#7 posted 06-17-2010 08:34 AM

Thank you all for your kind remarks. The atmosphere and friendly guidance here is truly pricelss!

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

View Mark Blomster's profile

Mark Blomster

107 posts in 2979 days

#8 posted 04-27-2011 12:29 AM

Thank you so much for taking the time to post the cane making instructional. I am going to attempt to make my first cane soon, and your advice will be very helpful! Thanks again.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics