Fancy Cane #029: Claro Black Walnut & Figured Cherry

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Project by mmh posted 12-02-2008 12:14 AM 2047 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a more conservative combination of woods. It’s one of the more simple combinations of wood that I’ve done, but I’ve shaped the handle to be as ergonomic as possible and with some nice design to it to give the user a sense of style. (I am trying to abolish those ugly aluminum and simple stick canes.) The handle is made of moderately figured Claro Black Walnut and the shaft of Figured Cherry. It’s a nice “safe” combination of colors and grains.

Your comments are welcome.

For more information please visit my Gallery here at and my other websites: or

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

5 comments so far

View lew's profile


12055 posts in 3750 days

#1 posted 12-02-2008 12:48 AM


I have been curious about something with many of your cane handles. Other than the burls and seed pod handles, most look like the grain is almost vertical. Does this compromise the strength of the handle or is it reinforced internally? I am not making any canes, just curious. If this is a trade secret, I’ll understand!


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

View mmh's profile


3676 posts in 3717 days

#2 posted 12-02-2008 07:14 AM

Very good point and observation. I can only use the grain vertical if the wood is dense enough to endure the stress. I can usually tell when working with a piece if it’s hard enough or not. Claro Walnut is one that can range in density and so the tighter the grain and direction it moves will determine if it’s dense enough to shape. My handles are thicker than the normal ones found and I do have to be careful of going too narrow if the wood is not really dense. Otherwise I would use the grain lengthwise for ultimate strength. The Macadamia handle is a good example on how thin I can go when a wood is strong enough and using a cross section of wood:

When I customize a cane I make sure I know the needs of the user and their weight range so I can determine how much stress the cane will have to endure. For example the Lychee & Marblewood cane was made for a fellow who is quite heavy and needs to lean his full weight on it. Both of those woods are extremely hard and the shaft was cut into a dowel on top as one piece and joined into the handle completely through, giving it superior strength and joinery .

Otherwise I use a long inner dowel along with the two side dowels to make sure the joinery is stable. My handles will never “wiggle” off like the cheaply made ones.

Unfortunately you can’t tell how hard these woods are unless you can hold them and feel their weight, but most of them are excellent candidates for Skull Crackers.

Thanks for the inquiry.

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

View Kerux's profile


812 posts in 3879 days

#3 posted 12-02-2008 11:49 AM

Wow, you got another winning piece of usable art. I’m still thinking a book is in order.



View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4400 days

#4 posted 12-03-2008 05:56 AM

another nice looking cane.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4395 days

#5 posted 12-03-2008 06:14 AM

Another great looking cane. And you have our resident Artisan posting. Mark just got better internet service so he can stay on longer now.

Great job.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

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