Custom Fancy Ladies Cane #051: Manzanita Burl, Tiger/Flame Maple & Purpleheart

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Project by mmh posted 04-20-2009 05:40 AM 3268 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is an elegant ladies cane made for a small hand. The handle is made of Manzanita Burl which I’m quite fond of, especially with the sunray of colors. Manzanita is known to have voids and cracks that some wood workers may choose to stay away from, but I rather like the imperfections as they show just how varied nature is in creating unusual woods. The collar is made from Tiger/Flame Maple (aka: Fiddleback Maple) and the shaft is Purpleheart. This is a much more delicate handle than I usually make, but I’m always up for a challenge.

An inner dowel of Ash is used to connect the handle/collar/shaft and additional side dowels are used to keep the pieces from moving.

For more information on my work please visit: ; .

Comments and inquires welcome.

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

11 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18358 posts in 3796 days

#1 posted 04-20-2009 07:25 AM

mmh, Nice work. Do you have something to add strenght where the three woods meet? You don’t just glue end grains, do you?

BTW, You have a puncuation mark on the end of the first link causing it not to work.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View mmh's profile


3677 posts in 3842 days

#2 posted 04-20-2009 07:38 AM

Thanks I fixed the links and added info on the dowels.

Between using the hardwoods, dowels and epoxy, this should keep everything together for a few generations.

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

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4367 days

#3 posted 04-20-2009 12:17 PM

Nice looking cane mmh.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3887 days

#4 posted 04-20-2009 01:02 PM

Another elegant, graceful and beautiful cane. Thanks for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View FritzFratz's profile


15 posts in 3450 days

#5 posted 04-20-2009 01:31 PM

Absolutely Elegant, mmh!

-- FritzFratz, 'Boji, IA

View Spoontaneous's profile


1334 posts in 3450 days

#6 posted 04-20-2009 02:05 PM

That looks VERY comfortable to hold in the hand. I like the color combination of the woods and it is an overall striking piece. I get envious of some of the wood you are working with, wanna share your source?? :-)

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2765 posts in 3712 days

#7 posted 04-20-2009 02:29 PM

Beautiful! I love the wood combination.

-- Dennis Zongker

View lew's profile


12269 posts in 3875 days

#8 posted 04-20-2009 04:14 PM

Another gorgeous, functional work of art!

Does the grain, in burl, become so entwined that there is plenty of strength even though it appears to be running the “wrong” way? I have never made anything from burled wood so, to me, the vertical appearance of the grain- in the handle- would seem to be opposite to the “standard” direction.


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

View a1Jim's profile


117203 posts in 3697 days

#9 posted 04-20-2009 04:36 PM

Another beautiful cane, nice

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View mmh's profile


3677 posts in 3842 days

#10 posted 04-20-2009 04:45 PM

Lew: Yes, the grain in burl is “entwined” and there is no one direction to follow, giving it superior strength to straight grained woods. Also, Manzanita is a hard, very dense wood. The grain is very fine and makes working with it a pleasure as although it’s a hardwood, there’s less friction from the grain. Compared to the coarse grain of oak, there is less friction as you change direction. I do spend time filling the gaps and voids, but this is the nature of the wood that I’m willing to deal with.

Depending on the type of wood and the pattern of the burl does also determine the workability and durability. You need to keep to a dense, hard wood and grain. Sometimes a piece can pop off if it is weak and shallow. Some Maple Burl can sometimes be too soft and porous but saturating/penetrating it with glue can help. I stay away from something that weak.

The Madrone cane, #046 is more porous of a burl, but it still has good strength. I also made this handle quite hefty to match the wood’s characteristics.

I have a nice little stash of woods so I can select from various color, grain, hardness and the combinations right now are endless. I hunt around for anything unusual that I could use and grab it when I see it. I found a nice piece of quarter sawn Bocote at the woodworkers show in Chantilly, VA. . It has an interesting, fine pattern that makes it almost look like a textile.

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

View mmh's profile


3677 posts in 3842 days

#11 posted 04-21-2009 04:00 AM

I get my woods from all over. Write me a note as to which one you’re looking at and I’ll research the source. I have purchased some really nice woods from Spacitywoods, they are advertising here. Most of his woods are green but he has a nice selection of exotics and also has sales.

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

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