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Diamond Willow + Antler Tee Handle Cane #2

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Project by knottysticks posted 1489 days ago 6315 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I don’t think this is really a true tee handle cane. I left enough antler at the rear of the handle so the whole hand can grasp the handle without needing to hook the index finger in front of the shaft. But I was hoping to keep the option open to still use this cane as a tee handle by leaving a little antler out front of the shaft. This handle seems to work well either way. The eagles head is carved into elk antler .The shaft of the cane is made from a wonderful piece of spalt [partly rotted] diamond willow [what is diamond willow ? ]. For Sale

Materials
Wood – Diamond willow
Handle – Elk antler
Bottom – Brass Tipped
Finish – Wipe-on Poly [satin]

Thank you for your interest.

-- Everyday above ground is a good day.





8 comments so far

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4520 posts in 1573 days


#1 posted 1489 days ago

This is very nice. Well done.

I’m curious – - I have worked with some diamond willow and I find it to be a relatively soft wood. If I were to make a cane I like this I would consider it a very nice decorative cane but I would be concerned if anyone who really needed a strong cane relied on it. I fear that, if put under pressure, this cane may not be able to support much weight. In particular, I would not make a cane like this for my father who really puts a lot of weight on a cane. Do you share the same opinion/concern?

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View knottysticks's profile

knottysticks

264 posts in 1528 days


#2 posted 1489 days ago

Your right Rich , not all the willow has the same strength. Bebbs willow I think is the strongest [bebbs grows quite tall and straight ,10-12 feet] but there are a few other species of willow that will form diamonds. I find these other types of willow have softer wood and are much weaker [they tend to grow much more twisted tangled stems , and are shorter 6-9 feet tall]. Willow dies from the centre outward, the centre or ‘heart wood’ of willow becomes quite strong and resists rot like cedar [ because of this fact it was often used as fence posts here on the prairies] . As the centre dies slowly the ‘outer’ white sapwood trys to grow around the death happening at it’s centre ,forming the diamonds. This ‘white’ outer sap wood is weaker and softer. After the bush/branch dies completely this white sap wood is quick to splat and rot away leaving a strong core or centre [these are the best ones to find]. So after you cut your branch take a look at the end cut you should clearly see the dark reddish core/centre and the white live sap wood around part of the outside. Of coarse you need to find the willow close to the ‘right’ time because as with all wood left too long , it will eventually rot . So I guess to answer your question , you can make it strong, look for Bebbs willow , find a piece with a red core/centre at least 3/4 – 1 inch or larger . Also try to straighten the branch some what , because a sharp bend in a branch is a weak point aswell. [Just ask if your wondering how to straighten a branch].

-- Everyday above ground is a good day.

View Tom "BUG" Janos's profile

Tom "BUG" Janos

367 posts in 1978 days


#3 posted 1489 days ago

I love the Eagle Head.
Great idea and imagination. Classy

-- Bug from Minnesota. Creating Designer Firewood Since 2006

View Tom "BUG" Janos's profile

Tom "BUG" Janos

367 posts in 1978 days


#4 posted 1489 days ago

I wanted to elaborate on the comment that Rich made…
I use a Diamond Willow Cane every day for all use including when I am hiking in the woods looking for wood for carving. I weight 350lbs and have never had issues with the strength. I even sit on the handle and use it as a leaning post when standing for hours for the Patriot Guard Riders. I have also made other canes and walking sticks with out issues. My willow is collected from Northern Minnesota where I live.

-- Bug from Minnesota. Creating Designer Firewood Since 2006

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4520 posts in 1573 days


#5 posted 1489 days ago

This is not my project but I have learned a lot here by posing a question that got a couple of excellent responses. Thank you.

I did not know there were different kinds of diamond willow. My diamond willow came from Alaska via a friend who vacationed there. She brought it back and asked me to make a cross for her with it for her. She then gave me another nice piece as compensation for making the cross. This is a very soft wood.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Mandi's profile

Mandi

4 posts in 1483 days


#6 posted 1483 days ago

Is this one for sale?

View Wdwrkng's profile

Wdwrkng

1 post in 1483 days


#7 posted 1473 days ago

How did you carve the eagle in the antlers.? Did you do this by tracing an outline on it or just from imagination? My dog found a set of deer antlers this winter and I would like to try something like that with them and attach it to a walking stick like you have done. Pretty cool idea and original idea.

-- I am a woodworking enthusiast and home improvement specialsit----http://www.woodworkerplans.com/reviews/wood-working-4-home-review/

View knottysticks's profile

knottysticks

264 posts in 1528 days


#8 posted 1473 days ago

Hello Wdwrking: To carve the antler I use a hanging 'dremel' with a variable speed foot pedal and whip , to rough out the shape . Then follow up with a 'turbo carver' to clean up and impart details . I have collected from yard/garage sales many pictures books on nature and animals . I try to find as many pictures that I can that show different angles of the subject , and lay then out as reference as I carve . Just like drawing , to start , I mark layout pencil lines , eg – a centre line down middle of the head , where beak/head meet , eye postion etc …. and then start roughing out the general shape all along referring to the photos as a guide . Important ! use a good quality dust mask while carving antler , antler dust can be nasty stuff .

Attaching the antler handle onto a tee handle cane shaft is trickier than mounting antler in line with the shaft . I use a 5/16×4 inch hanger bolt [Hanger bolts have a machine thread located on one side and a wood thread on the other] to attach the tee handle . I use a 'dowel centre' in the antler to mark the top of the shaft and drill a hole for the wood thread end of the hanger bolt. Cut a temporary wood dowel and use the dowel to align the hole in the antler with the hole in the top of the cane shaft. This dowel allows the antler to be repeatedly removed while shaping the top of the shaft to the shape of the bottom of the antler . Using pencil lead rub lead on to the antlers’ high points where the antler meets the top of the shaft , remove , and shape the shaft top to fit the antler bottom , and repeat , and repeat …. When you have a good tight fit between antler and shaft , then mount the hanger bolt into the top of the shaft . The hole drilled in the top of the shaft must be ‘in line with the cane’s shaft ’ but note that the hole drilled into the antler may be at a slight angle allowing you to adjust the angle the handle sits on top of the shaft . As the shafts’ top is shaped down to fit the antler’s shape the gap is slowly removed between the two . The hole in the antler needs to be a tight fit to the hanger bolt with little or no play to be strong . A 2 part epoxy mounts the handle . 'Quikwood' well to help with the fit and make any carving repairs to the antler as it is close in colour to the antler . Good luck with this project be sure to let me know when you post it.

Here’s a link to a great carving supplier RAZERTIP .

-- Everyday above ground is a good day.

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