Sumac Cane

  • Advertise with us
Project by mpounders posted 04-05-2012 04:06 AM 3274 views 2 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have sold or given away most of my stockpile of canes, so I’ve started working on some just to have something to take on walks! This is a piece of sumac a friend gave me. It is a light-weight wood, with a shallow root that grows to the side, making a handle for a cane. The bark peeled easily when it was green, but I was glad I wore nitrile gloves to keep the sap off my hands. I kept it in a plastic bag between carving sessions, and gradually let it dry out for about a month. No cracks so far! I like twisty sticks that have been shaped by vines, and i decided to do a spiral pattern on the handle that somewhat imitates those sticks. I carved a scale pattern below that, mainly for practice, but it provides a good grip and looks good. Then I did a freehand styilized leaf pattern below that. The sumac was really nice to carve and was a nice white color, but I didn’t want something quite that white….so I used a thin wash of gray acrylic paint to give it a weathered, silver color and used the same wash to darken some of the shadows. The last picture shows another piece that has been cl;eaned a bit, but gives you more of an idea how the cane started out. Thanks for looking!

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

15 comments so far

View Spoontaneous's profile


1335 posts in 3565 days

#1 posted 04-05-2012 11:22 AM

Mike ~ Gotta tell you that I really like this cane. There is something about it that is full of character. It looks to me like something you would see in a movie about wizards and hobbits… or the such. It just looks like it comes from another time or age…. or land. Very cool piece.

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

View jackthelab's profile


313 posts in 2928 days

#2 posted 04-05-2012 11:27 AM

Very cool – we are always on the look out for sumac – especially what we locally call stag horn sumac. It has the most unique yellow, light green color in its finished wood. Makes very nice jewelry.

-- Dave in Minnesota - If it ain't broke, improve it!

#3 posted 04-05-2012 11:31 AM

Beautiful and very creative this cane,Mike!!!


View stefang's profile


16209 posts in 3569 days

#4 posted 04-05-2012 12:45 PM

Fantasic cane Mike! I like everything about it. It looks both carved and natural at the same time. Quite a design trick and good inspiration as I actually need a cane now.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Woodbridge's profile


3618 posts in 2653 days

#5 posted 04-05-2012 12:48 PM

You really transfomed that wood into something quite good looking. I can’t imagine how ling it took to do all tose scales and I really like the carved leaves,

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View StumpyNubs's profile


7689 posts in 3036 days

#6 posted 04-05-2012 01:35 PM

That thing is so nice I have lost the will to walk on my own!

Thanks for posting!
Jim; aka “Stumpy Nubs”
New episode of Blue Collar Woodworking is now online!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View mpounders's profile


907 posts in 3130 days

#7 posted 04-05-2012 03:56 PM

Thanks all! I think I have less than 8 hours in this cane, in part because the wood carved easily. I used a 5mm wide #11 sweep gouge and just pushed it dtright in to form the outline of the scale. I did this in a spiral pattern around the shaft and tried to do it like a “bricklayer” pattern. It looks ok just like that, but I used the same gouge to dish out the surface of each scale, making a couple of additional cuts pushed up under the scale above it. Fish scales aren’t too bad, but snake scales require about 5 cuts per scale (if I’m lucky)!

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View Roger's profile


20965 posts in 3039 days

#8 posted 04-05-2012 04:26 PM

Very kool kane

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14179 posts in 4218 days

#9 posted 04-05-2012 09:06 PM

one of the best canes on LJ’s … the spiral handle is very creative,

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3762 days

#10 posted 04-05-2012 10:02 PM

Like it lots!

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View a1Jim's profile


117417 posts in 3812 days

#11 posted 04-05-2012 10:23 PM

I agree that it looks are most whimsical like some thing out off Harry Potter . A most unique caine and wonderful carving.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3148 days

#12 posted 04-06-2012 12:13 AM

NEAT-O——MIKE-O! Great Job!

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View whitedog's profile


652 posts in 3692 days

#13 posted 04-06-2012 12:48 AM

Count me in as one who likes this one… but I must admit I like almost all of your canes and carvings.

-- Paul , Calfornia

View knottysticks's profile


296 posts in 3264 days

#14 posted 04-06-2012 03:09 AM

Another great one bud – just keep them coming !!!

-- Everyday above ground is a good day.

View Eli Adamit's profile

Eli Adamit

739 posts in 3525 days

#15 posted 04-06-2012 04:38 AM

very nice, you succeed to give the feeling like the cane was wrapped by a thick bandage or cloth.

-- Eli Adamit, Israel

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