LumberJocks

Custom Cane #148: Ironwood, Gabon Ebony, Padauk, Rosewood [Starry Night Cane]

  • Advertise with us
Project by mmh posted 56 days ago 1090 views 4 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This cane is made of an exquisite piece of ironwood from Arizona. There are different types of ironwood and I suspect that not only was this tree a slow growing hardwood that endured many decades of extremely high temperature and arid conditions, but also that the tree may have been partially petrified after it died. I do not know the true age of this wood, but it could be well over several hundred years old.

This wood is very dense and splintered and is usually plagued with internal cracks and voids, some that look as if the wood has burn marks along with absorbed minerals. This makes it difficult to acquire a decent size of stock to work with. I usually have to study numerous pieces and try to determine what the grain is like and if there are damage issues in the wood.

It is difficult to cut a flat, square surface in wood that is anything but flat to get the dimension of wood that you want to work with without wasting a lot of the material. Originally I was cutting this handle in a completely different direction and trimming the edge to create a flat surface so that I could joint at least two sides when I realized that I was trimming off some incredible burled grain streaked with some brilliant colors. Fortunately, the shape of this handle allowed me to revise the original cut and salvage a piece large enough to make this handle.

This is a “reversed” handle that has the user point the nose outward and lean their palm on the thicker side with their weight supported directly over the shaft. The nose can be thinner than usual and the hand can rock the handle and swing the cane shaft out forward, allowing for a more fluid motion and faster pace. Even if used for a slow pace, the movement is much swifter and less inhibiting than if the cane were held in the opposite, traditional manner of the nose pointing towards the user.

The pattern of the handle resembles Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night and the incredible colors are quite brilliant, yet very organic and is quite mesmerizing.

The collars are of ironwood, Gabon Ebony and Padauk and the shaft is made from solid Rosewood.

Comments and inquires welcome. Please visit Big Stick Canes for more of my work or Canes for Sale

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





24 comments so far

View Druid's profile

Druid

560 posts in 1296 days


#1 posted 56 days ago

Beautiful work Michael. Actually, the “reversed” handle, and the slope is one of the recommendations being used in my area for people to be able to use a cane more comfortably. Nicely done.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Vince's profile

Vince

925 posts in 1930 days


#2 posted 56 days ago

Beautiful cane, did you make a tenon on the shaft to go through the handle or is that a separate dowel that goes through the handle into the shaft?

-- Vince

View mmh's profile

mmh

3243 posts in 2223 days


#3 posted 56 days ago

Druid: Thank you for the comments. I am glad to hear that others are also using the reverse handle concept, as I have not seen it otherwise practiced. [Alas, I have not been able to visit the UK outside of Heathrow.] FYI: My husband, Michael and I are making canes and we both have our own distinct designs but we enjoy sharing ideas, techniques and concepts. This one is my creation – Meilie

Vince: The shaft and visible tenon are of one piece. It is turned by my husband, and I requested that he not turn the collars so that I can create an asymmetrical collar to make a more fluid transition from handle to shaft.

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

View michelletwo's profile

michelletwo

2108 posts in 1516 days


#4 posted 55 days ago

as usual, it’s a great example of cane making and gorgeous woods.

-- We call the destruction of replaceable human made items vandalism, while the destruction of irreplaceable natural resources is called development.

View Benji Reyes's profile

Benji Reyes

290 posts in 1579 days


#5 posted 55 days ago

The discoveries we make when we cut wood to reveal it’s raw internal beauty adds inspiration to one’s creativity. it shows in your work Meilie. Beautiful!

-- Benji Reyes, Antipolo, Philippines, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Benji-Reyes/88321902103?ref=ts

View Rafe Demers's profile

Rafe Demers

45 posts in 486 days


#6 posted 55 days ago

Absolutely beautiful! I love the shape of the handle and the wood choices are a brilliant combination! I was curious on what you use for an adhesive to join the different species of wood. I found with tropical woods it can be difficult to keep a strong bond even with certain epoxies due to the oils in the stock. Any advice on what you are using?

-- Rafe Demers

View UncleStumpy's profile

UncleStumpy

334 posts in 813 days


#7 posted 55 days ago

I like to make canes myself and all I have to say about this one is stunning!

-- "They don't want it perfect - they want it SPECIAL"

View oldrivers's profile

oldrivers

133 posts in 67 days


#8 posted 55 days ago

Exquisite ! I never saw such beautiful Iron wood. I am familiar with the eastern Iron wood I know it is HEAVY and HARD. This is a master piece.

-- LAUS DEO!

View mmh's profile

mmh

3243 posts in 2223 days


#9 posted 55 days ago

Rafe: I’ve tried various wood glues including epoxy. I do not like the Gorilla glue that bubbles and foams up when you add moisture as instructed, as I understand they want the wood cells to swell up with the glue, but the joint becomes riddled with open cell type holes that are not what is wanted in a tight joint that is readily visible such as a cane. Furniture may be a more appropriate use for this type of glue. [FYI: This glue is extremely dangerous around pets, especially hungry dogs, as my neighbor’s puppy got hold of a bottle and it foamed up in his stomach and emergency surgery was needed to save his life. They now have a perfect mold of his stomach.]

To give more integrity to the joinery, the visible tenon and wedge will help insure that this piece does not move. A small percentage of shrinkage and swelling may occur, but the wedge should still hold quite well.

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

View Roger's profile

Roger

13062 posts in 1305 days


#10 posted 55 days ago

This is a real beauty. I’d like to lean on this one.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View lew's profile

lew

9829 posts in 2256 days


#11 posted 55 days ago

That handle is absolutely stunning, Meilie! “Vincent” should be thrilled at your comparison.

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

View jroot's profile

jroot

170 posts in 2023 days


#12 posted 55 days ago

Beautiful. I love the use of the various exotic woods. Well done ... from a guy who used to make walking sticks.

-- jroot

View Druid's profile

Druid

560 posts in 1296 days


#13 posted 55 days ago

Hi Meilie, sorry about giving the credit to the wrong person. Glad to see so many positive comments. What type of finish did you use?

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Northwest29's profile

Northwest29

607 posts in 991 days


#14 posted 55 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous, almost to pretty to use. Excellent craftsmanship and beautifully matching woods! On average how long does it take you to create one of these master pieces?

-- Ron, Eugene, OR, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View tomakazi's profile

tomakazi

639 posts in 1784 days


#15 posted 55 days ago

I love these canes you make! Im going to read your blogs, I would like to make a few of these.

-- I didn't go to college, I was too busy learning stuff - Ted Nugent

showing 1 through 15 of 24 comments

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

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase