Making canes

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Forum topic by RichGreer2r posted 03-17-2016 02:08 PM 607 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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48 posts in 816 days

03-17-2016 02:08 PM

Because of a bad stroke 2 years ago. I need to use a cane to walk. I purchased 3 canes in Bubinga, Wenge and Hazelwood. Then I started woodworking again and I made a couple of canes. One of the canes I made is incredibly comfortable. It is made with Osage Orange (Hedgewood). It has a derby style handle that I made an inch longer than normal. The handle is very smooth and it fits my big hand very nicely.

The handle is great, but I think there is another reason that it is so comfortable. It flexes a little. I’ve never measured it, but I think when I put weight on the cane, the shaft flexes about .25” and the handle can give about .25” also. I have no fear of the cane breaking and I really like the cushion that comes from the flexing.

A friend told me that Hedgewood is a preferred wood for archery bows because it is very strong and has a lot of spring.

My cane is 1” in diameter at the top and tapers steadily to .75” at the bottom. I think (by luck) I have just the right thickness for the right amount of flex.

I’ve been trying to read about cane making. I have not read anything about flex. Does anyone have some insight on this subject?


-- Rich in Cedar Rapids, IA

3 replies so far

View BonPacific's profile


20 posts in 853 days

#1 posted 03-17-2016 06:08 PM

I don’t have much in the way of official resources, but I have noticed the same thing you have. I don’t require a cane, but at various times in life I’ve walked with one by choice. My favorite cane is made from a branch that had naturally grown in a spiral, and air dried. I don’t know the species, but it has a lot of spring to it.

Traditional English and Irish walking sticks were made with Yew, Ash, and Blackthorn among other woods, and all of these are known for a “springiness”. English Yew is of course is famous for it’s use in bows, and Ash is also a popular bow-making wood. The blackthorn Shillelagh I have used is quite springy, while remaining very strong.

You might want to look up articles about the Modulus of Elasticity in woods, and that might have some information about how to use it for walking canes.

View hairy's profile


2703 posts in 3530 days

#2 posted 03-17-2016 07:17 PM

Best wishes towards your recovery.

Here’s my opinion, and that’s all it is. I’ve made 3 canes, they are in my projects here. I’m sure everyone has their preference, but I wouldn’t want flex in a cane. Mine started out 2” diameter, tapering to 1”. I like a solid hunk of wood in a cane, the difference in weight is minor. One of mine has a flexible foot, but they all have non skid rubber feet..

-- My reality check bounced...

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2656 posts in 2919 days

#3 posted 03-17-2016 08:53 PM

I do not need a cane….yet. I have made a few and sold them. I make them 3/4” round. Here are photos of some I have made that sell well.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

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