I need to build a nice looking functional cane for an elderly friend of mine that needs one.

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Forum topic by chipmaker posted 07-28-2010 06:39 AM 1206 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16 posts in 3680 days

07-28-2010 06:39 AM

I have an elderly friend that has recently taken a fall and is having trouble getting around. I would like to build him a high quality cane that he can make use of to make his life a little easier and more mobile. I have in stock, red oak, maple, cedar, walnut, and some other misc. but for the most part this is it.

If any of you have experience in building walking canes, I would greatly appreciate your help with dimensions, basic shape, finish, tips, and anything else that might help (pictures get my mind working faster than most instruction). I don’t want to make something that will be uncomfortable for him to use or something that might slip and cause another fall.

Thanks in advance for your help and suggestions.


-- The rule is measure twice and cut once. My problem is I still measure with a mic and cut with an axe!

3 replies so far

View chipmaker's profile


16 posts in 3680 days

#1 posted 08-01-2010 06:43 AM

surely someone can share thier experiences or offer some advice?

-- The rule is measure twice and cut once. My problem is I still measure with a mic and cut with an axe!

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3832 days

#2 posted 08-01-2010 07:27 AM

Hey Jeff, I’m really surprised you didn’t get a response. There are some great cane makers here on the site. To name two…. and
You could PM either of them and you should get a response.
I have made a few canes as well. I’m not an expert but I’m sure I can give you some advice.
Height is determined by the customer. You need to figure out the height that will work for your friend. Everyone stands differently and are taller or shorter then each other. So the best thing you could do is stand him up and have him pretend he is comfortably holding a cane. You could even cut a stick and have him hold it, cutting it down as he describes how it feels. When he says he’s happy you have your height.

As for shape, that is up to you. You can make it as complicated as you like. The handle needs to be able to comfortably fit in your friends hand and be securely fastened to the shaft. I usually turn a tenon on the shaft and then use the drill press and a forstner bit to drill a hole the size of the tenon into the handle. From there glue is sufficient, but you can run a dowel all the way through to hold the handle to the shaft.

Walnut, Maple, and the Red Oak seem like they would work fine. I would stay away from the cedar as it seems to soft to me. I would personally use the Maple and Walnut combined on the cane. Maybe make a walnut cane with maple accents.

Hopefully that has helped some. I am sorry to hear about your friends fall and hope they are doing well.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 3995 days

#3 posted 08-01-2010 08:11 AM

Fox glove if striped makes great canes up here in the PNW. Every time Im up in the woods and have the heavy gloves with me I will take one and bring it home to the shop.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

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