Best finish for a walking cane?

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Forum topic by missingdigitworkshop posted 07-12-2011 05:04 AM 21997 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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148 posts in 3365 days

07-12-2011 05:04 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question oak lathe router finishing traditional

I have made my first walking cane but want to make sure I use the correct finish. It is made out of red oak and has a couple nice grain features.

I have used poly on most of my projects (gloss and satin) but would like to know what would be best since this will get a lot of use.

-- Do not be discouraged by those who don't. Be inspired by those who do.

5 replies so far

View Richard's profile


297 posts in 2775 days

#1 posted 07-15-2011 12:45 AM

The first cane/walking stick I made was formed from a piece of Hawtorn cut out of a hedge while living in Flitwick, England. The only finish I used on it was fine grit sand paper (until it felt like silk against your skin) and, after rigorous wipeing down, I hand rubbed in four coats of warmed, Johnson Paste Floor Wax.
I have used it through six foot surgeries and will be using it, again in August when I ‘survive’ a total, right hip replacement.
Oh, I made it… thirty-three… years ago and it is still a beautiful as ever.

-- 'I sand, therefore, I am'. Richard. PNW.

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3297 days

#2 posted 07-15-2011 02:16 AM

We humans leave allot of sweat and heat, best finish is polyurethane.

View missingdigitworkshop's profile


148 posts in 3365 days

#3 posted 07-15-2011 04:44 AM

Thanks guys.

-- Do not be discouraged by those who don't. Be inspired by those who do.

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4365 days

#4 posted 07-17-2011 03:26 PM

I use a hand-rubbed tung oil/varnish blend. I make hundreds of walking and hiking sticks per year.

-- 温故知新

View Oldmanwheeler's profile


11 posts in 2559 days

#5 posted 01-17-2012 04:26 AM

Hello, I’m knew to this forum and came across this topic. I make handcrafted canes and I have found the best finishes come from the marine industry. I use Penofin Marine Oil Wood Finish for my shafts. I put on four coats and it gives me a deep hand rubbed finish that cane withstand Iowa’s nasty winters. For the handle if I want a glossy finish I use Waterlox Marine Finishes. It also withstands Iowa’s winters and does not yellow or crack. I’ve had a lot of success with these two finishes.

-- Oldmanwheeler, Iowa,

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