We retired 5000' up in central Az. We have a VA hospital here and a ton of military retirees, mostly it seems Marines. There are also a lot of Native Americans here who have chosen the Corps and served with pride. I have access to a native wood, Alligator Juniper, that is fairly dense, fairly lightweight and hides beautiful grain. A local guy here spends most of his time walking the mountains looking for fire killed trees, felling, skidding and slicing them with US Forestry approval. He can sell me a 1 1/2" thick x 10" wide by 9' long slab for under $20. I plan on ripping to
1 1/2" thick x 2" wide x 4' long stock. Wood is already air dried by mother nature and fairly easy to work. I want to cut main section into a sort of oval 2" across by 1 1/2" thick. sort of like the handle on a "Brazos Walking Stick" cane handle. I have to learn how to get the base shape to the cane and intend to start a prototype in a week or so. I only have space for a bench top router and hope I can set one up for just rounding over the 1 1/2" sides. Handles I hope to cut from scrap and secure with threaded rod and marine epoxy. What I am really looking for I guess is the best source for the router bits needed. Right now that is probably 1/4 shank, carbide(?), and a decent life for the bit. If I get a chance I may get a heavier router and table on a super deal but right now I would rather spend money on good bits.
Let me be honest, I do not sell anything I make. We are on a fixed income and this comes out of my mad money budget. I get paid when I see one of my canes being used at Costco, over in Sedona, or as far away as Flagstaff. A vet, in my opinion, who needs help to walk has a right to pride. Every cane or staff has been different that I have made and in over 10 years I hope is still handling utility and pride.