Thanks guys. I don't need a cane most of the time, but when I do I need it right now, if my knee or hip gives me a problem, then I'm very happy to have it along. It comes in handy other wise too, if something is too far back on the top shelf at the store, just hook it with the handle and pull it forward, I figure if you ever get attacked by a dog a cane will be good protection, just run it down his throat. Won't work that well with more then one dog, but then you use it like a baaseball bat. You can use it on a thug too, but in that case I'd want to do some serious reading and/or lessons in cane/stick fighting befoe you have to try it.
Which is one of the reasons I started this project. I've made half a dozen or so canes. The first was made from oak flooring I got for free. I planed it to 1/2" thick, then cut it down to 1" wide, laminated the shaft, glued a couple of wide pieces at the top, and cut the inside with a 7" hole saw, and rounded the outside with a bandsaw. Then rounded the edges with a bit of sanding and a very sturdy, and not bad looking, cane. Carried that until I left it on the top of my vehicle, and drove off. Miss that cane. Did the same thing with a couple of store bought canes, which made me try making my own. That's when I went to the tree limb canes. Always heard people give compliments on the looks and sturdiness of them. Wasn't all that impressed with the looks, but sturdy was what I was after - and thought I had it, until I slid down some crusty snow covered porch steps, landed on top of my cane, and snapped it like a twig. Fortunately I had a spare in the truck, but that's when, and how, i thought, laminated plywood canes.
By the way, these first three canes are all prototypes, and will eventually be destructive tested, to compare them. And I'm using part of my stash of not very fancy sheathing plywood to make them, voids and all.
But that's OK, once I get thru with these I'll get some Sitka Spruce, Baltic Birch, or other nice plywood, for the real canes.
Marvin, I think you'd be surpised. Handles 3 and 4 both have a bump, like the one on my prototypes. On the prototype, that bump is in just the right position to fit into the palm of the hand, and that is what makes it comfortable to me. I hope the bumps on those two are in just the right position to fit the palm - because if they don't, I'll be doing a remake on both. I don't think any of them will be uncomfortable, at least hope not, but I do think those two will be just a bit more comfortable. Glad you like 'em.
Yesterday I tacked the first cane onto a piece of plywood, so I could rout out a copy of the handle, and use it with a 1" wide shaft template, and glue that to a piece of plywood. I forgot the handle is three layers thick, so the nails to tack it down where a tad short, which meant the new handle piece did not rout that fantastic - but it worked, routed that out today, and have the third layer gluing now. It won't come out exactly 1"X1", but close enough. I'll be able to judge the strength, to round the edges, then judge the strength again. I tried routing out another handle thiis afternoon, for a 1 1/2"X1 1/2" shaft, which will be four layers. Those voids wound up making a two piece handle after it broke, but It glued together nicely, and that will be on the inside. These are both like the first one, above, so no pictures. These all came out a bit rougher than I'd planned, but not that bad. Once I figure out which shaft size I'll actually use, I'll spend a lot more time getting a good pattern. But I'm satisfied with what I've got right now.
I've got about eleven handle designs glued to plywood, waiting to be cut out, then they'll be glued to another piece of plywood, along with a shaft blank, and both routed to make a two layer master. I'll spend some time on these, making them nice. I'm thinking I'll cut out another copy of the present handle also; it was just zipped out, to use for the testing, but It's turned out to be nicely comfortable, and I like it. I'll spend time on all the masters; they have to be nice and smooth, because any little bump, dip, or other irregularity, will show up in the copies.
I'll be routing these two out tomorrow, then another layer glued on the 1 1/2"X1 1/2" shaft, which will give it three layers, then just one more layer. I forgot to glue on another layer on the first one made also, so that will be tomorrow also. The 1"X1" shaft one will be good at three layers.
Interesting tidbit. My tree limb cane is 36", which feels a bit short for me. The original cane started at 40", which I knew was way long for me. I cut it down to 39", which was still too long, used it for a day. Then cut it down to 38", which I figured was what I would be happy with. Well, tomorrow or the next day I am cutting it down to 37 1/2" to see how I like that. Amazing that that little amount of length is so noticable. If the 37 1/2" still feels longer then I'm satisfied with, I'll start cutting off 1/4" at a time to see how that feels. I'd never have thunk it, but it's true.
Hopefully I'll have something picture worthy in a day or two. I am more and more pleased with how all of this is going together. I'll be making a batch of canes for myself, and rotate use, but will also have a try at making some for sale.
Troy. Nah, I'm a grumpy old man, and I'm going to be carrying a cane sturdy enough to beat the crap out of a wild boar, the Marlin is reserved for cans and paper targets. And I pack. Hehehehe
Anything not clear ask away. I know I'm not sure just what I'm going to do until I get out there and actually do it sometimes, so I have to ask myself what I'm doing.