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Hi,

I have a feeling that a few of you forum members are as excited as I was to do a saw cane but might be having trouble getting started........ I'm not going to give you plans but just some thoughts and details on what I did.

First you might want to check this post so we are all on the same page:
http://www.routerforums.com/showthread.php?p=29272

I started by looking at my hand saw collection then picked the handle I liked the best and seem to favor being made into a cane. The thickness of the handle was 7/8" and the thickness really gives the cane the feel of a saw.

I then made a pattern out of 1/4" tempered hardboard using the handle as a pattern then adding the cane portion. I picked a different angle then what the real blade was attached at to give the look and feel that I wanted. I marked the holes for screws and drilled a small hole so I could use screws to help hold the pattern in place in addition to some double sided tape and a hole at the far end past the length I needed for another screw(see details about length below). I drilled the hand grip portion and then sanded it all smooth.

Next I guessed at a length knowing who was going to use it... This can be a bit of a guess so you might want to go longer then cut it to fit as needed. I went about 3" longer then my guess for some adjustment. I at this point ordered the cane tip from lee valley. They offered a 5/8" or 3/4" I opted for 3/4".

I found that I needed a width of about 5-1/2" if I tilted the handle slightly to the long direction of the wood. In review, 7/8" thick and at least 5-1/2 wide and length as required.

Wood selections should be made keeping in mind the strength that might be needed and grain patterns and things like knots etc. If you have the pattern made up it doesn't take long to find the correct workpiece... (you can even take it to the wood store with you).

I traced the pattern on the workpiece then used my bandsaw to do the outside cuts within about a 1/16" to 1/8" of the line. As I mentioned a couple of screw hold the handle part but the cane portion is long and hardboard can flex a bit so some double sided tape will help hold that portion better. I should point out that the last few inches of the cane needs to fit the tip so the taper flattens down there. You also need to reduce the 7/8" thickness to 3/4" by that point. I opted for a long taper.

I drilled out most of the material for the hand hole staying just away from the lines, a flat bottom bit can take a lot of the material away and that makes the routing operation go a lot better.

I used my table mounted router to trim away the ruff cuts and clean up the edges by running against the pattern. After removing the pattern I used a round over bit to round everything then sanded to clean up. (I opted to sand the taper but there are many ways to do that.)

Now came the point of picking a length... since the person I was building it for lives 400 miles away I took a guess and cut it to length. Now this might not be the best way to do it but it turns out I got away with it.

As I mentioned before since I knew who this was for I selected an understated look. A simple stain sealer followed by antique oil and wax. What I did to make it look a bit older and more used was to look at my hand saws and see the wear patterns then used ruff sand paper to adjust those points followed by some light fine sanding so it would absorb more stain thus look darker like my old saws look.

The saw screws I got from Ace hardware online, I drilled the holes (different sizes one each side). I was looking for a medalian but had no luck finding anyone that sells them.... if anyone does find a source please post the information. The gain of wheat I did free hand with a woodburner tip and like my saw it had that on only one side of the handle. Some saws have it on both sides and I have no idea where this idea came from.

I have a pattern but after building this one I might want to make a few changes before I do any more. Some way of hanging it would be useful and as I found out a rubber tip seems to be a better choice but I like the metal look and might just do as I did and add rubber over the metal tip. I'm also looking at maybe having a cord attached that goes over the wrist in case it slips from the hand???

If you need more information just ask, I or someone else who is building these might be able to help.
 

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Good post, with lots of good information, Ed. One suggestion I might leave as to the lenght. I made mine all about 6 or 7 inches longer then the finished product and drilled a hole in the end about3 or 4 inches long that was large enough to slip over a nail. It turned out to make a decent handle to hang onto while you are applying the finish and also left me with a way to kind of mount it to a quickly built fixture that I made out of scrap wood that would hold the canes upright while they were drying. ( I used a spray gun to apply several coats of polyurthaine ). I just pounded some 16 penny nails through some old scrap boards so they stuck up a few inches and slipped the canes over the exposed nails. Then when they were done and I knew who was getting the canes, I had a better idea of how long to cut them so they would fit the person. Since I only used the rubber tip on mine, you have about an inch or so of hidden wood under the rubber tip, You can just take a saw along and custom fit it to the person, if you need to, by cutting off an inch at a time and letting that person try it out till they are happy with the lenght.
I am able to cut my own lumber so the thickness is what ever I want it to be,, and I used 1 inch thick stuff only becuase it worked with a 1/2 inch round over bit perfectly, but unless you start out with rough cut lumber, and have to go with finished lumber from a lumber yard, then your choices are more limited, 7/8's works just as well. Reible is right,, if you deviate too much from that,,, it would just not feel right.
 

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Thank you so much for all the time spent on giving the specific instructions for these saw canes. I really appreciate it. I will definitely make another spare pattern per your advice! I worked into the wee hours of the night perfecting and smoothing out the pattern I have already made, so it would probably make me cry if I ruined it and didn't have a backup. Bob and Rick always say your project will only be as good as your pattern is, so make it a good one.
I was doing a google search and read on one website that made canes that you should make a cane half the height of the person that will be using it and round it off to the next higher inch.
The Router Boys had a show on making a card table and I watched Rick routing the handle by making two huge holes first and then routing. I'm not sure if that is the one where I actually saw smoke rising up from the wood, haha! I think your suggestion about using the forstner bit is a good one for me to try out with the drill press.
If my finished project resembles a saw cane I will try to post photos.
Again, thank you Ed and Terry for your postings. It should take out all the guess work and trial and error for me. :) (hopefully)
 

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Maybe a few words on pattern making might be in order. I think I did this pattern in maybe 20 minutes start to finish.

I traced and then bandsawing close to the lines and did the necessary drilling. For the cane portion I just tacked the pattern on to a straight edge and routed it. This then required a very light sanding to remove the burr but no dimensional or finished sanding to speak of. For the handle portion I chucked up a sanding drum and did the major material removal (I used 3 sizes of drums*) to the lines. As I mentioned a drill bit removed most of the hand grip material and the sanding drum the rest. The nice part of the 1/4" material is the sanding goes fast. I then went with some sand paper in hand to do any transitions and final smoothing. I like to have the sandpaper in hand as you can feel the ruff spots or any bumps or valleys.

* I like to use a drum the same size as the flush trim bit or bushing I'm going to use so I make sure none of the places the bit/bushing needs to go can be fully followed. If I don't have a drum that size I go up one to the size I have.
 

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QUOTE=Dr.Zook]Thanks Ed. I take back MOST of what I said about you, but not all. :D LOL :D[/QUOTE] Are you taking back the good things you said or the bad things????

Hope this gets you and a lot of others out in the shop making one of these great projects. And I'm looking forward to seeing some photos in the Show N' Tell area.
 

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SandyBR549 said:
I was lucky enough to have a saw at hand and traced the handle from that. Is that what you used for a pattern?
The drum sander is another great idea I'll remember.
Thanks again!
Yes I used a regular old handsaw as the pattern. I'm still a bit old school and still have and use handsaws.... at least one project a year to keep in practice and to remember the good old days when that was about all I had to use. OK, and to know how much easier we have it now-a-days.

While I was out of town last week I even looked at a few old saws in a shop but didn't find a shape I liked more then the one I used. Might find one some day as the price is often very good while the saw blade might be in very bad condition the handle might inspire a pattern....
 

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Ed,
These canes lean more toward what a man would want to use for a cane, at least IMHO. I've been trying to think of something maybe a bit more feminine for ladies, like maybe, since the shape of the handle reminds me of a cat, doing something with that idea. But for now, I'm getting real close to cutting my saw cane out. I'm waiting for the wood filler to dry on my planter and I will be able to stain it. Yippee! Thank you for your reply. :cool:
 

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SandyBR549 said:
Ed,
These canes lean more toward what a man would want to use for a cane, at least IMHO. I've been trying to think of something maybe a bit more feminine for ladies, like maybe, since the shape of the handle reminds me of a cat, doing something with that idea. But for now, I'm getting real close to cutting my saw cane out. I'm waiting for the wood filler to dry on my planter and I will be able to stain it. Yippee! Thank you for your reply. :cool:
Yes this is more of a mans cane in my book too. I did think of maybe using a rose design on the handle and attempting to get a more pink stain on some white wood?? My Mom was quite the builder so if she were still with us she would no doubt like the saw idea but maybe painted red... or something to do with cars her other passion. (Lug wrench cane??)

I don't know if any of you remember the days when thread came on wooden spools but I saw a lot of items made of the spools like book shelves etc. If I could come up with a handle idea and made it a two piece cane that might be interesing for someone that sews.

My wife likes to garden so we have been trying to think of some garden related cane for an aunt I have that like to garden. So far we have not come up with anything special for that either.

Anyone want to do a hobby = cane idea post please do so...

Maybe your cat idea would work?? Trying to picture what you had in mind.
 

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Ed,
I like your idea of the rose with the pink stain on the white wood. That sounds so lovely! I hope you make that and put your pics in Show and Tell. Maybe I'll try it since I love to paint roses.
For the gardener, maybe a faux garden hose that somehow wraps around on the handle (or looked like it did), and something on the tip that looks like the tip of a garden hose. I'm just thinking out loud here, like I did with the cat idea. The handle just reminds me of a cat-shaped head with cute little cat ears. You could put little jewels around the neck of the cane like a kitty collar. Maybe glue some whiskers on it and paint some pearly white teeth below the handle or a cute little mouth.
So far, I have one pine cane that I already cut flush with the first pattern made of plywood, that I will probably save for a pattern per advice, one I'm sanding and will probably keep just to show people what they look like and I have 2 oak ones cut out that I need to rout with the flush trim bit and pattern and then the 1/2" roundover.
I used my scrollsaw to cut out the handle of the pine cane, (and then used the router table with the pattern bit, etc.) but not sure it will work for the oak. I'm oiling my scrollsaw to get it in prime condition for what is ahead, haha!
Tonight, though, I was working on another plywood pattern because the first plywood pattern was too short to leave the canes extra long for staining.....and my bandsaw blade broke, but at least not till I was all done! :D
 

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SandyBR549 said:
May I ask what price these canes go for? (I am having so much fun making them, but still wonder what the going price is).
Hi Sandy,,, I just came up with a price of $45 off the top of my head, when I was asked " how much ", But then I was not taking into account the cost of the wood, if you have to buy the board to start with. If you made one, you have found out that there is quite a bit of waste wood, in trying to cut a couple of them from a board. My wood is basically free and just some times forget to add that cost into the price., but everyone that I gave one to,, shook their head and said "too low, way too low". So maybe it is. A man from Kentucky, asked me to make him a cane that he could give to his father, told me, that a person that is in the market for a "custom Cane" would have extra funds to spend on this item,, and would expect to pay for a custom made article made especially for them,, He thought a hundred dollars would easily be in the ball park for one.
I am intrigued with your idea of a garden hose for a cane, I have an idea in my head that would have the hose loop around the top to form a handle and then come back under and touch the shaft and then maybe just tip back away from it so you could attach the brass end of a real hose to the wood to
give the impression that it is a garden hose. Perhaps a lot like what you described. You could certainly use the router with a round over bit to do a lot of it to make it round but I think it would also require some hand carving to finish it where it would attach to the shaft near where the end of the hose would be,, at least in my version of it. Now I have to find the time to create it. But I think ya got a good idea there.
 

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Ed, I have an idea for your mother in laws cane. Make it look like a scythe. A short wooden "blade" should be a good shape to grip, and there is the added benefit of mother in law / grim reaper jokes to share and enjoy. :eek:
 

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Terry,
Thanks for the pricing suggestions, and I can't wait to see your version of the garden hose cane! If worse comes to worse you could always make the cane narrow enough to slide a real hose over it, haha! What a great grip that would have on it, huh?
Well, I'm having computer troubles, I just hope this post takes ok. I have a question for you, if you don't mind. The oak ones might need 2 or more passes on my 2 HP Sears router. How do you do that with a pattern, just skim by the blade? I do believe this is my first pattern ever and I'm not familiar with the methods. The pine was easy. Thank you in advance for your answer!
 

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Ok Ed, now for a serious suggestion about your mother in law's cane. I had this idea come to me and I think it would be very popular. Create an old fashioned Sunbeam mixer on the top of the cane. The handle would be black and squared off, the mixer body would be white and made from a block of balsa so it wouldn't effect the balance or weight of the cane. A simple 1" hole through the block and some epoxy to hold it in place. Now for the really trick part. These old Sunbeam mixers had a round dial on the end to adjust the speed. It would be a simple thing to make this a removeable plug / end cap and have hidden storage inside the mixer body. What do you think?
 

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Sandy, when I cut out my blanks,, I was not real careful about following the line, so in some areas, the blank had more wood to remove then maybe ideal, I attached the pattern to the blank with double stick tape and in the areas that were real heavy, I just did not try and push the pattern up against the bearing,, I just kind of ran those areas past the cutter a few times and took off some of the wood, kind of freehand, till there was still just a little to go,, and once I had the blank down so there was just a little bit of wood to remove, all around the blank,, then I started at one end and then,, Pushed the pattern up tight to the bearing, and ran it around the whole blank, so it was finally cut down to its finished size. It worked ok for me. But like I said. be extra careful when you are running the cutter around INSIDE the handle, that is about the only place I had problems, and that happend only when I got complacent and let my attention wander and let my grip on the blank get a little too light. If you were cutting on the outside of your pattern, it would just toss the wood away and that would be that, but since you are surrounding the bit with wood, It cannot just toss it away, It tosses it to the other side and then gets tossed again and it happens so fast,, its just MORE excitement then you need. I had to stop and count my fingers a couple of times and make sure I still had all of em after that happened. Only happend once, and it sure zeroed in my attention from then on.
ALso I used 1/2 inch shank bits instead of the 1/4 inch ones,, they are a lot stronger, they have a better chance of surviving a mistake. I did fling my first 1/4 flush trim bit across the garage some place,( Still haven't found it ) because I was pushing it too hard and it failed and sheared off.
And I think you said you had to make over your pattern because it was not long enough, I just left extra wood, like maybe 4-6 inches of wood extend past the end of my pattern and drilled a hole in the end of that extra wood so I could slip it over a nail to aid in drying,and to hang onto in the finishing process. I did not use the pattern to make that extra lenght, so you should be fine with your pattern. I did make mine a couple of inches longer then the finished size anyway,, so it gave me more options in cutting to the finished lenght depending on who was getting the cane.
 

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aniceone2hold said:
Ok Ed, now for a serious suggestion about your mother in law's cane. I had this idea come to me and I think it would be very popular. Create an old fashioned Sunbeam mixer on the top of the cane. The handle would be black and squared off, the mixer body would be white and made from a block of balsa so it wouldn't effect the balance or weight of the cane. A simple 1" hole through the block and some epoxy to hold it in place. Now for the really trick part. These old Sunbeam mixers had a round dial on the end to adjust the speed. It would be a simple thing to make this a removeable plug / end cap and have hidden storage inside the mixer body. What do you think?
Hi Mike,

Not a mother-in-law..... an aunt.

Anyway a mixer might work but that would be a bit trickier to do and keep the weight down..... I do like the idea of storage in the handle! No one would think to look for the M&M there!

My aunt is also a writer and despite being in her 80's she has just had her second book come out this summer. She is a bit of a history buff and has written about my and her hometown in that respect. I was thinking of something in that area (writting/history) but still have not come up with the natural fit that the saw handle has.......

Some of these ideas would lend themselves to having a two piece design. Like the mixer idea could be turned and then the handle attached and cane screw into that....... Maybe when I get back from my next outing I'll order the parts to do that and give that style of cane a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi,

I'm sure most of you remember that the feed direction for the hole in the handle is different then the feed direction for the rest of the project..... but in case some of you are new to routing or have forgotten........ now you know.

Ed
 
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