Monday, March 19, 2018

DIY Walking Cane #5 - The Last Cane

At this point I've already made a number of walking cane, but I want to make one final cane using some nice hardwoods, namely Walnut and Maple.

What I have planned is to buy a Maple board that's .75" thick and laminate it with 2 Walnut boards that are .25" thick.

Then when the glue is dry I'll simply cut out the cane shape and go from there.  No finicky joints to deal with.

I went out and was able to find these boards at The Home Depot.

I covered my workbench with paper and prepped the boards to be cleaned with some lacquer thinner.

The thinner helps remove any residual oils that may be present on the surface of the boards.  It also removes those pesky stickers that the Home Depot puts on all their boards.

With the boards clean, it was time for the glue up.  I'm not going to bother with any of my smaller glue bottles.

I'm just going to pour the glue straight from the gallon jug I have...

and spread the glue with a plastic spreader.

Once all the surfaces had glue, I sandwiched them together and added practically every small bar clamp I owned.  I then let the glue dry for the better part of a day.

Once dry, I removed all the clamps and cleaned up all the dried glue on them.

I removed the paper from my work bench and then cleaned up the sides of the laminated board.

Since my #3 cane is my favorite, I used it as a template...

...and drew the shape onto the wood.

To cut out some of the straight shaft of this cane I'm going to use my table saw, but first I needed to flatten one of the edges.

To do this I am going to use my hand planer.

This flattens and smooths the edge quite quickly.

Then I made the cuts for the shaft.  I cut twice, on both sides of the shaft, but not all the way (since I don't want to cut off the handle.  I inserted some Popsicle sticks into the first cut, so when I cut the second cut the wood wouldn't flex.

Then I did the remainder of the rough-cutting on the band saw.

Next came a lot of sanding on my combination disc/belt sander...

...and a drum sander on my drill press.

To make the cut sides look nice and even, I used my heavy duty sander.

This makes the wood, burned from the table saw blade go from this... this in about a minute.

After a few hours of sanding, the cane was looking good.

It is however pretty thick.  I'm hoping it will slim down a bit after routing.

Using the router table is always a fun, but scary experience.  Scary, because it can easily rip off a finger tip...

...but fun because it gives the cane a very nice, rounded profile.

Unfortunately, this cane is still way too thick.

So I did what I thought was the unimaginable - I cut this new, nice cane in half on the table saw.

After cutting it in half (very carefully), I also removed an additional 1/8" from both halves of the cane.  Then it was time to glue this up again.

After glue up, more clamps.

This time I tried to clean up as much glue squeeze-out as possible.

On the handle there was a very small gap between the pieces.  I filled this gap with a very thin strip of Maple (about 1/16" thick) and some glue.

Then I let it dry again.

Once dry, I removed the clamps and brought it over to my drill press to sand down the edges that weren't quite even.

Then I began sanding the bottom of the shaft again to make it more rounded and to better fit a rubber cap.

There are a few slight spots where glue had dried on the wood.

These came off with the help of a card scraper...

...and some sanding.

The small shim of wood I place on the handle filled in well, but I missed a gap towards the back of the handle.

To make the gap big enough for another shim, I used a saw to widen the gap.

Then more glue and the shim.

I really didn't want to use any wood filler on this cane, but unfortunately a little is needed.

Luckily these are all in the middle of the Maple pieces, which are close to the color of the wood filler.

At this time I also drilled a hole on the bottom for a hook.

This allows me to hang the cane to dry.

When the filler dried I used a wet rag to smooth out and remove the excess filler.

Since I removed some material after I routed the cane, I decided to run it through the router one more time.  This re-rounded all the edges.

Then I spent about 2 hours sanding this cane - mostly by hand with sandpaper.

The final result was a super-smooth, and nice looking cane.

This 2-tone cane looks awesome - but I'm not done yet... needs some glossy polyurethane!

I applied a layer of poly with a cloth and hung it up to dry.

It looks nice and glossy, even after one layer of polyurethane.

When the first layer of poly dried I used some very fine sandpaper (500 grit) and sanded the whole cane.  Then I cleaned up the dust and applied a second coat.

...and hung it up to dry again.

After the second coat it was sanded and cleaned again.  This cane looks good!

No more poly is needed. This cane is done!

This cane turned out awesomely, and is quite strong.

The 2-tone wood looks so good to me, and sets it apart from all my other canes.

Below are my 3 more recent canes.  But I think this last cane is my favorite.

And that's it!  I'm done with cane making now.

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