How to Make a Cane Walking Stick

How to Make a Cane Walking Stick
Cane walking sticks are different from normal walking sticks and normal canes because they are designed without a handle but are shorter than walking sticks. Cane walking sticks are useful during hikes or for support and are used by both elderly and younger individuals alike. You can purchase a cane walking stick from a cane company or woodworker or make one yourself to save money and add more personality to your walking or hiking companion.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Dry stick
  • Leather gloves
  • Saw
  • Knife
  • Coping saw (optional)
  • Power drill
  • Sandpaper
  • Stain
  • Varnish
  • Leather or synthetic cordage
Step 1
Select a dry stick that is at least four feet in length, two inches in diameter at its thickest point, and no less than one-and-one-half inches in diameter at its thinnest point. Choose wood based on the type of use you have planned for your cane walking stick. Using the stick often or hiking with it will require a hardwood like oak or maple. If you plan on light hiking or seldomly using the stick for walking support, softwoods like fir or pine are sufficient.
Step 2
Cut the stick's length down to two to four inches above your waist line. This is where you will be holding the top of the cane walking stick, so customize these measurements to suit your needs. Always wear leather gloves when using cutting tools.
Step 3
Trim any dead or leftover bark off the stick. Do this by cutting lengthwise down the stick and peeling the bark off or cutting perpendicular down the stick to "skin" the bark off.
Step 4
Use a knife or coping saw to remove the stubs of branches attached to the stick. Be careful to avoid cutting into the main part of the stick as this reduces its structural integrity.
Step 5
Drill a hole two inches from the end of the thickest part of the stick. Use a one-fourth inch drill bit and drill completely through the stick to create a hole to secure the hand strap to.
Step 6
Sand down the stick by using 100-grit, 200-grit and 400-grit sandpaper successively. Sand down the thickest end of your stick so it resembles a ball on top. This will make it easier to hold and subsequently give you more grip and better stability.
Step 7
Place a piece of wire or string through the drilled hole in your stick, so you can hang it for staining. Apply the stain color of your choice---test a small piece of wood to make sure you like the color before staining the whole stick. Let it dry completely, but leave it on the wire.
Step 8
Apply varnish over the entire stick, cleaning up drips and streaks as you go. Let the varnish dry completely---it should not be "tacky" to the touch. Remove the wire or string from the stick when dry.
Step 9
Tie a 16 inch piece of leather or synthetic cordage through the hole you drilled to make a hand strap. You may also want to put a crutch tip on the bottom for added traction.

Tips & Warnings

For a smoother finish, sand your varnish lightly with 400-grit sandpaper.
Never sharpen the point of your stick, as this is dangerous and can cause injury.

Article Written By Justin Chen

Justin Chen is a freelance writer and photographer with 6 years of professional experience in outdoor activities, extreme sports, travel and marketing topics. His professional work experience includes publication with KOMO 4 News Seattle, Fisher Interactive Network, and Demand Studios. He is a current Pre-Med student at Walla Walla University.

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