How to Make Walking Canes

How to Make Walking Canes
Walking canes are useful for those who require assistance while walking long distances. A walking cane, unlike a hiking stick, is shorter and has a gripping pad on the end to give you more traction when walking up and down hills. A walking cane's shorter design is made to withstand more weight without the cane buckling or bending. Although you may buy one at the store, a homemade walking cane is more economical and has more personality than a store-bought cane.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Making Your Cane

Things You’ll Need:
  • Dry branch (off dead tree) Saw Knife Sandpaper Paintbrush Stain Varnish Crutch tip
  • Dry branch (off dead tree)
  • Saw
  • Knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Paintbrush
  • Stain
  • Varnish
  • Crutch tip
Step 1
Select a dry branch that has a 90 degree angle in the thickest part of it to create a handle. The branch should be 4 feet long from the trunk to the point where it becomes smaller than 1 1/2 inches in diameter. The bend should be no larger than 2 1/2 inches in diameter, and should extend at least 4 inches on one side of the main branch. Willow and maple are both good woods to use for this.
Step 2
Shorten the bend by sawing it off if the branch (handle) right after the bend is longer than 6 inches. The remaining bend will be your handle, and should be 4 to 6 inches long. Saw off the end of the branch so the overall cane height is as tall as your hip.
Step 3
Use a knife to cut off all the knots and bumps on the handle and branch. This will make the walking cane smoother and more comfortable to hold.
Step 4
Sand down the entire cane using sandpaper. First use 100-grit, then go over the cane again with 200-grit and finish up with 400-grit. If desired, round the ends of the cane's handle with 100 grit sandpaper and a knife, then finish the rounded handle with 200-grit and 400-grit sandpaper.
Step 5
Stain the cane if desired. Tap a finishing nail into the end of the handle and tie twine to it in order to hang it. Then stain it and let it dry completely.
Step 6
Finish it with a varnish, such as shellac or polyurethane. This will protect the cane from wear and provide you with a smooth finish. Let it dry completely before touching it to avoid fingerprints on the cane. After it is dry, remove the finishing nail and twine.
Step 7
Attach a crutch tip to the cane to give it traction. Measure the diameter of the cane at the end and buy a tip accordingly. Most tips can be purchased at a drug store or medical supplier.

Tips & Warnings

 
You can carve, decorate or paint your cane in between the stain and varnish coats.
 
Always stain and varnish in a well-ventilated area to avoid breathing the toxic fumes. Never sharpen the ends of the handle or cane, as this can cause personal injury.
 
Always stain and varnish in a well-ventilated area to avoid breathing the toxic fumes.
 
Never sharpen the ends of the handle or cane, as this can cause personal 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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