28 March 2014
Curved Closing Pin Walking Stick
This is a walking stick/cane combination that I made for Justin VanBoer. This was a really fun project as I was given only a couple of design constraints. The overall length, and a skydiver theme.
What I settled on was a segmented stick piece with a large curved closing pin handle. I chose dark walnut for the handle and dark segments in the stick, and the lighter sections are African mahogany. There’s a thin strip of hard maple between the handle and the mounting piece for a little contrast. To have a multi-piece stick, I ran a piece of stainless steel threaded rod through the entire length. This also puts the load on the threaded rod and the wood is just there for stability and comfort.
The handle was cut and rough sanded. Then, the mounting piece was painstakingly hand-shaped and fitted to match the bottom of the curved closing pin perfectly. I then cut all the pieces for the stick portion and drilled holes in everything. The handle and main stick portion were glued and assembled with a locking wire at the top, hidden under a walnut plug. The rest of the stick was glued and assembled and I turned a small piece for the tip. Everything was then connected as they would be in use to make sure it all stayed consistent when assembled, and the stick portion was hand-shaped using various sanders, rasps, and files. The piece was then finished with spar varnish and ren wax, and the handle was wrapped in 400# technora (HMA), using a spiral half hitch wrap.
The Stick can be assembled in full length, or by taking the tip off and connecting it to just the handle piece, it can be used as a shorter hip cane. Overall, I am very happy with how this came out. This cane should provide a lifetime of walking assistance and look good doing it.