Introduction: Crowbar Cane

Picture of Crowbar Cane

Not too long ago my partner was diagnosed with a degenerative hip disease and found out that she would often require a cane to simply get about. Her doctor provided her with a standard-issue medical-grade black cane. Having to walk around everywhere with a "grandma cane" was not in line with her personality and seemed to be getting her down. It was a sad state of affairs.

After reflecting upon the problem I decided that she needed a "badass cane." Initially I was hoping to find a cane at the flea market or an estate sale with a steel cobra handle, naked mermaid, or something generally classy-like. However, canes of this sort are apparently few and far between. As is often the case, if you want something done right you have to do it yourself.

When we were in our early twenties, I had gotten her a crowbar for her birthday. We were living in New York City at the time and a crowbar seemed like something that would be generally useful for menacing people and breaking-and-entering. She greatly appreciated this gift. However, we ended up having to store it temporarily in my mom's basement when we moved out west and when we returned to get it we found that my stepdad had used it to remove a tree stump from the backyard. By that point we pretty much lost ownership of the crowbar.

Anyhow -- I digress. The point being that when I was trying to figure out what a "badass cane" should be, I quickly arrived at "crowbar." Even though we were no longer in New York and a number of years had passed, the idea of publicly menacing people still suited her personality. With this in mind, I have made the crowbar cane. After all, just because you have a degenerative hip disease doesn't mean that you can't be a stylish hooligan.

Step 1: Go Get Stuff

Picture of Go Get Stuff

You will need:

(x1) 36" crowbar
(x2) Foam bicycle handlebar grips
(x1) 3/4" Rubber cane tip

Step 2: Cut

Picture of Cut

Determine the height of the cane you need.

Cut the tip off the crowbar so that it is the right length.

Note: I was able to easily mark it with a hand file, which means it is possible to cut through with most blades designed for cutting steel. I used a horizontal band saw to do the job, but just about any metalshop saw should work. An angle grinder would probably be your next best bet. You should also be able to make it work with a cut off blade for a miter saw or hand-held rotary tool like a Dremel. If you have a lot of patience and need a workout, a hacksaw should slowly get the job done.

Step 3: Dull the Edges

Picture of Dull the Edges

Using a belt sander or grinding wheel round the edges of the cut end so that it is no longer sharp.

Step 4: More Dulling

Picture of More Dulling

Also use the belt sander or grinding wheel to remove any sharp points from the claw.

Step 5: Mod the Bike Grip

Picture of Mod the Bike Grip

Cut a hole on the closed end of the foam bike grips so that they are hollow all the way through.

Step 6: Slide It On

Picture of Slide It On

Slide the first foam bike grip up onto the crowbar until it bends around the arc.

Cut the other one at a slight angle and then slide it on until it joins up with other grip.

Step 7: Tip

Picture of Tip

Put the rubber tip onto the end of the crowbar.


lbrewer42 (author)2015-01-25 you will have someone complaining about a concealed weapon, we'll have to put up with "cane checks" from now on, have a new branch of government hired to (spend billions &) make standards/laws for canes, and end up only being able to legally carry government approved "safe canes" after going through a background check!

I know - sounds nuts. But this was the first thought I had b/c an acquaintance living in Hagerstown, MD and what he was arrested for...

He had changed a flat, front tire; and found after closing the trunk that he had left the tire iron out on the ground near the driver's door. He did not want to go back and open the trunk up again so he simply threw the tire iron under his seat. Not too long after he was stopped for speeding (which he was doing), and when the police officer happened to see the end of the tire iron sticking out from under the front seat, the driver was charged with having a concealed weapon. He appealed it but still had to pay the 10K fine for the "concealed weapon" :(

Its just one of the reasons I moved out of that state.

Great idea...great 'ible... and I love the animated "explanatory graphic" :^))

imark77 (author)lbrewer422015-06-23

I'm glad I live over here in WV, although I did something similar and I drive through Hagerstown, MD a lot. you know how you're supposed to tighten the nuts after you drive for a few hours.... well needless to say I probably drove 6 months with it in my door pocket.

i was also thinking about concealed weapons in/and TSA.

lbrewer42 (author)imark772015-06-24

ONe of the teen workers under me came into work (2nd shift) mad one day. That morning he had been carrying a piece of 2X6 board, for a bike ramp over his shoulders while going to his friends house.
One of the local officers stopped him and confiscated the board as a "potential weapon"

Sad... very sad... and there are more horror stories for why I am glad not to be in that state anymore. It is the most communist-regime like state I have personally seen. And yet, since native Marylanders grew up there, they have no idea of the ridiculous amount of control put over them. I have even had them try to justify being under the overly enthusiastic control system simply b/c they grew up with it, are therefore emotionally attached to the state, and its all they have known.

bogie7129 (author)2015-01-28

I love this badass walking stick/cane and I will make one. While I have a concealed carry permit and do carry concealed, I also carry a golf club. It's completely on the other end of the scale from this badass cane because it is so very light weight. However, someone before me cut the head off it, welded on (J-B Weld, maybe?) some kind of a transmission gear about half and inch in diameter (the golf club shaft fits into it), and on the outside of that they used a cane tip. If I ever encounter a badass varmint, he or she is going to be very, very surprised when I hit him up side the head with that graphite shaft with a steel end on it. PING!!! LOL Keep up the good work.

mjursic (author)bogie71292015-02-01

You mean a differential gear, for example, welded on to the ground end of the golf club? This I would love to see a picture of. Did something similar with a differential gear and a pool cue. Can't find any pics, though, and it's gone as a gift.

garg11 (author)2015-01-26

Is it not too heavy for a small fragile woman?

Whether she needs to be an athlete weightlifting to use it?

If yes she does not need it...:-)))

larrystick (author)2015-01-26

Badass is right! Good balance maker to on tricky sidewalks. Might be tough to get through TSA though.

hlanelee (author)2015-01-25

Yep, that is indeed one badass cane but weight would be an issue, not to mention metal detectors everywhere (9/11 ruined everything). You might want to try a STOCKMAN'S CANE, the kind like they use to steer hogs around the yard. They are generally made from a stout piece of hickory. My Grandpa had one and I have documented evidence that you can break someone's jaw with it (you could say that my family put the cracker in Florida Cracker).

boocat (author)hlanelee2015-01-25

Excellent, "crackerjack" haha

HoldOnTight (author)2015-01-25

C'mon now, who is the menacing one? We aren't a naive bunch of viewers. :)

rseiter1 (author)2015-01-25

Just a regular cane is a good weapon, that thing is deadly

poco424 (author)2015-01-25

Viscious little wench, eh"

turtleman1 (author)2015-01-25

Try getting this past the TSA at the airport!

fotorebelion (author)2015-01-25

Thats an F***'n badass cool idea!!!

Thinkenstein (author)2015-01-25

Brilliant idea for built-in exercise. Pushing upstream makes us stronger.

An alternative material for the handle might be wrapping it with coloured yarn and silicone rubber. You could adjust thickness, for one thing, maybe tapering it some where it joins the handle, or sculpting a silicone head for it with pigmented silicone.

and7barton (author)2015-01-25

I once took an elegant old black umbrella, discarded the central shaft and replaced it with a length of solid 10mm steel bar. I then wired and glued the umbrella wires to it, complete with the black cloth, and glued on the original handle. Although heavy and not usable as an umbrella, it was a formidable bit of kit - You could stab it through doors, or bring it down like a hammer and smash stuff.

GoLightLady (author)2015-01-10

lol, I love love love this idea, but 'cut the end off'?! What exactly are we supposed to use? I'm a 100% diy'er and I have no idea what machine that was. Could you update the tutorial to say what it is you used for this part? (I mean come on, this IS a crowbar, and I'm very sure my badass bolt cutter, or miter saw aren't the thing for this) :) thanks, this idea is seriously badass. You're a cool and good friend to come up with it.

_soapy_ (author)GoLightLady2015-01-25

Your mileage will vary.

As someone who has frequently cut up crowbars, you'll find that most are incredibly tough in the middle due to the drop forging. Certainly the ones I've cut have heat hardened themselves terrifically, to the extent that they are almost impossible to cut through with a small disc cutter. The best solution I've found is a large 3 phase chopsaw and fairly heavy pressure. I've not tried a power hacksaw or bandsaw, but I did try a steel cutting carbide RAGE III saw, and that really didn't go well, it gets through the outer few mm which is softer, then starts blunting itself on the hardened core. The blade lost a few teeth before I gave up, and I've previously put this saw repeatedly through 75x75x15mm stacked steel angle iron (3 and 4 bits of 50x50x5 stacked) with little issue.

OP, how did you get the animated GIF to work? I've been unable to get Instructables to let them run?

Poppy Ann (author)GoLightLady2015-01-11

you could just use a standard hacksaw, crowbars are only hardened at the working ends or they would be too brittle for use myself as most other users would hit the curved part with hammers to get the flat end under something and if they were hardened all over they could shatter with a single blow.

hope this helps.

regards Poppy Ann.

randofo (author)GoLightLady2015-01-10

I used a horizontal band saw. You could also use a normal band saw. Many other types of metal saws would be fine - like a cold saw also. Barring that, an angle grinder (like you would use for welding) would work. You may be able to get away with a steel cut-off wheel for your miter saw. If you have a lot of patience, you could probably even get away with a dremel and a small cut off wheel or doing it by hand with a hacksaw. I was able to mark the crowbar with a handfile really easily, which means it is not impossible to cut through.

mmmelroy (author)2015-01-16

With that much weight to shuffle around with I can only imagine this after any substantial amount of time

M.C. Langer (author)2015-01-15

I love this project, Randy! Great one! :-)

Deeg (author)2015-01-09

She should join up with Gordon Freeman and go beat up some zombies. Her swinging form looks just right for it.

"Hey you zombie kids, git off my lawn!"

bcavaciuti (author)2015-01-09

I love this design, I ALWAYS get annoyed when I see medical equipment aids with their terrible designs D: So easy to make something look bad.

If weight does end up an issue then I have seen octagonal tubes of various materials and if you cut the end of the crowbar, and just hammered it into the tube the welded or glued it in place, maybe put some rivets or bolts through.

Also the weapon like nature of the crowbar may cause some awkward situations akin to the scene from LOTR when Gandalf is asked to leave his staff behind before entering Theodin's hall.

eve16455 (author)2015-01-08

As a young person who has needed a cane for years for femur injury I would say..."is this anatomically correct like most canes?" That is actually an important part of how canes is the right height? Does the added weight not become an annoyance? I live the idea behind this but I have to be honest I wouldn't use it or recommend it for someone who needs a cane for real medical reasons. Sorry. I love the look tho :/ they have many designs for canes that fold up and you can stash in a purse for when ur partner needs it..I have a bronze looking one and a pink one w flowers...

randofo (author)eve164552015-01-08

The handle pretty much has the same initial curve as the medical one. However, rather than curve around to form a full 'U,' it straightens out a bit. Since no one is really gripping the tail end of the 'U' anyhow, that part should not matter much. There is still plenty of room to get a firm hand grip in the same way as the other cane. I also started by measuring her existing cane and it has the same height to a fraction of an inch. It's pretty close in form factor and I can't see the shape making much difference.

The only real difference is weight. I suppose this may prove to be a factor depending on what your particular issue is that requires using the cane.

bcavaciuti (author)randofo2015-01-09

I have heard you can get Titanium crowbars to reduce the weight, Although personally I would hack the medical one and weld or ram the crow bar head into the handle end.

Another option if you want to keep the octagonal look you can buy steel and even better Carbon Fibreoctagonal tubes :D

bcavaciuti (author)bcavaciuti2015-01-09

Diesel63 (author)2015-01-09

love the outfit! no sarcasm intended.

greenmavrick (author)2015-01-08

super awesome, also for a grip you could have used tennis racket grips.

seamster (author)2015-01-08

Also good for spontaneous strength training sessions when she's out and about!

(How much does this weigh?!)

randofo (author)seamster2015-01-08

It weighs probably about 3 - 5 pounds. Not sure how much exactly. She is actually supposed to be strengthing that side of her body, so this hypothetically should help with that.

cdstudioNH (author)randofo2015-01-08

That hypothetical - a total bonus!! : D

caitlinsdad (author)2015-01-08

Can you get a doctor's note to say it is a medically necessary approved device and bring it on a plane? This is the Lexus of crowbars, put some bling on it.

dr_peru (author)2015-01-08

I like the way you think..what a beautiful badass design. Since this is not the first of your instructables I find fascinating, you got yourself a new follower :)

sngillis (author)2015-01-08

Alternatively, instead of a foam bike grip, you could wrap it with Silicone tape

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Randy and I founded the Instructables Design Studio. I'm also the author of the books 'Simple Bots,' and '62 Projects to ... More »
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