Low Cost Walking Stick





Introduction: Low Cost Walking Stick

About: Retired Firefighter 1966 to 1986; Retired Wheat Farmer 1987 to 2003. Drapery Sales 1969 to 1987. 17 year Quintuple Heart Bypass Surgery Survivor; 14 year Melanoma Cancer Survivor. 81 years young.


Old derelict post hole digger handle or suitable wooden shaft

Old Brass Candle stick from Salvation Army Thrift store

Sanding discs & sandpaper of various grits

1.5" pool ball


Clear Sealant, such as clear varnish or lacquer

3/8" X 4" bolt


Variable Speed 1.5" Electric Makita hand held Belt Sander .

HF Air 1/2" belt sander.

Electric high speed 4" disc sander

Drill Press

Tap & Die set

Bench Grinder

Bench 4" Belt Sander

or as they say, "Use what you brung."

Step 1: Fit Brass to Wooden Shaft

Cut wooden shaft to length.

Disassemble candlestick.

Grind off any unneeded part of candlestick and polish. In this case, there was an unwanted flange on the lower end of the piece I used.

Fit wood shaft tightly into candlestick piece.

Start reducing size of shaft slowly with bench belt sander.

Step 2: Prepare Pool Ball

Drill 1/8" hole, working up to 5/16" hole X 1" deep.

Tap hole with 3/8 NS thread and mount to top of brass piece

Step 3: Stain & Attach All 4 Pieces Together

I had planned on just staining the snake, leaving the round shaft unstained, but i didn't like the way it looked. I stained all the wood a heavy dark walnut and then sanded and polished off parts of the wood, making it look old & antique.

Step 4: Sealing the Wood

You can spray or brush on Spar Varnish or even a coat of wax. It's according to how big of a mess you want to make and how much you want to spend. There are some spray Rust Guard products available at automotive shops that work really well.

Here is what I did:

I am not suggesting that this is correct or even that you should try it. I am only reporting what I did with very good results.


I tried mixing alcohol & CA (super glue), but they don't mix. I got back online and went to Wikipedia. They suggested acetone as solvent & cleanup. I put about 3 tablespoons of acetone in a little medicine bottle and added about 1/4 teaspoon of CA. It mixed up good. I wiped it on to the walking stick with small pieces of a Bounty paper towel. It goes on very smooth, but the paper dries out & must be discarded in about 30 seconds. get another piece of paper towel and continue. The coating dries to touch in about 1 minute. You have to do this in well ventilated area.

Wikipedia says, "Do not use cotton or wool or even cotton gloves. They will get hot & put off fumes." The mix will keep for a while in sealed bottle, but I cannot tell you how long, but at least 24 hours .

I put on 2 coats and it looks very good....like 20 coats of lacquer. I am well pleased.

You can buy 1 ounce of CA for $6.00 on eBay.

Step 5:

I bought a 1x1x2" solid resin skull on eBay and installed it in place of the 8 ball. I can always go back to the 8 ball if I want to.

I drilled a 5/16" hole and tapped it to 3/8" and bolted it on. It only cost a little less than $6.00 and is really nice. It doesn't show up as much as the 8 ball does, but when people see what it is, they are blown away. I hope you enjoyed seeing the cane.

Oh, by the way, you say, "I couldn't make anything like that." Well, let me tell you a secret, I am 78 going on 79, and if I can do it, you can too.

Vote for me in the "Wood Contest" at the top right of the first page of this. Thanks.



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I have been looking for brass hardware for cane handles for a long time. I never thought of using a brass candlestick holder before and they are pretty cheap in thrift stores... thank you for that idea.

I wonder how you drilled the hole in the 8 ball. I made a cane for my snooker playing brother but instead of using a real 8 ball I used an 8 ball stick shift knob... It looked pretty good and was easy to mount but he did not like it since it was not a real 8 ball. I would like to know how you drilled a real 8 ball.

By the way, that is a nice application in the last step (finish the wood) I will remember that the next time I work on wood and see what happens. Thanks for the tip.


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You're welcome. Wear latex gloves or plastic bag over your hand to keep mixture off your fingers.

Oh yeah I will. My hubby has warned me about using acetone in the past! He uses it every now and then.

What a clever idea. I think the eight ball adds a lot of character to the cane along with the rustic look. Thanks for sharing and do have a splendorous day!


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Think you Sunshine. You aded sun shine to my day.

You could also add a piece on the candle holder to the end that touches the ground for protection and make it more durable

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I'm probably through with it. I am retired and want to make a couple of hunting knives. (see my other post https://www.instructables.com/id/Hunting-Skinning-Knife-Made-Easy/)

Interesting, so the candlestick is hollow inside and you can just trim a piece of wood to fit in it! Looks great.

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Yes, Rachel. The photo 3rd from the last shows the 4 pieces unassembled. Insert bolt thru candlestick from bottom, screw it into 8 ball, insert shaft into bottom of candlestick. I will epoxy the shaft into candlestick, but I want to do some polishing to the brass first. Thanks for replying.

How did you do the spiral snake pattern in the stick? And what tools did you use to do it?

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Qwertyfish asked: How did you do the spiral snake pattern in the stick? And what tools did you use to do it?

I laid it off with a spiral of 2" masking tape, marked one side, removed 2", followed line with 1" tape and marked other side, making a 1" wide spiral with 1" between. I used a 1/2" air belt sander, a bench grinder, several files and sanding discs. It took a long time and I about gave up several times. The spiral took about 10 days grinding, sanding, & filing 2 or 3 hours per day.

Woah, cool dude! It totally looks like Grunkle Stan's stick from Gravity Falls! Nice job :D

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To pie20102011

You & I have a language problem, but I Googled "Grunkle Stan" and there he was. ...........and I thought I had made something original. LOL

Thanks for the compliment.

The screen shot didn't make it to the 1st reply

Screen shot 2014-12-17 at 7.43.56 PM.png

My only other thought: would this get classified as a weapon? I was stopped by the police a few years back and they were more concerned about my stick than the knife I was carrying.