Introduction: One Piece Walking Canes

About: Retired Firefighter 1966 to 1986; Retired Wheat Farmer 1987 to 2003. Drapery Sales 1969 to 1987. 21 year Quintuple Heart Bypass Surgery Survivor; 18 year Melanoma Cancer Survivor. 86 years young.

I got interested in making walking canes from Bois D'Arc wood from my acreage a few years ago.  To get a piece of wood suitable for making a cane is a lengthy process.  First, you must find a lateral branch and saw it off to promote it to send out new shoots.  Then you wait one year for the shoots to grow out.  They grow straight up and get 10 feet long and 3/4 inch diameter in one year.  You then cut that main lateral limb off again getting the new shoot.  You then cure that inside your shop for 3+ years, 5 is better.  Then you make a one piece cane out of it.  A one piece cane is much more durable than attaching a handle to a shaft.  I do most of the finishing with electric or air grinders.  Bois D'Arc is just too hard to work with a knife. 

Bois D'Arc wood is the hardest wood in the USA and wonderful for most everything except carving after it has cured.  It is also known a bo-dark, horse apple, hedge apple, and especially "THAT DARN TREE WITH ALL THE THORNS".

The first photos are my rendition of a 1930's coupe, something like the Lincoln Zephyr. The wood is so hard it will not accept stain so I burned the outside with an acetylene torch then polished it.  It looks antique and is really shiny without any wax or varnish, etc.  I later learned this is an old process and is called "Carbonizing".

The other photos are some I took at different times while making them.  Some are just the cured wood, ready to be finished.  The little animal is supposed to be a gecko.

I also make boomerangs and fly them, but that's another whole instructable.  The carpenter's square is a wooden boomerang and flies well.  They are all made of 1/4", 5 ply Baltic plywood, available on eBay and specialty wood dealers.