Friday, September 9, 2011

Easy Carve Cane Topper

Here's another easy to carve cane topper.  This one is not only easy to carve, but can be cut from a thinner piece of wood - in this case a piece of 1 inch thick walnut.  Start by drawing and cutting out the template/pattern.  Place the template on the piece of walnut so that the grain of the wood runs left to right (back of head to the nose).  Trace around the template.  Use the bandsaw or scroll saw and cut the cane topper out. leaving about 1/8th inch of wood outside the template trace lines.

Look at the blank and determine where the cane shaft should attach to the blank.  Saw the bottom of the blank at the angle you select.  Make sure the cut surface of the blank is flat as it will glue up to the top of the cane shaft.
Place the cut out in a wood clamp so that the bottom of the topper can be drilled perpendicular to the bottom surface.  Drill a 3/8th inch hole into the bottom of the topper, to accept a 3/8th inch dowel.  Drill a 3/8th inch hole down into the top of the cane shaft.  Cut a 2 to 3 inch piece of 3/8th inch dowel, and glue one one into the blank.

Now you can shape the cane topper either by knife, gouge, or rotary tool.  As you carve the topper, be sure to round over all the flat surfaces, as much as your can. Carve the bottom of the topper to match the top of the cane shaft.  You can see that on this topper I use a gouge for most of the shaping on the neck area.  I left the gouge cut marks to be the fur texture.  I used the rotary tool with a sanding sleeve to shape the nose and eye area.
The finish is dark walnut stain, with floor wax over the top.

This simple cane can be completed with a minimum of tools and effort.  And it doesn't look bad either.


sam carnes said...

what did you use for the shaft?

Tom H said...

Sam, Found a Basswood tree that had limbs growing out of the base. These "suckers" were about 1 1/2 inches thick. I debarked them, let them dry a bit and used them.