Before you begin carving your basswood blank, you will want to plan how you will join your cane topper to your walking stick. Check out the free project links below to choose your method of cane joinery.
Three important points need to be addressed when you are gluing a cane topper to a walking stick – alignment, air space, and the right glue for the joining hardware.
Alignment – It is much easier, and more accurate to mark and drill the hole in your cane topper before you do any carving steps.
Air space – When you drill your holes in both the cane topper and stick you need to allow a small amount of extra space for the glue and to allow the air inside the hole to escape when you insert your joinery hardware.
Glue – If you are using a metal hanger bolt or all thread you will want to glue with two-part epoxy. If you are using a dowel rod, dowel pin, or carving an insert plug on the bottom of your cane topper you will use wood glue for the joint.
General directions to gluing your cane handle. For more specific directions for each of the hardware choices you can use please read Wood Carving Walking Sticks, How to Join Your Cane Handle
2. Place the basswood, bottom up, into your vice. Using a dowel jig, drill the rod hole into the block. Rock the drill slightly to widen the drilled hole. This gives a small amount of room between the walls of the hole and the threaded rod to allow air to escape.
3. Repeat this step to drill the hole into the top of the stick.
4. Work the carving, painting, and finishing steps of your cane topper.
5. Mix two-part epoxy. Using a bamboo skewer, spread an even layer along the walls of the hole in the stick. Insert the threaded rod into the hole. Wipe any excess glue from the wood areas of the stick.
6. Mix two-part epoxy. Using a bamboo skewer, spread an even layer along the walls of the hole in your cane topper. Drop the topper onto the exposed threaded rod in the stick. Push the topper into position firmly.
7. Use masking tape or painter’s tape to secure the two areas – the topper and the stick. Allow to dry overnight. Add a wrap to hide the joint.