The more surface area you have for gluing the stronger your joint will be. One way to increase surface area is to cut the bottom 1” or more of your cane topper into a plug that can be inserted into a carved hole in the top of the stick.
When planning your plug, try to allow 1/4” of wood along the outer edge of the stick hole. The longer the plug, the stronger your joint.
After the plug has been carved into the topper and the plug hole cut into the stick, you can use a double-threaded wood-screw hanger bolt or a machine-threaded hanger bolt and nut as a central anchor rod.
Advantages – Cutting a plug at the bottom of your topper lets you bring portions of the topper down and over the stick area. Your beard and mustache can extend beyond the plug area so that they flow into the stick. A plug joint is extremely strong.
Disadvantages – Cutting a plug joint does add planning and cutting time to the creation of your cane. So allow a couple of extra hours for whittling and fitting this joint.
Uses – A plug joint is particularly good for joinery with a bamboo stick. The plug can be cut to exactly fit the open center of the bamboo and cut to the length to touch the closing of the bamboo at the top node. The bamboo sample, shown right, uses a hardwood dowel as the anchor for a plug joint.