Monday, February 8, 2010

Aunt Millie's Cane

My Aunt Millie would always ask me when I was going to make her a carved cane. I was always willing to make one, although I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to do it. And what would I carve? Flowers would be appropriate, probably roses. I’m not good at flowers, especially roses. I put off attacking this project for over a year. I started collected pictures of real roses and carved roses. I practiced carving roses in scrap wood, but nothing looked very good. They all looked like cinnamon buns.

I had a piece of cedar from a big old ornamental shrub I took down in my yard. It had a natural right angle bend in it. Perfect for a cane handle, but I was hesitant to start carving because I had no confidence in my ability to carve a rose that wasn't laughable. If I messed up, this nice piece of wood was useless for anything else. Finally, I took a deep breath and jumped in. A lot a times major projects are like that. Ya hafta just jump in and hope for the best. Like most of my first time woodworking adventures, I learned as I went forward; sort of like feeling my way in the dark.

I used the straight section of an old curved top cane I got at a yard sale. I sanded off the thick dark varnish. I think its ash. I bought a nice brass joining collar on the Internet. A little bit of epoxy, and a little bit of luck, and "Presto!" it looks like a cane. I must admit, the finished product came out pretty good…for an amateur. I have to learn not to be so hesitant before jumping in to challenging situations.

Have you ever had situations where you were afraid to start cutting beautiful wood for fear of screwing up? Tell me about it.


Anonymous said...

Hey Dad, this looks fanstastic. When I scanned down the page I thought these were pictures of someone else's work. Now that I read the section I am mightily impressed. Oh and to answer your question, I have not had that experience with wood, but with many many other things. -Dave

Donna Menke said...

John- that is some mighty fancy carving. You do so many things well- it is amazing. Donna Menke

Anonymous said...

Great workJohn