Wood Carving Walking Sticks, How to Join Your Cane Handle

Wood Carving cane project by Lora Irish2 Double-ended wood-screw threaded hanger bolt

This double-ended wood-screw hanger bolt can be used to join your cane topper and stick without glue, making the topper detachable. Because this particular hanger bolt is fairly short, the joint is not as strong as a threaded-rod or long-dowel joint. Use it for long walking sticks, where the hand grip is below the topper and stick joint.

Mark the center point of the top of your stick and the bottom of your topper with a pencil.
Chose a drill bit the same size or one size smaller than the width of your hanger bolt. Drill a hole into both the topper and the stick, slightly longer than one-half the length of the bolt – half of the bolt is go into the topper and half into the stick.
Using pliers, grip the hanger bolt in the top section of wood-screw threads. Screw the bottom portion of the bolt into the stick until only the top threaded area is above the stick.

Grip the bolt as closely as possible to the stick with your pliers. Holding the bolt in place, hand screw the topper onto the hanger bolt. When the topper touches the pliers, remove the pliers and continue screwing the topper onto the stick until the two touch.
If you chose to add glue to this joint bolt, use two-part epoxy.

Advantages – You do not need a drill, drill bit, or dowel centering jig to use a double-threaded wood-screw hanger bolt. You can use a small or medium-sized round gouge, up-ended, to create your guide hole in both the topper and stick. Chose a gouge slightly smaller than the diameter of your hanger bolt.

Disadvantages –  Double-threaded hanger bolts are fairly short in length. You may only have an 1 1/2” to 2” of bolt inside each piece of your cane. Under stress this type of joinery can break through the sides of the cane or topper.

Uses – The double-threaded hanger bolt, in longer lengths, is perfect for either canes where the hand grip is on the topper or for walking sticks where the grip is on the stick. Short-length double-threaded hanger bolts should be used for walking sticks only.

 

wood carving walking stick project3 Machine threaded hanger bolt with nut

This hanger bolt has one side machine-threaded to receive a nut and the other side threaded as a wood screw to bite into the wood. Because you are working with a metal rod, use two-part epoxy as your glue.

Drill a hole into both the cane topper and the cane stick the size of your hanger bolt. Thread the nut onto the machine screw. Place the machine screw end into your cane topper and mark where the outside edge of the nut falls on the bottom of your topper. With your bench knife and chisels, cut the bottom of the topper to fully receive the nut.

Remove the nut from the machine side of the hanger bolt. Use quick-set epoxy to set the nut into the bottom of the cane topper. Avoid getting any epoxy into the nut threads. Allow the epoxy to dry completely.

Mix a small amount of epoxy. Using a bamboo skewer, apply a thin layer of epoxy glue to the joinery hole in the cane stick. Insert the wood-thread screw section of the hanger bolt into the cane stick, until only the machine-threaded area shows above the stick. Allow the epoxy to dry completely.
To make the insertion of the wood-thread section of the bolt easier, screw the nut onto the machine-thread section. Grip the nut in your pliers and use the pliers to screw the wood-thread section into place. Once the bolt is set, remove the nut immediately and allow the epoxy to dry.

The cane topper can be screwed onto the cane stick by threading the machine-thread area of the hanger into the glued nut in the topper.

Advantages – It does have the great advantage that the cane topper can be removed from the walking stick without damaging either portion. Since only the nut of the hanger bolt is glued into the topper, you can exchange toppers for a favorite stick or preserve your cane topper carving is the stick is damaged.

Disadvantages – This hanger bolt hardware uses only 1/2” of bolt inside of the cane topper, and 1 1/2” of bolt inside the cane stick. Because the bolt is short, this particular joinery is not very strong and should be used only on tall walking sticks where the hand grip is below the cane topper portion of the stick.

Uses – I suggest this particular joinery for decorative canes or extra-long walking sticks. It does not have the strength to be used in a cane where the grip is on the topper.

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