How to Bend Wood to Make a Curved-Handle Walking Cane

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With some practice, you can make a walking cane at home.
With some practice, you can make a walking cane at home. (Image: Senior holding the cane image by painless from Fotolia.com)

You can use several different techniques to bend wood. Wood responds to changing conditions like moisture and wind. As wood dries, it shrinks, causing warping. Kiln drying prevents this. Learn about bending wood with the steam method.

Things You'll Need

  • Cane mold or form
  • Heat source
  • Tea kettle
  • Hose
  • Screws
  • Two metal hinges
  • Project wood

Cut 1-by-6 pine boards to the dimensions you need to hold your cane. Screw together the sides except for one end. Drill a hole into the end piece the size of the hose. Screw on metal hinges on the top of the end piece and to the box so you can open the wood flap to check steaming progress and to insert and remove the wood. The end flap piece does not need to close tightly as some steam will need to escape the steam box.

Attach the hose to the kettle spout and run it into the hole in the steam box end. Place the soaked wood inside the steam box. Light your heat source and place the kettle over the heat. Steam for approximately one hour for every inch of wood thickness.

Remove the steamed wood from the steam box and place on the prepared form or mold immediately and allow it to dry.

Remove the dried wood from the mold or form. You can now trim, sand and finish it.

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