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Putting the rubber to the road?

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  • Putting the rubber to the road?

    Just asking for information.
    For a long time I have been making walking sticks and canes for people that I know. At first, my biggest worry was whether the sticks would hold their weight or if I would be facing legal action over a branch that broke.
    The only complaints I have received (so far) are that the "tips" I put on the bottom are:
    a) too slippery (using teflon or metal),
    b) don't hold up (using little fuzzy furniture mounts), or
    c) "look like a dam_ed crutch" (using standard "cane" plugs).
    Putting nothing on the end only wears out the end of the wood (and I've made sticks with everything from oak to saguaro).
    I'm thinking about using "indestructable" tips like ironwood or bone, but, was wondering if anyone had an easier answer.
    Any help is appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Putting the rubber to the road?

    I sometimes use countersunk rubber washers on my "fancy" sticks. These are made for faucet repairs and I buy them at my local hardware store.

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    • #3
      Re: Putting the rubber to the road?

      I've an every day stick forwhen I walk the dogs. Because of the heavy use it gets I put a mold of polymorph on the" other" end. Its ok but no use in ice, it however does not show signs of wear.

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      • #4
        Re: Putting the rubber to the road?

        Do you taper the stick from top to bottom? I think they look better if they taper down a 1/4". And then use a smaller 'crutch tip'.

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        • #5
          Re: Putting the rubber to the road?

          I have used rubber washers and "bumpers" that attache with a screw. You can sand them down and get a flush, almost cue stick type look. I don't like the plastic chair tips, but found an old hardware store here that has black rubber chair tips that come in 5/8, 3/4, 7/8, 1, 1 1/4" sizes and don't look too bad. I like the rubber tips because they wear well, have good traction, and sound quieter when walking. One idea I had to "fancy" them up and make them look different, was to drill and cut out some designs on the side-walls, kinda a pierced carving type effect on the tip. I would leave enough to make sure the tip would stay on the cane, with the normal thickness on the bottom. Possibly even glue it on, but it would be a different look with the wood showing through parts of the tip. I have used copper plumbing end caps and connectors as ferrules and tips, but it sure is loud when you walk.
          'If it wasn't for caffeine, I wouldn't have any personality at all!"

          http://mikepounders.weebly.com/
          https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mike-...61450667252958
          http://centralarkansaswoodcarvers.blogspot.com/

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          • #6
            Re: Putting the rubber to the road?

            Check any of the woodworking or woodcarving catalogs and you will find all sorts of tips for canes and sticks. Many have replaceable bumpers of some sort.They have these for pavement, rough country and even ice. I have one (doesn't look sleek) that has a small crutch type tip and a metal spike for ice, that folds back ontothe shaft when not needed. found this in a medical supply shop.

            For my "working" walking stick, I carved a short taper on the end and threaded on a metal pipe cap. Not the best looking, but very durable and works great in mud, sand, forest trails and even desert rock.

            I have several with polished copper pipe caps; fitted to the end and pinned with a brass brad. These wear out but are easily replaced.

            Ironwood (that's what my main walking stick is) and bone or horn will wear just as fast as most hardwoods

            Here's a link to one supplier Walking Stick & Cane Supplies

            and another Walking Sticks - Woodturners Catalog - Woodworking tools and supplies specializing in woodturning.=

            Al

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            • #7
              Re: Putting the rubber to the road?

              I buy the Rubber chair tips at Lowes. They started stocking the plastic ones and so many people complained they are now stocking the Rubber ones again.
              Wanda

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              • #8
                Re: Putting the rubber to the road?

                I used the rubber furniture tips for many years. I have also used copper tubing that has been peened. That gives a nice effect but the peening and polishing is work that I don't enjoy. A few years back I decided to go to the commercial tips and started with the Veritas brass cane tips sold by Lee Valley. They get a bit pricey when you do as many sticks as I do so I went to the "Traditional British Tips" (burnished bronze) also sold by Lee Valley. The British tips have now become my standard tip. I still carry the rubber furniture tips for those who want to cover the bronze tip so it isn't slippery.

                Dave I added a link to the Lee Valley Cane Hardware page

                Cane Fittings - Lee Valley Tools - Woodworking Tools, Gardening Tools, Hardware Supplies

                Al

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                • #9
                  Re: Putting the rubber to the road?

                  I use Plasti Dip for the tips of my sticks.
                  It also works good for sealing the ends of sticks.
                  John

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                  • #10
                    Re: Putting the rubber to the road?

                    Thanks to all for your reponses. I will try out some of the suggestions. I like the idea of pierce-carving the caps and will try that first on this new one.
                    Hope this message gets through. I'm having some computer problems today. Thanks again.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Putting the rubber to the road?

                      The safest thing to do is to attach a tag to each cane or walking stick that you make that states that the cane is a collector's item and is not for weight bearing and that the maker assumes no libability for an injury from such. It's not 100% foolproof but at least it shows intent.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Putting the rubber to the road?

                        Greetings to ALL,
                        Over the years, I have used FIVE different tip techniques; plain ends, rubber crutch tips - white & black, shot gun shells, custom trimmed boot heels, and replacement football cleats. Of ALL of these different tips, I like the replacement football cleats the best. The custom trimmed boot heels look great and wear well BUT they need extra work to finish and need custom replacement work when they wear out. The football cleats wear like iron and are easy to replace when worn out.... they use a m5 x .80 tread cutting brass insert in the stick with thread loc to hold the tip. I am using the nylon composite material tips as opposed to the rubber ones because I got a great deal on a bunch of them. You can see some of my sticks at dread2100's photos and albums on webshots . I've been kinda busy recently so I haven't posted any pics on using the replacement cleats but I plan to do so in the near future. Another interesting plus for the replacement cleats is that you can put a 2" or 3" disc between the stick and the tip for snow hiking....... I use a 3" hole saw to cut the disk from white PVC.
                        Deo Read Jr.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Putting the rubber to the road?

                          *Bump*

                          Pardon me for bumping this thread into life again, but I found it very interesting as how you people find innovative ways to make end caps.

                          I have pondered about a solution as well. I don't like noisy or slippery metal, and could not find any rubber chair end caps that I liked. Most where to clunky and an downright insult to my walking staff (the 'crutch' idea). I didn't want to make a lot of adjustments to the staff because of strength and worse protection reasons (since I'd have to remove the protective lacquer layers).

                          I searched for some kind of 'rubber dip' substance but could not find it in local paint/hardware stores. So I came up with vulcanizing tape. It comes in many colors and is commonly used to seal and protect electric wiring from the elements. When tightly aplied in layers the rubber vulcanizes and sticks togheter as one lump. It's not perfect (still need that dip!) but looks allright. However I can imagine it wears down after a while since the rubber is soft. But, the tape is cheap, and you just have to put on a new layer when needed.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Putting the rubber to the road?

                            I buy the rubber furniture tips at my local big box store. If you have Lowes or Home Depot near you they have them in blister packs. At least they did the last time I checked.


                            Marvin

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                            • #15
                              Re: Putting the rubber to the road?

                              On my canes, generally, I use a tapered steel ferrule on the bottom, cut from one of those cheap tapered metal table legs. The wood is 'inlet' of course, so there is smooth transition from wood to metal.
                              I have a hardened steel bolt epoxied into the bottom for a ways (never ending at the top of the ferrule, for strength), then ground round to blend with the small end of the ferrule. Sanded and polished with the ferrule it makes a fine end that will last nigh unto forever. One can have some fun with gun bluing at this point.
                              I file some sharp crosshatching on the very bottom of the steel bolt for 'grip' on softer surfaces.
                              Cane rubbers can also go over the bolt for better grip if you really need to lean hard.
                              Not crutch, but cane tips, found in most pharmacies.

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