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Discover how to create unique and beautiful canes that will be treasured as useful works of art!

  • 4 detailed step-by-step tutorials for creating expressive canes
  • 6 joinery methods for strong and durable joints between cane topper and staff
  • Expert advice on carving expressive cane toppers from basswood blocks
  • Useful tips for adding joint covers, hand grips, and custom features
  • Using found wood, learn how to source and prepare staffs, plus find a guide to basic cane construction techniques

Legendary carving artist Lora S. Irish introduces you to all of the essential components and techniques of cane topper carving in this comprehensive guide.

Chock full of important tips and tricks, Cane Topper Woodcarving will teach you how to take full advantage of this fun and rewarding carving genre.

With step-by-step projects, ready-to-use patterns, and beautiful color photographs, Lora provides expert advice on sourcing, carving, joinery, finishing, customization, and more.


From the Publisher

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Vibrant Dragon Scale Pattern

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Ready-to-Use Patterns

Inside this book, you’ll find so many great carving patterns for cane toppers that you might not know where to start!

Try deciding who you’re making the walking stick for first, then selecting a pattern that suits their personality. Top your homemade canes with:

Songbird

Horned Dragon

Crowned King

Tall Cap Mushroom

Squinting Spirit

Wizard

Mark Twain

…and dozens more!

Stunning Toppers for Canes and Walking Sticks

A Comprehensive Guide

Much more than just decorations, hand-carved canes, walking sticks, and hiking sticks are meant to be used!

Inside Cane Topper Woodcarving, renowned carving artist Lora S. Irish will teach you how to create gorgeous canes, sticks, and staves that are also strong, durable, and long-lasting.

Learn how to craft finished canes that will bring decades of joy to their owners!

Expert advice on carving expressive cane toppers from basswood blocks

Guide to basic cane construction techniques

4 detailed step-by-step tutorials for creating expressive canes

6 joinery methods for strong and durable joints between cane topper and staff

How to source and prepare staffs from found wood

Tips for adding joint covers, hand grips, and custom features

Over 35 cane topper patterns to carve

Tips, Techniques, and Expert Advice

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Harvesting & Preparing Staffs

Explore the best ways to source and prepare staffs, the various kinds of wood to consider harvesting, and the many ways you can treat and finish staffs.

There’s a whole world of possibilities out there just to do with staffs!

Joinery That Lasts

Once you choose your staff, you’ll need to attach your carved topper to it. Whether you want to keep it simple with a wooden dowel or precisely measure for using bamboo, you’ll find a method to suit your needs—plus, tips and tricks that will be useful for any cane assembly.

Joint Covers and Grips

Cover up exposed joints with style while adding comfortable hand grips!

Learn how to wrap your cane or walking stick with leather, cord, twine, paracord, or other fibers in a variety of ways, including easy cord wrapping and lanyard wrapping.

Projects, Patterns, and Essential Techniques for Custom Canes and Walking Sticks

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Topper Carving Basics

Refresh your memory with information on supplies like carving blocks, bench knives, chip carving knives, gouges, chisels, and v-gouges.

You’ll also review 4 basic cuts, the importance of wood grain direction, and finishing techniques.

Step-by-Step Projects

Follow in-depth instructions for carving four terrific toppers: GI Joe Mushroom, Wood Spirit, Tiki, and Twistie Snake.

Step-by-step instructions lead you through every cut of the process, from a plain basswood block to a beautifully carved topper.

Dozens of Patterns

A surprising number of diverse carving patterns can be adapted to the round, skinny shape of a cane topper!

In addition to the four step-by-step project patterns, you will find over 35 more patterns to try, from dragons to Santas.

Extras

Explore clever ideas for useful tool bags, charming pipes, wood and wire accessories, tips for the bases of your canes, and how to personalize a grip.

Customize your canes and walking sticks with any or all of these extra features for unique finished works of art!

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Lora S. Irish

Internationally known artist Lora S. Irish is the author of more than 30 woodcarving, pyrography, and craft pattern books.

Her books include Great Book of Carving Patterns, World Wildlife Patterns for the Scroll Saw, The Art and Craft of Pyrography, Relief Carving the Wood Spirit, Great Book of Celtic Patterns, and many more. Winner of the Woodcarver of the Year award, Lora is a frequent contributor to Woodcarving Illustrated and Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts magazines.

Working from her rural mid-Maryland home studio, Lora is always exploring new crafts and hobbies, including wire jewelry, metal sheet jewelry, piece patch and appliqué quilting, gourd carving, gourd pyrography, and leather crafts.