Mountainman Cane Carving Pattern
By Lora S. IrishI have been carving a Mountain Man Cane Topper the last few days to use in a sharpening e-project book. Over the last three decades I have loved the joy of carving, but I must admit that even after that long a period there are some projects that just leave me with a full, big smile when I am done. This Mountain Man Cane topper is one of those moments.
Since I have lots of walking sticks, I decided to make this Mountain Man into a Talking Stick, with a short, 16″ staff. After the carving, which is worked on a 1 1/2″ square by 6″ basswood block, was finished, I drilled the 3/8″ mounting holes for my hardwood joining dowel. Then I dry-checked the fit, testing that the dowel fit tight and square to both the staff and the carving.
My beloved hubby, Michael, was watching me work and commented, “What that little old man needs is a long cherry wood pipe!”. I knew instantly he was absolutely right, so I headed off to our wood to find a cherry branch the right size for my carving. I cut the branch as shown in the photo, then cut a shallow hole in the top of the pipe area for the bowl.
With a 3/16″ drill bit I created a hole in the bottom side of the pipe where it would touch the Talking Stick, and a hole is the stick at the same place. A 1″ piece of 3/16″ dowel could then be set into the pipe bottom to anchor and secure it to the staff.
To strengthen the pipe bit in the mouth, I used a small round gouge to create a hole in the underside of the mustache so that about 1/2″ of cherry wood stem can be set into the carving.
With wood glue I set the hardwood dowel for the cane topper and the talking stick staff. Next, using a one yard length of 1/8″ raw hide leather cord, I wrapped the joint between the carving and the staff.
The complete cane now has two joining dowels – one to secure the carving to the talking stick staff, and one to join the bottom of the pipe to the staff. The hole inside the mustache area is large enough to allow my pipe to shift, and shrink lightly as it dries. The leather raw hide disguises the joint line between the carving and the stick.
Because my cherry wood pipe is fresh cut wood, it is only dry-set into place. In a couple of months, after the cherry dries well I will glue it into its final position. Well, I couldn’t help but grin ear to ear when I showed Michael how wonderfully his idea worked out! And this project and the smile it brought to me even after decades of carving, simply reminded me of how much joy the art of wood carving brings.
So, I want to share that joy this morning by giving you, for your personal use, the pattern for this Mountain Man Cane topper, so you can create your own! Click on the image to the right for a full-sized copy of this free wood carving pattern.
Lora S. Irish is a carver and designs projects and tutorials for carving, pyrography and related art. Her line art patterns and drawings site, artdesignsstudio.com features line art designs created exclusively by Lora for craters and artisans. Her blog, at www.lsirish.com, features hundreds of pages of free projects and tutorials.