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Richarda

Physical age has caught me unaware.

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I'm 77 years old physically, but my mind is still as sharp as a 40 year old. My mind refuses to accept what it see's in the mirror.  However... I had three back surgeries a little over a year ago and was told by the Doctor, I'd be up and at'em in less than a month.   He lied.  I now have no choice but to use a third leg to be sure I don't fall on my butt.  I hate it. However I discovered that the third leg/canes they sell at drug stores and Walmart, are designed for the "average"  person.  I'm 6'2", a bit above the average. The store bought canes force me into a leaning position, that's quite uncomfortable on the back.  So, I made one from a Dogwood branch and a chunk of Cherry. A bit taller.  Still leaning over  #1 into the woodstove.  #2 Better, made from an Apple branch and another chunk of Cherry. Still not quite what I need, but close.  Remember that 40 year  old mind I told you about?  It came up with an idea to rummage through my scrap/off cut collection, and I wound up with enough to construct about 10 canes. So I did, I copied a handle from my store bought one, and another I saw in a store. and this is the result.  The handles are attached to the shaft with a 3/8" threaded rod , epoxied in place.  There's a mix of Walnut, Butternut, Sassafras, Cherry and Maple in almost every configuration, but I think the turned out kinda nice.  I kept one made from Curly Maple on the handle and Ambrosia Maple on the shaft.  Comments are welcome.  The one I kept has Ambrosia  on the shaft in pic  #5 and the handle is pic #6

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Thanks guys. Now the question comes up. What do I do with 9 or 10 canes, I have two metal [ugh] ones and now two wooden ones?  Do I try and sell them? Where I live the biggest town has about 5,000 residents, in fact the whole county only has about 19,000 residents.  Most are old and retired like me.  I'n guessing that there's 3 to 4 hours in each one, most of it is hand work, rasps and sandpaper.  If I build something on commision I figure my hourly rate around $30 or $40 dollars, depending on the complexity. I can't charge that kind of money for a cane, I just can't.  They were all made long, well over 36", which is the tallest the metal ones expand to.  So I'm going to have to custom cut to the length that the buyer would need.  Since I figured out how tall my need was, it's easy to get the right measurement for the perfect support. Add another 20 or 30 minutes in the construction for that.

 Then I thought, maybe there are some Vets with a need for a cane, WW2, Korea, Nam and the Middle East. So I called my Sherriff and asked him if he could help find Vets that could use one. He told me he'd ask his deputies and he'd get back to me.  No word yet, but it was only 3 days ago. I couldn't ask money from them, they've already given enough.

Here's the other one I made just for me, it's a tad unusual, But I like it Cherry knob, and Sassafras shaft.

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Those are cool and you idea for getting the rest to folks that need them is outstanding.  Do you have any VFW Posts around you or maybe contact the Wounded Warrior organization.

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“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”  John Wooden

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Damn nice job!

Tell you what I'll do if you're willing to keep building them?  Contact me via PM and we'll discuss numbers.  I don't want any money and I'll drop them in my store on the new website when it launches soon.  I won't promise any sales and I won't promise that my site will grow enough to get you any sales.  What I will promise is that all the proceeds go back to you.

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Those are damn cool Rick. I believe with the leftovers that I would try and peddle to the non vets. Custom Canes by Rick!

Great offer Kev! 

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You're a strange bunch of damn nice guys.  Since I live in an older folks community, I had thought about selling them as "Sunday Go To Meetin" canes, Cause nearly everyone here is in a church on Sundays.

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42 minutes ago, Kev said:

Damn nice job!

Tell you what I'll do if you're willing to keep building them?  Contact me via PM and we'll discuss numbers.  I don't want any money and I'll drop them in my store on the new website when it launches soon.  I won't promise any sales and I won't promise that my site will grow enough to get you any sales.  What I will promise is that all the proceeds go back to you.

It's a damn nice idea, However, they are all made longer than is useful, unless you're 7'4" tall. Each one needs to be cut and fitted with a cane tip. And I wouldn't feel comfortable just cutting them all one size, that would make them less than custom. If you can figure a way around that I might be interested.

 

1 hour ago, Chet said:

Those are cool and you idea for getting the rest to folks that need them is outstanding.  Do you have any VFW Posts around you or maybe contact the Wounded Warrior organization.

Since I've rarely gotten to far away from the property here since I retired, I don't know if there are any of those type organizations nearby. However, since I'm on good terms with the Sheriff, I'll ask him and then follow up on that.  Good idea Chet.  Thanks.

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7 hours ago, Richarda said:

It's a damn nice idea, However, they are all made longer than is useful, unless you're 7'4" tall. Each one needs to be cut and fitted with a cane tip. And I wouldn't feel comfortable just cutting them all one size, that would make them less than custom. If you can figure a way around that I might be interested.

 

We would just need to ask the height of the person making the order and then you make them to fit that height.

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20 minutes ago, Kev said:

We would just need to ask the height of the person making the order and then you make them to fit that height.

Kev.  I have a neighbor who's about 3 years older than me with a bad back and legs.  He's 6' tall, I'm 6'2" tall My cane is 37", but here's the rub.  the cane I gave him is 39" because his arms are shorter. The other problem I see is a customer's preference in wood.  The canes I've made are all different.   Walnut handle with Cherry shaft, or Butternut Handle with Butternut shaft, then Curly Maple handle with Sassafras shaft, Each one is different, and each customer's choice would be different, based on their taste, or how they want to be perceived by others. Then we'd need to have them make the measurement for the cane. It's an easy measurement to make, but for the comfort it has to be pretty accurate.  Example:  If the person is normally 5' 10", and standing up straight, his/her cane would be about 35" or 36", but if they have a physical problem like Spinal stenosis, they can't stand up straight, and the cane might need to be 32".  A one size fits all won't work with canes that can't be extended or shortened based on height or need.  

I like your idea, but the truth is that a cane of this kind is very personal, once it's made to fit the person, It's unlikely to be used by another, unless they are pretty much identical. Unfortunately for these to be "custom" they have to be the wood combination that they like, and they have to be an exact fit, there's no adjustment. It's really a walk in deal. They pick the one they want, then you measure them live and in person, then cut and fit the tip, and they leave with a smile.

 This batch of canes are going to have to be made for each person. I'm willing to do that, but for the canes to be useful, they have to be done live.  Mail order won't work, unless if they are at your store and you're willing to measure, cut and fit to their needs, and if my memory serves, you're almost always away from your shop/store.  

Like I said, I like your idea, and I thank you for the offer, but I just can't see how it would work and truly be "custom".

 

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8 hours ago, Coop said:

Where did you find the rubber end caps? 

Online.  They're easy to find, and there are different sizes. There are even tips that will allow the cane to stand alone while you reach for something.

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Each would have to be a custom order, I agree. I’m sure there are standard sizes but, could also offer the ability of custom lengths to fit the individual. Obviously, they would have to get their own measurements based off of some instructions given. 
 

Not pushing you to do it, I just think it could be done. 

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2 hours ago, Richarda said:

Kev.  I have a neighbor who's about 3 years older than me with a bad back and legs.  He's 6' tall, I'm 6'2" tall My cane is 37", but here's the rub.  the cane I gave him is 39" because his arms are shorter. The other problem I see is a customer's preference in wood.  The canes I've made are all different.   Walnut handle with Cherry shaft, or Butternut Handle with Butternut shaft, then Curly Maple handle with Sassafras shaft, Each one is different, and each customer's choice would be different, based on their taste, or how they want to be perceived by others. Then we'd need to have them make the measurement for the cane. It's an easy measurement to make, but for the comfort it has to be pretty accurate.  Example:  If the person is normally 5' 10", and standing up straight, his/her cane would be about 35" or 36", but if they have a physical problem like Spinal stenosis, they can't stand up straight, and the cane might need to be 32".  A one size fits all won't work with canes that can't be extended or shortened based on height or need.  

I like your idea, but the truth is that a cane of this kind is very personal, once it's made to fit the person, It's unlikely to be used by another, unless they are pretty much identical. Unfortunately for these to be "custom" they have to be the wood combination that they like, and they have to be an exact fit, there's no adjustment. It's really a walk in deal. They pick the one they want, then you measure them live and in person, then cut and fit the tip, and they leave with a smile.

 This batch of canes are going to have to be made for each person. I'm willing to do that, but for the canes to be useful, they have to be done live.  Mail order won't work, unless if they are at your store and you're willing to measure, cut and fit to their needs, and if my memory serves, you're almost always away from your shop/store.  

Like I said, I like your idea, and I thank you for the offer, but I just can't see how it would work and truly be "custom".

 

Richard, can you make the cane that is 42".  You then cut spacers something like 2 @ 1", 1 @ 2", 1 @ 3", 1 @ 4".  You would cut the cane to 32" and have a threaded inserts so you could essentially customize based on physical needs.  All spacers would be included in order.

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21 minutes ago, Woodenskye (Bryan) said:

Richard, can you make the cane that is 42".  You then cut spacers something like 2 @ 1", 1 @ 2", 1 @ 3", 1 @ 4".  You would cut the cane to 32" and have a threaded inserts so you could essentially customize based on physical needs.  All spacers would be included in order.

That would probably work, the problem I see, at least for me, is that it adds another hour  or so to each cane, adding to the cost, the extra rods add to the cost., Now we're in the $50 to $60  for the retail, plus the packaging and shipping. I just can't see much of a market at those prices, and it's still like Ikea, "we'll ship it, you put it together". All these ideas are welcome, but I think it's gonna have to stay local, for it to be a really custom product.  If I only sell 5 that's fine with me, there are folks that could use one and can't afford one, so Christmas comes early from an old guy.  No big deal for me.  Don't get me wrong, there's no doubt the extra money would be welcome, but I think as an old man with a somewhat limited future, all that extra work is just overall not worth it to me. Even if I won the lottery, I'd still make a cane for someone that "needs" it. And it would be fit to that person only.

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