How to Bend a Piece of Wood to Make a Walking Cane

Updated February 21, 2017

Many different types of walking canes abound, and they are typically made out of wood. These canes are straight pieces of wood throughout until the handle, where they are bent to provide a grip that makes walking and holding yourself steady easier. Bending wood can be quite a challenging task, particularly for a cane. It takes a little bit of time and experience to properly complete.

Measure the long oak dowel rod that will be used for the cane and mark where you want the bending to take place. The wood should be 1 1/2 to 2-inches around and cut long enough in height to reach slightly above the waist of the person using it. Leave about six inches on the top for the cane to bend.

Construct a wooden box made out of plywood to slide the cane into. Cut the plywood to size with a circular saw and drill it together to make a box with drywall screws and corner brackets. Leave one end of the box open so the dowel rod can slide into it.

Fill up a tea kettle with warm water. Drill a hole into the bottom of the box with a drill and a hole saw bit. Insert a small hose fitting into the hole and connect it to the tea kettle so steam can transfer from there to the box.

Place the tea kettle on the burner and boil the water on the inside. Insert the part of the rod that will be bent into the box and plug the end with rags, making sure to leave a little room for steam to escape.

Keep the burner on the stove and continue burning the water forcing steam through the hose and into the box. Allow the dowel rod to sit in the box one hour for each inch that will need to be bent.

Check periodically and add water when necessary. Remove the rod after six hours and form it to the desired shape for the handle.


Always make sure there is just enough room for the steam to escape, or it could cause an explosion in the box like a pressure cooker.

Things You'll Need

  • Tea kettle
  • Plywood
  • Screws
  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • Hole saw bit
  • Corner brackets
  • Water
  • Hose
  • Rags
  • Circular saw
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Long oak dowel rod
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About the Author

Alexander Callos began writing in 2005 for "The Lantern" at The Ohio State University and has written for various websites, including Bleacher Report, Top Ten Real Estate Deals and Columbus Sports. He has published articles for CBS Sports, and other websites. He graduated in 2007 from The Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in public affairs journalism.