Will a Knot Carving Weaken a Walking Cane?

I am thinking about using a Celtic knot in the shaft of a walking cane I am making. I am very concerned the process of making the knot will compromise the strength of the shaft. Any thoughts on this? – Rick Arden

Tim Inman: If you’re really concerned that you might weaken the shaft by carving out the Celtic knot, why not take another approach? I’d suggest tying a beautiful Celtic knot right in place on the shaft of the cane. Wonder of wonders, cyanoacrylate adhesive will bond the knot to the wood and make it as hard as you could want. There are other adhesives, too. Mixed materials and a little opportunity for varied color and texture would make a nice cane.

Rob Johnstone: I really like your idea, but it would simply depend on how much wood you remove versus how much you leave behind. The great thing about wood is that it has a remarkably good strength-to-weight ratio. All that means is that it is pretty stinking strong. And in compression (pushing down on end grain), it is at its strongest. With that said, at the end of the day, the best advice I can offer you is to give it a try and then test it out. Sorry I cannot be of more help.

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