I want to make a sturdy walking stick from a piece of leftover EMT
conduit. I'll put a rubber cane tip on the bottom, and for a handle I
was gonna use a heavy hardwood "cannonball" finial a little bigger than
a cue ball. What's the best way to attach it so it won't come off? I
think maybe drilling a 3/4" blind hole in the bottom and glueing it over
the end with JB Weld might be pretty close, but shouldn't it be pinned
or something? Or what about using a lag screw into a lead anchor?
I don't want the thing to come off if I'm twirling the cane like an
idiot or something. ;-)
I put balls from the craft store on the end of EMT for some shop-made tool
handles. I drilled and tapped the balls for 3/8 coarse bolt thread. A 3/8
bolt head will jam into 1/2 EMT conduit, which I then brazed. Then you
just screw the ball onto the end of the shaft. I didn't use any glue.
You need at least a drill press, or better a lathe, to drill a sphere
straight and true.
If you were to drill a larger hole to receive the whole EMT tube into the
ball, you'd weaken the ball.
Cut some saw teeth into the end of a piece of emt with a file and make
a hole in the wooden ball with this as a saw. Then you can glue the
emt into the hole and the plug into the emt. If you want it to be even
more secure you can take a short stub of brazing rod and cross dril
the assembly through emt and ball and use the brazing rod as a pin.
Easy to file off the excess smooth.
I've about decided to braze a nut in the end of the EMT, sand a flat on
the surface of the ball and drill a slightly-too-small hole all the way
thru it for a 3/8" carriage bolt. The flat will be on the top and it's
so the head of the carriage bolt won't stick up.
I think you are better off with the original idea of drilling a blind
hole and using epoxy to set the conduit in the hole. With the brazed
nut, the nut is the only attachment point and shear forces will be
concentrated there. Use a rasp to roughen the conduit before gluing.
Don't drill into the end grain on the ball. -- H
If actually brazes the nut, the weld will be nearly as strong (if not
stronger) than the wall of the EMT will be against collapse.
As a suggestion, if you go this route, why not use a coupling nut rather
than just an ordinary hex nut -- this would provide a much longer solid
section at the top of the EMT.
Some time back, I fitted a wooden ball to a hand reamer/trimmer for
trimming shell casings. Same problem but on a smaller scale. Got a
wood ball that already had a dowel hole. Reamed hole out a tad to the
right size. Dab of quick set epoxy, and some spray paint, and it works
fine. Make the hold just deep enough to secure the pipe -- maybe 3-4
pipe diameters, at most. The epoxy will keep it secure. Try for a
pretty snug fit.
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