FAQs on Cane Handles
How would you rate the quality?
Really good quality. They are the nicest cane handles we are aware of. Nicely shaped and finished. But they are a natural product and some have more markings than others.
Does the "look" vary from handle to handle?
Yes. They are made from a naturally growing source and will have variations from handle to handle. Each will have unique patterns and coloration. To us, that variation is part of the beauty and appeal, and can really add to your work. The photos on the main handle page are good examples.
How do I know what size to buy?
The handles are sized by the manufacturer. Sizing reflects the overall size, including length and height. The manufacturer measures across the handle to the outermost parts of the woven retaining ring on each side AT THE TIME OF MANUFACTURE.
HOWEVER when we get them, some are more "open" than others. You may have to boil them briefly, or soak them in water to resize them, to get them to fit your lugs.(See the step below and how to install. In this case you will just immerse more of the handle in the hot water.)
AS EXPLAINED IN THE PARAGRAPHS ABOVE, YOUR TEAPOT HANDLE WILL NOT NECESSARILY MATCH THESE MEASUREMENTS WHEN YOU GET IT. FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU ORDER A 5" HANDLE IT MAY COME WITH A 4" OPENING OR A 6" OPENING. THEY OFTEN MUST BE STEAMED/SOAKED TO FIT, AS DESCRIBED BELOW.
To get the size you need, do the following:
- Measure the distance between the outside of the lugs on your pot
- Look on the charts on the handle page for the closest matches
- If you have an exact match, pick that size or go one larger. (If you pick the matching size, know that the handle will probably be a little small and you'll have to adjust it during installation.)
- If you are close or between sizes, buy the larger one.
Once I get my handle, how do I install it?
- Your pot
- Your handle
- A pan of boiling water
- Hold your handle up to your pot and notice how much larger or smaller the handle is than the distance between the lugs. This will give you a sense of how much the handle will need to adjust to the size of you pot. (If it is more than 1/2" larger or smaller, you may want to consider getting a more closely sized handle.)
- Pull the woven retaining ring up on one side, past the narrowing end of the handle loop.
- Dip that end of the handle into boiling water for about 5 seconds.This will temporally make the handle more pliable in that area.
- Put the loop around the lug on the pot
- Slide the woven retaining ring down into place.
(One side complete!)
- Pull the woven retaining ring up on the remaining side, past the narrowing end of the handle loop.
- Dip that end of the handle into boiling water for about 5 seconds.
- Put the loop around the lug on the pot.
(Note: It will be harder to do this time because you cannot maneuver the handle as freely as you could on the other side. Don't panic, and if you find the handle is loosing it's pliability, dip it into the boiling water again.)
- Once looped, slide the woven retaining ring down into place.
Alternative Method: We have also had good luck soaking them for several hours or overnight instead of boiling.
Note: We are not able to swap handles if you find you do not like the size you ordered. If you do not like the handle, you can return it per our normal return policy (you pay the return shipping). But we will not pay for any return shipping even if the measurement does not match (since you are supposed to steam/soak them to get to that measurement.)
How should I shape my teapot lugs?
Here are some things to consider:
- Many potters actually buy the handle before they make the pot (or will have several handles on hand). This way they can keep the geometry of the handle in mind as the are making the pot. This does present it's own set of considerations (i.e. clay shrinkage during firing) but it does give you something to work with as you make your pot.
- The handle will move more freely on lugs with a smooth, circular shape. They will also move more freely on lugs with a circular cross-section, particularly if the diameter is significantly smaller than the inside loop diameter of the handle. (Read more about this below.) This is good if you want to tip the handle over for storage or to easily put liquid in the pot.
- The handle will move less freely on lugs with a square-ish, non-circular shape, or on lugs with a relatively large, non-circular cross-section. This is good if you want the handle to stay in place when you are not holding it.
- The handle loops get smaller as the handle gets smaller. So if you are making a small pot, don't make the lugs too thick or the handle won't fit. For example.
- 7" handles have loops that are about 1/2" inside diameter
- 3" handles have loops that are about 1/4" inside diameter
(Often the inside diameter is smaller than these dimensions so build accordingly.)
- Attach your lugs straight up and down to get the best handle fit. The handle will also move better on the lugs if the lugs are orientated this way.
I have a teapot and I want a new handle. What size replacement handle should I buy?
In our experience, customers who try to buy a single handle in this situation are usually not happy with the result. The fit and size variation of the handles, along with the variations in tea pots, make this difficult to accomplish. If you really want to, you can. But proceed knowing we are not able to swap handles, or help you make a custom fit. If you do not like the handle, you can return it per our normal return policy (you pay the return shipping). Please review all sizing instructions in this page. Understand that this sizing info was provided by the manufacturer and actual sizing occasionally extends beyond these guidelines. We are not responsible for these variations. Please shop accordingly.