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How can i make one of these? What tools would i need?

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Anonymous

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Hi, Can anyone help me because i'd like to be able to make something called a bo staff for martial arts (There's a pic on the link below). It's just like a stick which is around 6 foot tall or a little shorter that has 1" diameter and tapers slightly at the edges to around 0.75" and should be near enough perfectly balanced. I know a Lathe is probably the most obvious answer but i'm only 17 so i don't really have money to buy one. What tools would i need to make one and how would i actually start making one?



http://www.karatesupply.com/images/1244t-lg.jpg
 

Aragorn

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Hi PCam68
Don't even think about it! Sorry, but that would be a skilled job on very long lathe. I made a biken once and a hanbo, but a bo would be a real challenge as they need to be just right.
Buy one online - they're not expensive. Buy two and saw one in half and you have a couple of hanbo too!

Spoil sport aren't I... :oops:
 
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There's no way i'm gonna keep buying bo's. they're way too expensive. Its only the heavy ones that are cheap. The last one i bought was 70 pounds so i don't wanna keep goin down that road! :?
 

Alf

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Welcome to the forum, Pcam86.

You'd need a heck of a lathe to deal with a 6' length anyway, so that's definitely out. Aragorn appears to know what he's talking about, so I bow to his opinion (or should that be "bo" to his opinion? Ho ho...). However, if I was needing to make a 6' long pole myself, I'd probably plane down the corners to get an octagon, then those corners to get a -rapid mental calculation- cross section with 16 sides... :oops: etc until it was looking pretty round. If you count the number of strokes of the plane you can get it fairly even. Then I expect I'd finish off with a spokeshave, and use that to do the taper too, and then abrasives to get a perfect finish. Making a card template to put against the work as you go would help as well. Actually you could probably get away with just using a shave and abrasives if you wanted. Not that easy a task though, and certainly time-consuming.

Now not knowing your level of expertise, it's hard to know which bits of that I'd need to explain, so feel free to come back with further questions. :D

Having said all of which, I suppose ready made dowelling is no good? Then there'd just be the tapering to do.

Cheers, Alf

P.S. All of the above based on zero knowledge of martial arts, in case you hadn't guessed :oops:
 

Aragorn

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Alf":1v5el788 said:
...so I bow to his opinion (or should that be "bo" to his opinion? Ho ho)
You just can't help yourself can you Alf :D

Pcam86
Going down Alf's route would work well if you have the skill and patience. It might be quite hard to get the bo really straight. But if you start with a well prepared piece of timber, it might even be quite fun!
There must be some way of using a roundover bit in a router table... square stock just over the finished dimensions ... pass it through the router table with a ½"-roundover bit for a 1 inch diameter bo. Keep turning it to make the round. There would be several safety problems to consider though as the wood would try to spin on the last cut and would be poorly supported on the outfeed. Best not to try that if you are inexperienced.... :cry:
Add up the cost of the equipment, and the hardwood - you could buy quite a few bo's for that!
 

DaveL

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Aragorn":3kjvevtz said:
There must be some way of using a roundover bit in a router table... square stock just over the finished dimensions ... pass it through the router table with a ½"-roundover bit for a 1 inch diameter bo.
Aragorn,

I have used this idea to make 1" dowel for the stretchers for the folding chairs I am making. The stock needs to be the exact size and you only make 4 cuts on the table, each done in a number of passes. I still had a little sanding to finish off the dowel. I only need lengths less than 2', I think that making 6' lengths would be every hard if you need a prefect finish. I am using Iroko by the way.
 

Aragorn

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It might be easier to use overlength wood and leave the last foot or so un-routed. That way you'd always have good support on the router table.
 

Alf

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Sorry, couldn't resist the pun :oops:

The router idea did occur to me after I'd logged off. The trouble with leaving a square bit at the end to support it is two-fold. One, you have to drop the work onto the cutter and lift it off at the end - tricky, especially if you're a novice. Secondly, you'd need at least a 13-14' long router table... :shock: Now that's a specialised workshop item! :lol: Oh, and there's another problem; wouldn't there be rather a lot of flex in the 6' between the two square ends? Could get some very odd, and potentially dangerous results. :?

Cheers, Alf
 
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Anonymous

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My dad has just told me that he knows someone that owns a broom making factory. I guess i could get them the right amount of wood and they could make lots of em. Would they also be able to do the taper on the machines?

Which wood is best to use if i don't want it too heavy or insanely light?
 

Adam

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Depend..... if you want to break there arms and legs without it breaking I'd recommend oak. :shock: Alternatively, if you want it to snap before it inflicts kidney-stopping grade injuries perhaps pine would be suitable.

What exactly do you do with these poles anyway?

Adam

I hooked this off the internet, sounds like oak is the best for "combat use"

Wood Descriptions from top to bottom:

1. Pure Hickory Heart: A naturally occurring dark pigmentation of the hickory tree that comes from the center, or "heart" of the tree. The color can range from a dark honey to a rich mahogany.
2. Hickory w/ Heart Wood: As the term would suggest, this is a combination of the light hickory and heartwood. Mother Nature does a magnificent job of mixing the colors.
3. Hickory: This is one of our "standard" woods. It is a fine-grained, dense American hard wood, typically "bone" in color with occasional streaks of "heart" wood.
4. Oak: We use "white" oak, which is usually a dark khaki in color after it is soaked in mineral oil. The grain is more pronounced and open than hickory, but we would rate them both as our strongest woods.
5. Ash: Again, a more open grain wood than hickory, with some of the characteristic "look" of oak. Ash tends to have a slight yellow tint in some pieces, and is somewhat lighter in weight than either oak or hickory.
6. Walnut: A very lightweight chocolate colored wood, that can have some lighter colored streaks running up and down the grain. It is NOT what we would consider a "combat grade" wood, but works quite well in tournament canes, as it's lighter weight facilitates quicker spins and twirls.
7. Cherry: Our lightest and softest wood, cherry has an interesting grain that contains some interesting swirls of orange, not unlike a lighter colored hickory heart wood. Once again, we do not consider cherry to be a true "combat grade" material!
 

Aragorn

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Alf":18b6gjjj said:
The router idea did occur to me after I'd logged off. The trouble with leaving a square bit at the end to support it is two-fold. One, you have to drop the work onto the cutter and lift it off at the end - tricky, especially if you're a novice. Secondly, you'd need at least a 13-14' long router table... :shock: Now that's a specialised workshop item! :lol: Oh, and there's another problem; wouldn't there be rather a lot of flex in the 6' between the two square ends? Could get some very odd, and potentially dangerous results. :?

Cheers, Alf
All good points - I was thinking of leaving the square bit just at the trailing end actually, just to give a bit of extra support. All the same, I would be pretty scared doing it that way!

As for hardwood - oak is the only way to go for a bo, don't you know :)roll: god, this is getting silly). They take a lot of knocks and they need a lot of strength.
 

StevieB

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Hi,

I have not used a Bo extensively before, but have experience of using swords (katana and tanto) and of their safer alternative wooden bokken.

Bokken are traditionally made of 'red oak' or 'white oak' and sold under this description. These are presumably made of whatever oak are native to Japan rather than the European equivalent.

Certainly with bokken, they are not really meant to be 'smacked' into each other, or people, but rather are a safer (and cheaper!) alternative to traditional swords. They are used in kata and form work rather than combat. Not sure if the same is true of the Bo, but are you breaking it because you are hitting another Bo with it, or just getting it stuck on the floor, between door posts and on the bus? :wink:

Having said all that, I reckon if you made one from European Oak you would have a quarterstaff aka Little John in Robin Hood, this was a fairly hefty weapon if used correctly and should be fine for the practice of martial arts 8)

With regard to the shape of the Bo, I have seen both circular ones and octagonal ones. The same is true of nunchaku, the theory being that round ones bruise and damage while the octagonal ones crush bone since they effectively have a sharp impact edge from any direction. Making an octagonal Bo will be far easier (and safer) than a round one.

My vote would be to buy one and be careful with it :wink: but an octagonal Bo would be the way to go if you really did want to make one.
 

sawdustalley

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Forgive me if i'm wrong, but wouldnt it prove so much cheaper and easier to buy something like that.

I thought the idea of self defense was that you could use it anywhere when needed, do they do a fold up version :p

OR you could just use a broom handle instead?
 

Gill

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Hi folks

Hickory probably isn't a good choice. Mattock handles made of hickory split along the grain when they impact on other mattock handles and can trap the skin, causing blood wheals on the hand if you're lucky. If you're unlucky, the vibration through hickory can easily dislocate the shoulder (DAMHIKT).

Broom handles are simply too fragile when confronted with anything more serious than bamboo (DAMHIKT either)!

Ash tends to absorb the impact better than the others and is definitely the timber I would go for.

Yours

Gill
 

Gill

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Hi Trev

No - I used to play the accordian for a team of university morris dancers! The injuries these guys inflicted on each other during the stick dances... thank goodness half of them were medical students.

Yours

Gill
 

Alf

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The fact she plays the accordian has put your mind at rest?! I may never sleep peacefully again... :shock:

Cheers, Alf :wink:
 
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