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Author Topic: Recipes for padded weapons?  (Read 3016 times)
Greenman
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« on: May 17, 2005, 09:05:53 PM »

Just wondering....the offerings from Actionflex and Sof-Stix look great but are a little pricey for me.  I've found many sites with directions for making those lame Dungeons and Dragons RPG live action weapons, they call them "boffers".  Sounds like a dirty word from the UK.  I don't want to pretend I'm Lancelot, I want to wail hard on my buddy, Filipino style, with a good, padded weapon.  (I don't have full contact Dog balls yet)
If anybody has good (cheap) ideas, please lemme know.
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Dog Pound
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Posts: 105


« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2005, 01:59:33 AM »

Here is one I have used with good results for the price.

Get a foam pool noodle (long cylinder of foam with a hole through the center).  The "Dollar Tree" stores have some.

Then get a thin rattan stick (you can see where this is going).

Cut a piece of the noodle about 6 inches shorter than the stick, and put the noodle over the stick.
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Guard Dog
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2005, 10:10:34 AM »

Pipe insulation has always worked for us.  However, the soft stick companies sell their product for a very reasonable price when you think of how long they last.  I use SMAK-STIKS and swear by them.  I have yet to break one.


Gruhn
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Ryan “Guard Dog” Gruhn
Guro / DBMAA Business Director
Dog Brothers Martial Arts Association
"Smuggling Concepts Across the Frontiers of Style”
ryan@dogbrothers.com | www.dogbrothers.com
vigil
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Posts: 5


« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2005, 11:38:30 AM »

The problem with most of the cheap insulation around a stick solutions is that they just don't last. They are not made to stand up to real full contact sparring which is the intended use.

I use both the ActionFLEX and the Smak-Sticks in sparring and both are solid and well made. So far they stand up to the abuse very well and were well worth the money.

Also, don't think they don't give enough of a feel. You know when you've been hit by one. No mistaking that.

Think of it like this:
If you are going to be sparring on any kind of a regular basis, what is your $ and time worth? Are you OK with having to remake the home-made sticks every couple of sessions constantly taping them up and replacing the foam? Or is it worth it to have a reliable set of soft sticks to use all the time without worry knowing you won't have to go to Home Depot all the time for new foam and tape? If you are OK with a few bucks here and there every couple of sparring sessions spent at Home Depot to keep the home-made versions useable, so be it. Add those few bucks up though and how much do either of the soft sticks sold commercially really cost in the end over the long term?

Heck, if you have a few sparring buddies you regularly get together with, amortize the cost and have everyone chip in a few bucks to buy four sticks total. That covers single and double stick sparring for the whole group.

Another thought is if you are doing this through a school, see if the school will buy them for use. Similar investment as focus mits and school gloves.

My .02 cents...
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Guard Dog
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2005, 03:21:29 PM »

vigil,
  I'm with ya buddy.  As for the cost of home made sticks I would say that the ones I have made ($4.88 for 8 sticks) last for about three hard sessons and then they are toast.  I think I spend about 15 minutes making each one.  My advice would be the same as yours vigil.  If ya don't mind making them and keeping them up to snuff its a fine way to go.  If you want a long term tool, go with a soft stick.

Gruhn
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Ryan “Guard Dog” Gruhn
Guro / DBMAA Business Director
Dog Brothers Martial Arts Association
"Smuggling Concepts Across the Frontiers of Style”
ryan@dogbrothers.com | www.dogbrothers.com
taoist-engineer
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Posts: 5


« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2005, 04:44:22 PM »

My first Arnis instructor liked us spare without much padding to understand the need for good foot work and blocks

The only padding we used was safety glasses and a cup

We used the plastic tubes from golf bags, 99 cent each at Canadian Tire, foam pipe insulation, thin bamboo rods you use in the garden, and white hockey tape.  Black leaves marks on the walls.

cut the plastic tube, pipe foam and bamboo to the desired length. Put the bamboo inside the pipe foam insulation and insert in the plastic tube. You may have to trim the pipe foam along the split to get it to fit inside the plastic tube. Use the hockey tape to tape the ends closed very securely if you don?t you will get a piece of bamboo in the face as it will want to slide out from the centripetal forces. Also use the hockey tape for better grip.

The sticks are heavy enough to provide enough momentum to give a marginally realistic feel and the bamboo and plastic makes them stiff enough to block and use punyo attacks. They are not heavy enough to give a concussion but do leave nice welts on points of impact. A shot to the groin will drop any man not wearing a cup. Shots to the face leave welts and swollen ears so beginners should think about wearing basic martial arts head gear.  

A word of advice, if your are sparing in a garage don?t get stuck between  the barbeque and the snowblower  both are hard to jump over.    

Regards

Rob
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Greenman
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Posts: 22


« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2005, 09:13:24 PM »

Thanks for the eye opener.  I'm not a penny pincher when it comes to the knives in my collection.  For the price of a Benchmade or similar knife I could get 3 or 4 well made padded weapons.  I guess I just wanted to do something homegrown as I only really have 2 guys to spar with regularly.  Also, being as we don't have years of experience behind us we tend to err on the side of slightly lighter hits.  Thanks for the tips guys, and I checked out smak stiks, I don't know why they haven't turned up in my web searches before?
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Karsk
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« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2005, 12:04:36 PM »

Hi,

This is my first posting on this forum. I have done a bit of stick fighting but I have not done any dog brothers style whomping.  Nevertheless I may be able to offer something to this conversation.

 I actually have a way to build long lasting practice weapons that I thought I would share.  These weapons have a nice heft and can be built with a handle or without.  Please excuse the general nature of my recipe:

Materials and equipment

3/8 inch  fiberglas  electric fence post (these have make and female screw end pieces on them
high impact foam.  This is the sort of foam that step aerobic steps are made out of   Pipe insulation and ensolite is simply too weak and break down rapidly with use.
2 to 3 mm thick pliable leather
simulated rawhide thread
duct tape
leather punch
foam adhesive
long screw driver, metal rod, drill bit that you can use to put holes in foam


Cut the fiberglas post to the length that you want minus about 4 inches.  You are going to want to poke with the sticks so you need to make end caps.  You can consider screwing two rods together if you want a staff sized weapon.  Remember that fiberglas fibers can embed in your skin and cause itching.  To cut the rod use a hack saw and cut under running water to keep the dust down.  You can also bind the ends prior to cutting which helps a little.

Take the high impact foam step or other foam source and cut plugs out of it as thick as you can make them practically.  Don't sweat the small stuff if the plugs are only a few inches thick.  You are going to stack them to completely cover the rod.  They should be approximately 2 to 2.5 inches in diameter and be round.  If they are not completely round you can tune the shape with a coarse file if you want.

Puncture each round right smack in the center of the round and try to make sure that you go straight through.  The more uniform that you make the blanks the nicer the final product will be.

Apply glue to the foam ends and then thread the foam onto the rod.  you should completely cover the rod at this point. When you do so you will notice that the hard fiberglas end is flush with the foam. This is no good if you want to poke and still be safe.  Cut several circular  leather  end pieces and glue these onto the end of the rod.  Glue a final piece of round foam that is 1 to 2 inches thick to the leather. The leather prevents the rod from telescoping through the end piece. The end piece provides the padding.  

After the glue has dried, wrap the whole stick with duct tape. You can also apply a layer of strapping tape to the stick before you add the duct tape for added strength.

Lots of people stop here with this design.  But if you want a long lasting practice weapon that looks good and feels right then add a leather cover.     The stick is a cylinder so cutting out the leather is simple.  Your pattern will be 2 leather end pieces that match the diameter of the stick and a rectangle of leather  such that its length matched the length of the stick and its width is = the circumference of the stick.  Punch uniform holes all around the perifery of of the leather pieces at a distance of approximately 1 cm or less.


The easiest way to sew the leather onto the stick is to first lightly glue the pieces in place on the foam.  Apply a bit of glue to the edges of the leather wherever you feel the need to hold the leather snug.  The only point here is to secure the leather close so you can sew it onto the stick.  Use the simulated rawhide thread and use a lock stitch.  

After you are finished you can further strengthen the stick by carefully weaving several strands of rawhide thread directly into the foam. In my first version of this stick I ran the thread right through the foam to the other side of the stick at about 6 inch intervals straight through and at right angles as well. This is on the edge of overkill in terms of quality I think.  Its a bit challenging to push a long needle all the way through the foam.  Instead you can simple weave the rawhide into the foam at an angle if you want.

I built my first set of these sticks about 15 years ago. They still work well.  They weigh about the same as a rattan stick that is about an inch thick and they feel like a nightstick.  A normal fellow can take a full shot from one of these on the arms, legs or body.  You will still need to protect your head a bit.  Hockey helmets seem fine as do the standard fencing masks.   I would also recommend a bit of wrist protection if you are slightly built.  One lady had her forearm cracked becasue she had her hand caught on something, unable to move when she was struck on the arm but I consider that to be a fluke. Nevertheless a bit of wrist and foremarm protection would have prevented that injury.

The advantage of these sticks for practice is that you don't get any broken kneecaps and the like.  As I alluded to above you can still get your bell rung with these. To me they are a great practice weapon.

Total cost for 2 sticks...its been a while but I am guess that one rod suitable for 2 sticks is around 10 dollars and the leather might cost around 5.  A step aerobics bumper step that you can cannibalize might also cost around 10 to 15 bucks but you can make around 4 sticks from one of those. There are also other sources of high impact foam such as marine upholstery stores.
The total is probably around  10 to 15 per stick if you know how to scrounge.

Oh and if you want to make these things feel like a machete you can add handles to one end.

Cheers,



Karsk
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Greenman
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Posts: 22


« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2005, 07:31:30 PM »

Thanks for the tips!
I actually experimented with regular old "pier 1/cost plus" bamboo, approx. 1.5".  I know it's weak compared to rattan, and much more succeptible to splitting.  It is however, pretty cheap and wrapped in pipe insulation and duct tape, it holds up pretty well, and is light weight.  I'll eventually spring for some "real" padded sticks if my interest in this art/sport/aggro release continues to deepen.  Meantime, I'll give your method some thought and, if time/materials permit, a try.  Thanks.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2005, 12:04:13 AM »

Woof All:

For those of you beginning to appreciate just how much time and work can go into padded sticks, you may wish to take another look at the Actionflex that we sell here on the website cheesy  cheesy  cheesy

Yeah they're expensive, but we think they are really good.

Woof,
Crafty Dog
DBIMA
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