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CE phenolic walking stick diameter/pictures?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Krav, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. Krav

    Krav Member


    I am interested in making a walking stick out of one of the composite fiber or glass materials (probably CE Phenolic rod). I am thinking about something between 1/2" and 1" and probably less than 4' in length (I am 6' 175lbs). My current walking stick is a ~1" diameter, 39" length of striped maple that weighs 12.5oz.


    This rod would be 15.6oz if it were the same length as my current wooden stick and would concentrate force into much less area (probably would be over twice the density). So there is no question in my mind it would be a superior SD weapon to what I currently have.

    I am considering the 3/4" rod for more heft, but feel that a 1" stick may become more conspicuous and burdensome when hiking (an over two pound stick!). They are also much more expensive.

    Can anyone report on there experiences with smaller diameter non-wood walking sticks (with their weights/densities)? Does anyone have pictures of their non-wood walking sticks?

    I have read the articles on this forum on micarta sticks and it seems that a user was interested in buying them in bulk.

    I would consider a soft leather or paracord wrap for the top of the stick to add thickness and comfort.

    As a PS: What do people think of the Blackswift sticks? They are a little too short for me, and expensive as well (especially for the fiberglass "Raven").

    On that note, what do people think of fiberglass sticks for this purpose as they are far cheaper?

  2. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

  3. Krav

    Krav Member

    Looks good. Would like to see some more pics and thoughts on diameter. That looks like it might have been about 1" or even bigger.
  4. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator

    Hso referenced my thread, 3/4 would be lighter than 1 inch and probably a better choice.

    I think it would be an excellent choice for a walking stick. My cane is 38 inches and handles nicely. I have started training with it and can tell you it is different than wood but impressive in results.
  5. Krav

    Krav Member

    Thanks Bikerdoc. Hope you are on the mend! I am thinking that even 3/4" may be heavier than I want to go. The 1/2" is much cheaper and they have diameters between the two.

    How would you say it is different than wood? Slower? Less rebound?

    One of my priorities is having something that could defeat a determined pitbull or someone with a nervous system that is not sending the right pain signals (drugs, psychosis, adrenaline, etc) which would require true incapacitation of a body part... it sounds like your cane is capable of that!
  6. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    I like 1" for a cane. Yup, it's heavier, but (especially something dense like CE) it hits hard.
  7. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

    Krav, why a Pitbull? They were bred to fight other animals, not attack humans. Why aren't you worried about breeds like the Doberman Pinscher, the Neapolitan Mastiff, and others that were actually bred to attack humans?
  8. Krav

    Krav Member

    Yeah nothing against pitbulls. I would hit ANY dog breed that was attacking me or another person in the right. Pitbulls are the most common breed that kills people according to the wikipedia page on fatal dog attacks in the US.

    Do you guys think there is any chance a 1/2" thick CE rod would break in years of use? Seems like that wouldn't be a concern unless you were swinging for the fences against steel columns with the distal end. I imagine a 1/2" thick CE rod could take a parry from a baseball bat.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  9. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator

    Krav ,
    It is hard to descibe. It is heavier yet has an element of flow to it that is more substancial than wood.
    Plexus thrust or knee, elbow, collarbone hit would be enough remedial social work to stop an agression.
  10. Krav

    Krav Member

    Sounds like I will just have to get one and work with it! I wonder about how brittle a 4' length would be, especially in the narrower diameters.

    If I am ordering from that website I will probably get a fiberglass rod too, as they are very cheap, and do some comparisons. Based on their listed weights I came up with the following numbers in case anyone is interested.

    These densities are in oz/foot of 1/2" rod stock: (based on their site)

    Nylatron: 5.2
    CE: 4.8
    UHMWPE: 3.4
    Fiberglass: 2.7

    A 1" rod should be four times as heavy for the same length, so you can extrapolate from here.
  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

  12. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    I had a 1 1/8" CE staff 74" long. It was over 4 pounds.

    With a good bit of experience in my corner, for my style of fighting (stick is Kukishin Ryu, the most famous Japanese stick fighting school), thinner than 1" feels too thin for a hanbo (3') length. (I have a 1.1" rod that is on the edge of "too thin".) For longer staff work, 1 1/4" is the thickest that feels okay. 4-6' length, 1 1/8" feels best.

  13. Krav

    Krav Member


    Thanks for the links, that carbon fiber is at 2.1oz/foot using the same dimensions as above; less dense than even the fiberglass.


    I see the advantages of a heavier and longer stick if permissible, especially for someone like you who has developed the skeletal strength to wield it efficiently.

    From all this input I think I will go with a 3/4" CE rod and a 1/2 fiberglass rod to play with.

    Does anyone have pictures of finished sticks?
    I wonder how hard it would be to put a lag screw in the top and add a ball (and some epoxy to double-secure it)

    Seems like bikerdoc's cane was fairly similar to that idea.
  14. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    This is the "PAPER SHEET ROD GRADE XX NATURAL 1.125 OD". There are a couple of pictures of it in this article, where I mounted a target on it. I haven't babied it, but haven't gone out and pounded on wooden training weapons, wooden targets, and dead trees like I have with my canvas micarta tools. I have, however, broken a high impact plastic bokken, made of material similar to doc's cane.

    I haven't done anything to the finish. This is borderline too slick for my fighting style. CE (canvas) texture is better, rough enough to "drift"/slide over the surface without sticking and causing friction burn, while not being so rough that you catch.

    Yes, even my old instructor John Orth, who was especially known for his bo work, described my long staff as too heavy, but after working out with it every night for months, it became lighter. ;) To put this into context, though, I could healthily lose five pounds of fat, and I still weigh under 150.


    Attached Files:

  15. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    IIRC paper micarta has only about 25% of the cross grain impact strength of canvas micarta and only about 5% of G10.
  16. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Perhaps, but I'd be hard pressed to break this 4' piece.

    And I hit hard.
  17. Krav

    Krav Member

    I wonder how these composites stack up against other materials like fiberglass, carbon fiber, or UHMWPE in terms of cross grain impact strength?

    G10 is more dense than CE, but not five times more dense, so if those numbers are correct then G10 might be the most resistant to impact for its density.

    I began thinking about the ideal rod for doing structural damage to another mammal and I came up with these characteristics:

    -highest density
    -smallest diameter

    But the asterisk would be that it would have to:

    -flex as little as possible, and
    -not break
    -would not be so light or heavy that it is bio-mechanically inefficient.

    This assumes that there is a sweet spot of bio-mechanic efficiency. If the rod is too heavy then the person will not be able to get adequate velocity, if it is too light they will not be able to get adequate velocity, but in between there will be a linear relationship between mass and velocity where a heavier stick is swung more slowly and a lighter stick is swung faster (momentum = MV). Once you hit that sweet spot, the most dense, smallest diameter stick that will not break or flex should be the ideal one.

    So the ideal rod would be very dense but have impact resistance that can support a thin diameter rod. The actual diameter would depend on the individual, with stronger individuals being able to swing heavier rods.

    I suspect that the other materials mentioned above may flex more than CE, giving them higher impact resistance but not transferring as much force through the target.

    John: That image you posted... it looks like the phenolic rod is wrapped in something? Or is that just how XX looks? The canvas stuff I am used to (on my rat cutlery knives for instance) is textured, and looks more like the rod stock from the link that I initially posted (from the US plastics website). I am hoping it will have the "grain" and textured look...

    EDIT2: So after going back and looking at these materials with the above theory in mind... that would make a G10 rod in 1/2" superior in every way to a CE rod in 3/4" (it is overall heavier, it has higher density, lower diameter, and higher impact resistance even with the thinner diameter).

    But G10 (I think) is very smooth, so it would require texturing to the stick... and it looks ugly... a light green color instead of a wood looking color.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
  18. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    I believe that the optimized fighting stick is called a "sword". ;)

    "Natural" paper micarta looks pretty much just like wet cardboard with almost no "grain" to speak of since the layers are so thin.

    G10 comes in many different colors and has a pleasing grain when the billet is machined to shape and the fiberglass layers are cut through. The green stuff (which I think looks pretty good) is the color of the undyed epoxy since the fiberglass substrate is essentially colorless.
    Finished at low (36-80) grits it is very raspy in texture.
  19. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    That's just exactly how the XX micarta looks. As I said, slightly slicker than optimal.
  20. Krav

    Krav Member

    I am leaning toward a half inch G10 rod and learned that one can dye G10.

    I had another question I though you guys might have some experience with... do you know which of these materials I could screw a hanger bolt into to add some kind of knob to the top? I am worried that g10 might split if it was only 1/2"... I have read that certain kinds of epoxy work very well with G10 as well. I would probably be adding a wooden ball.

    By the way I got some better numbers and those density calculations based on that site's weights I posted are off. I found specific gravities and densities posted around the web which for these materials which are more accurate.

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