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Tales of the stick.

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Carl Levitian, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. Carl Levitian

    Carl Levitian member

    Or, how it saved my butt.

    I guess I could begin this with "once upon a time..." as it took place a few years ago, when I was still an old fart, but not as old a fart as I am today.

    I've been a loyal sak user for most of my life, and my little classic on my key ring is so often used I made a little leather pouch sheath for it so I didn't have to detach it from my keyring to use. Just take hold of the keyring at the top of the handle sticking up out of the sheath, and pull out of sheath and open whatever blade I needed.

    After some years of use, the front handle scale came off, and I glued it back on with Goop. Goop is the recomended glue on the sak forum to reattach scales with. Somehow the tweezers became lost so I needed a new tweezers. I knew there was a knife shop in Frederick that had a large display of saks and accsesories, so off I went.

    Now downtown in old part of Frederick on Market street, there is a goodly share of strange street people. In recent years Frederick has changed alot, for the worst I'm aftraid. I found a parking place on one of the side streets and went and got my tweezers at the knife shop. The trip back to the car was not uneventfull.

    Walking down the narrow brick sidewalk, I saw ahead of me three young punks of the troublesome type. They were sitting on a low wall that lined the sidewalk, and when they saw me coming in thier direction, they stood up and fanned out across the sidewalk blocking my path. The one in the middle that spoke English asked me if I had any money.

    This was a loose/loose situation.

    I was not about to take out my wallet, nor was I inclined to give them anything. I don't respond well to this kind of thing. I changed my grip on my blackthorn down a couple inches from the root knob handle. One of the benifits of being documented as 50% disabled by the V.A. is if I clobber some malcontent with my stick, I have a documented use for it. If it got that far.

    The change of grip on the stick did not go un-noticed by the three amigo's, and they got a little un-easy. I told them in a no nonsense voice to get out of my way, don't even think about it.

    They moved.

    Now three young guys against a senior citizen on social security, they could have taken me. I may have got in some good licks, one or two of them would have got hit. But in the end, they would have had me. One of them had a hand in his baggy pants pocket, so he may have had a knife.

    But they didn't have guts to try.

    They backed off from an old man with a knarled old blackthorn who was ready to start swinging.

    If I were carryng a knife, and had to pull it out, would it have been as good?

    I'm known by poeple who know me as a great enthusiast of the stick. Always in hand, goes everywhere. I even take it right past airline security when we travel.

    Clint was right. "Sometimes there's nothing like a good piece of hickory."

    exept maybe blackthorn.:D
  2. Valkman

    Valkman Well-Known Member

    I believe I was in Frederick once when it housed the Civil War Medical Museum. :) I went to Antietam, Gettysburg and Harper's Ferry before heading back to the airport and hitting Frederick on the way. :)

    But the stick gives you one thing a knife cannot - distance. I like that. I sould carry my cane more.
  3. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

    I just graduated to a cane from a walker. Had hip replacement surgery a month back. While my cane is a little lighter and shorter than the 48" riot baton I used during my state service was, the moves translate. I may keep one around after I return to full mobility.

    While I do keep a good knife around and carry on occasion,a cane makes a lot of sense. Like Valkman said, a cane gives distance.
  4. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator

    good for you carl, the only thing better would have been if we were together, two old vets with big sticks and even bigger bad attitudes. I am so tired of punks. I just want to live my quiet life, go about my normal business, enjoy my hobbies, dote on the grandkids, take pleasure in the peace and beauty around me, I try to avoid confrontation of any kind, but if you want trouble so be it, I got something for you
  5. Carl Levitian

    Carl Levitian member

    If there was two of us doc, they probably would have run!:D
  6. Old Grump

    Old Grump Well-Known Member

    Make that 3 old Grumpy Men. Crutches on bad days, cane on good days. Light cane for around house and a choice of several heavier sturdy canes when I have to go to the city. As far as knife vs stick confrontation, as much as I like my knives I put my money on a man who knows how to use a stick and I don't care if its 18", 30" or 60".
  7. shevrock

    shevrock Well-Known Member

    WOW you were lucky, err, very scary looking then. Sadly I'm only 16, and i've been on and off crutches for about 8 years. I plan on buying or making a really nice cane sometime soon. i have the basic cane set up on my worktable, but the wood cracked. :(
  8. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator

    get yourself a nice oak or maple straight or almost straight tree limb about an inch or more thick and whittle you a cane of the proper lenth. Its fun and educational as you will learn to sharpen and have lots of thoughts on design.
    good luck and God bless
  9. Carl Levitian

    Carl Levitian member

    shevrock, good advise from doc.

    One other thing you may try. Find a good looking young hornbeam sappling that is growing pretty strait. tTake a small trowl and dig down around the root to see if it goes off at a good angle between 45 and 90 derees. If you find one, dig it up and use a hatchet to cut off the root below ground level, saving as much root as you can. Trim off the sappling about a foot longer than you need and let it sit down the basement in a cool dry place for at least 6 months. Then you make a rustic root knob handle walking stick out of it.

    You can recognize hornbeam by its ridged "muscle" appearence. Its a very very tough wood, on the level with hickory if not tougher. Leave the bark on it like the brits do with the blackthorn. The under bark is very thick and a pain to get off because of the ridges, and you have to take off too much wood. I make them like this, and just polish the grey bark with 0000 steel wool, then stain and varnish. I finish off with Helmsman spar Urathane for a water proof finish.

    Or, if you can find an Irish shop in a city near you, pick up a genuine blackthorn. it will be a lifetime companion.
  10. Eleven Mike

    Eleven Mike Well-Known Member

    Gangs of old men, roaming the streets with their canes. It's getting dangerous out there, folks. :)
  11. shevrock

    shevrock Well-Known Member

    I want to find a real-steel sword cane. thank you for that advice though.
  12. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    No, bad, danger, danger, danger!

    Cane swords are dangerous gimmicks unless you're a pure collector. Do NOT plan on using these defensively. If you want the most destructive 3' piece of support you can carry, a canvas micarta stick is the way to go. Pester Eric Draven enough, and maybe he'll make a micarta cane.
  13. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator

    Mr shirley beat me to it
    sword cane = wrong answer, period, amen, end of story
    your still my friend though!
  14. shevrock

    shevrock Well-Known Member

    LOL, my grandma's name is Shirley, no offense though.I didn't actually plan on using it. I'll see about finding a better piece of wood., what's a good thickness and how should i do the handle.
  15. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    1- 1 1/8", depending on material weight/strength is right.

  16. shevrock

    shevrock Well-Known Member

    So do you make a hand perpendicular to the body, or what.
  17. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Well-Known Member

    Not quite old yet, but am a grumpy vet. Have a few white hairs on my chin.

    Stick beats knife, at least as a tool for protecting yourself.

    I always have a stick, and a knife, but the knife is usually just a normal jackknife.

    Now, the blackthorn cane I have, I love. It is beautiful, people admire it, and I have a need for it. I can carry it in the courthouse, airport, or anywhere else, because I hurt. Nobody questions it.

    As far as making one, you can either add a handle, or cut the root ball for it. What angle you put on it depends on what angle you like. 90 degrees is a good angle, but you may prefer something else. If you're making it yourself, then it's all just sweat to determine what you prefer. Experiment!
  18. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Heck, you can even get ambitious and build a steam forming rig out of pegs set in a board if you want to make a crook top.
  19. wulfbyte

    wulfbyte Well-Known Member

  20. Brian Dale

    Brian Dale Well-Known Member

    I've kept a stick in the car for the past nine months or so; I became convinced of the wisdom of that here, on this forum. Last winter, I picked up a hickory stock cane for about nine bucks at the local farm supply store. I've got a nice blackthorn, too; my Dad picked up some canes at the auctions that were among his hobbies.

    I see more in my future: there are a couple of tree limbs - if you want to call them that - that came down out of a big maple during a wicked thunderstorm yesterday. The larger one's about fourteen inches at the base. I bet there are some good sticks in there. I was busy with other things today; I'll explore it as I cut it up and haul it off tomorrow.

    Carl, a member here posted some time ago about a "shift in grip" that was instantly recognizable to thugs as a move that signified, "I'm ready," and to which they typically responded by seeking other prey, but he didn't specify what it was. You posted,
    I'd speculated at the time that that was the move he was writing about.


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