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Training Weapon Crafting
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I've recently taken to trying to craft various weapons to use in the dojo. Although time consuming, it seems to be saving a lot of money, something we could all use.

Recently we've been using more and more pole arms in our dojo here in Michigan and I've been wanting to explore with the various style of polearms we use in this art.

My idea is to make a pretty solid Bo Staff with interchangeable 'heads', such as a naginata 'blade', a kamayari blade, an ono head, one for a Bisento, etc. So that with one weapon, I'd have many different weapons.

It needs to do a few things, such as secured attachment, something I'm planning with two screws and what not.

Anywho, if anyone here knows of any set up like this, or has some ideas for improvement, please pass them on.

Also, I'm looking for ideas for what to make the heads out of. I was thinking either some sort of hard plastic or wood. The attachment piece would either be on all the heads seperately and fit over the bo, or it would be a universal cylinder that fits on the bo as well as the heads.

Thoughts?

Posted on: 2009/11/9 8:26
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Re: Training Weapon Crafting
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If you are going to be changing 'heads' to make different weapons I would sugest a bolt type attachment not the screws. Screw holes will eventually sear out after a few changes.

Posted on: 2009/11/9 11:21
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Re: Training Weapon Crafting
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i wonder if 1 inch pegs on opposing sides , 7 or 8 inches down from the tip of the pole ....

and a couple more pegs on the caps with the various weapon heads on them ,could fairly quickly be strapped together using a couple thin leather straps or boot laces .

if i made a drawing it might make more sense

maybe rubber tubing like the kind used for slingshots would work even better than leather . It would effectively pad the pegs pretty well once wrapped back and forth between the pegs a few times .

DISCLAIMER : this may only work in my imagination



Have fun and always keep going

Posted on: 2009/11/9 13:34
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Re: Training Weapon Crafting
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Could it be possible to take pieces of threaded pipe and bolt them to the end of the staff and each weapon head? If you don't have a tap for making threads, maybe you might know someone who does, or can pick one up at a reasonable price. Just a thought.

Posted on: 2009/11/9 14:24
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Re: Training Weapon Crafting
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Try a bayonet fitting with a strong spring, such as an air rifle mainspring, to hold the interchangeable heads in place but allow quick changes.

p.s. a wooden practice chinese broadsword blade is a good item to turn into a naginata blade and a wooden tai chi sword can be cut into a yari blade.

Posted on: 2009/11/9 18:03
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Re: Training Weapon Crafting
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One of the tough parts involved is making it feel appropriate. Certainly, in handling traditional weapons like spear, naginata, etc it's pretty unlikely that any of us do it for the practical need (i.e. I don't expect to get into a real bisento battle) ...

so, we're doing it to learn what the weapon, and hopefully the kata related to it, can teach us, maybe even in the context of the tradition - in this case, most likely Kukishin.

I once heard Hatsumi Sensei mention that people should make their own weapons specifically because of this. He discussed that most of us don't handle the weapons properly because they're not weighted properly, made of the right materials, wrong densities, etc.

Now, that makes it a whole lot tougher to get it "right" than just interchanging heads, although I certainly think that's a darn cool idea! In case it helps, I stumbled upon this density chart for metals:
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/metal-alloys-densities-d_50.html

I hope you'll post some photos if you make something that works well.

Posted on: 2010/1/4 21:25
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Re: Training Weapon Crafting
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Something to take into consideration is also the length of the weapons. This relates to the suitable distances. Average height for the males in the military of Japan by mid 19th century was 1,55 m (5ft 1 in). You can imagine how different bojutsu with rokushaku bo must have felt for the 1,55 m guy in the mid 19th century compared to the 1,80 m guy of today.

Somewhere I heard that the standard lengths of bo was one foot longer than a man. A Jo approx. one foot shorter.

Regards / Skuggvarg

Posted on: 2010/1/4 22:21
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Re: Training Weapon Crafting
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I realise you posted a while ago on this topic so it might not be timely enough of a reply, but maybe it will help others wanting to craft training weapons. There is a good type of plastic called delrin. It is super strong and light. It can be carved like wood or shaped on a lathe like wood or steel stock. It's a bit pricey, but it is amazing stuff. Many paintball gun manufactures use delrin parts because of their strength and light weight.

Posted on: 2010/10/24 7:17
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Re: Training Weapon Crafting
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Delrin is not a bad choice, but it's not the best, either. Acetal is the generic name, btw, and can be found generally for less money. Delrin does not tolerate impact well, it will shatter. I work with the stuff all day long in industrial settings.

Some types of nylon are better for impact, as they do not shatter easily. I can't think of the exact compounds right now.

Posted on: 2010/10/24 10:30
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Re: Training Weapon Crafting
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good to know. since you work with these types of materials, where would you recomend the lay-person would find these materials to buy?

Posted on: 2010/10/24 13:51
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