LumberJocks

purple heart

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by TxWingChun posted 05-04-2012 07:38 AM 1410 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TxWingChun's profile

TxWingChun

5 posts in 961 days


05-04-2012 07:38 AM

Greetings to everyone!

I sure hope I am posting this correctly and in the right forum. I am in the process of making my own long poles for a martial art I study called Wing Chun. Most poles being laminates or wood that does not hold up to well are expensive to replace and ship. So I’ve decided to take matters in my own hands and try to make my own for myself and possibly my fellow classmates.

I’ve found a place called bellforest that sells purple heart dowels online at the correct measurement of 1.5×108. My only problem is the base should stay at 1.5 but on the striking end should taper to 1/2 inch. My question is what is the best way to taper the end down.? Can I keep the finish natural or finish it.?
Joe

Your help is greatly appreciated.


10 replies so far

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 1519 days


#1 posted 05-04-2012 08:38 AM

Hi TxWingChun,
Welcome to Lumberjocks :)

I googled poles used for wing chun, and saw this video so I’m going to base my responses assuming that this is the type of pole you’re looking for. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3CP0t9fAQ8

I’m not sure if you’ve worked with purple heart before but it’s a fairly dense wood, it can be pretty heavy. I don’t know if you want something lighter for this type of pole (I have no idea what type wood these things are normally made out of)

I went to bellforest’s website and I found 1’’ dowels and 1 3/8’’ dowels but none that where 1 1/2’’ and the longest dowel I saw was 36’’ I don’t think merging together several dowels will work well for you I think they’ll be prone to snap and the attachment point.

I think you’ll be hard pressed to find a 108’’ long dowel rod that can be shipped to you, if you do the shipping might be pretty expensive because I don’t think fed ex or ups takes packages that long (I could be wrong on this but all the mail order lumber I’ve ordered had to be cut down to 5’ or so)

Ok, now that I’m down raining all over your parade, let me get to the part where I help :)

I have no idea what tools you have, or where you’re located in texas but if I wanted to try to make a pole like that, first I’d go to your local big box store and pick up a 2×4x10 .. cut it down to 1.5’’ x1.5’’ x9’ (you should be able to get 2 from a 2 by 4). Then once you have your 1.5×1.5 blank, I would use a taper jig on a table saw to taper all 4 sides so you can get the 1/2’’ tip you want. Here’s a PDF from an episode of the woodsmith shop that shows a taper jig and how to do 4 sided tapers http://www.woodsmithshop.com/download/210/perfecttapers.pdf

Once you have it tapered, I believe you can use a 3/4’’ round over bit in a router table which should leave a perfectly round edge all the way around (I don’t know what would happen to the 1/2’’ side maybe someone with more round over experience than me can answer that.

If you don’t have a table saw, I’m not sure how else to cut tapers .. maybe with a good band saw setup? or maybe someone else would know.

If you don’t have a router table, but you do have a router you can mount the router to a peice of 3/4’’ plywood and just put it on 2 saw horses. There are a lot of samples on lumberjocks of quick and dirty router tables.

If you don’t have a router, you can round over the edges by hand with a heavy rasp, this would tkae a bit of elbow grease that’s for sure.

Once you have a good process for making these poles you can get some more expensive wood that you want to use, at this point find a local lumberyard that sells 8/4 stock and see if they have a piece that’s long enough (get something slightly larger than 9’) .. Many lumber yards will mill the lumber for you if you don’t have the means, you can ask it to be milled down to 1 1/2’’ (though I’d get it slightly thicker and you can set your tablesaw fence to 1.5’’ rip your strip, then rotate it and run it through again so you have a perfect square).

For finishing, I’d recommend finishing it with something it doesn’t really matter what, depending on your experience, I’m pretty fond of wipe on polyurethane for it’s simplicity and it’s pretty easy to get a good finish. The reason I recommend finishing is because of all the sweat that will get into the wood otherwise this can cause the wood to swell and possibly distort.

-jeremy

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer: http://www.1024studios.com/cuttingboard.html

View TxWingChun's profile

TxWingChun

5 posts in 961 days


#2 posted 05-04-2012 10:56 AM

Jeremy,
Thanks for your help. The link you provided is what I’m looking to make. I really appreciate your response and help. Most poles are made of some type of ironwood for thier weight. In training application it serves to help build internal strength. There is an indepth article in this link if your interested in the read. http://www.garylamwingchun.com/index.php?view=article&catid=34%3Aarticles&id=75%3Awing-chun-power-training-by-gregory-e-leblanc&option=com_content&Itemid=113

When I contacted Eric @ bellforest he advised they could send a purpleheart dowel with dims of 1.5×108. The total that I was given with shipping was around 100.00.
Here is website that currently sells them. I suppose I could just buy one, but I would rather learn to make them on my own and hopefully provide them locally to the schools in my area.
http://www.wingchundirect.com/purple-heart-long-pole,p535833
So I guess hand sanding is the way to go to get the tapered end down to an inch? What type of sand paper do I use?

Thanks again,
Joe

View nick85's profile

nick85

39 posts in 994 days


#3 posted 05-04-2012 11:43 AM

I would consider using a rasp to approach the final shape, like Jeremy suggested. Sanding that much would take forever. After getting close to the correct taper, I’d go at it with a belt sander to take out the rasp marks, then palm sand it smooth.

If you’re considering making multiples, it may be worth your time to make a quick jig to hold the pole horizontal while working. I imagine a simple frame with lag screws as dead centers on each end that allow you to rotate the dowel while sanding to keep it even. Essentially a long, cheap, lathe bed…

-- "I suggest a new strategy, R2: let the Wookiee win."

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 1519 days


#4 posted 05-04-2012 03:35 PM

Hi Joe,
I would think hand sanding is by far an absolute last resort. I think you can take the Jig idea from nick above there, mount a router to the top on a sled or something and that will let you rough out everything so you can finish sand it.

-jeremy

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer: http://www.1024studios.com/cuttingboard.html

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1285 posts in 1745 days


#5 posted 05-04-2012 03:52 PM

The simplest would be to use a spokeshave. They do it all the time for masts and spars on boats. Here is a fancy example of the steps you take for an accurate taper and finishing.

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Solid-Boat-Mast

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View TxWingChun's profile

TxWingChun

5 posts in 961 days


#6 posted 05-04-2012 05:24 PM

Thanks for all the help. It’s greatly appreciated. I’m thinking.a spokeshave may be the best option. Should I get a concave one and what measurements would be best to taper from 1.5 to 1/2 inch? The good thing I suppose about getting a dowel is the base will stay the standard 1.5. It’s just the striking end that needs to be tapered.

View waho6o9's profile (online now)

waho6o9

5281 posts in 1324 days


#7 posted 05-04-2012 05:39 PM

I might suggest using a track saw. Maybe commission someone in your area to cut the tapers, easy peasy.
Although a spoke shave would work well.

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1285 posts in 1745 days


#8 posted 05-05-2012 01:51 AM

Straight or concave will make little difference. 1/2 in at the end is way too sharp. You are not making a spear. ;) It will most likely be down to about an inch or a little under.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View TxWingChun's profile

TxWingChun

5 posts in 961 days


#9 posted 05-05-2012 02:10 AM

David, I stand corrected. I meant to say it would be tapered from the base at 1 1/2 inch down to about an inch on the striking side.

View derosa's profile

derosa

1557 posts in 1583 days


#10 posted 05-05-2012 03:04 AM

At that price you could save a fortune by making your own dowels. You can look on this site for more specifics but basically you take a decent size chunk of wood, probably a good 2.5-3” square by a couple inches thick and make a tapered hole in it that ends at 1.5”. Then you cut a slot into the side that a blade can sit in, a plane blade works fine. You want to start with a square blank close to your desired dimensions and cut off the corners, for your size you’ll need to screw something like a lag bolt into the end that can have the head cut off and be chucked into a drill. By using the drill you’re turning the blank into the tapered opening and replying on the blade to shave it down and into a round dowel. I’d ask in the swap forum for a plane blade that someone probably has a spare of and will sell cheap, the block of wood is cheap enough and there will be a decent amount of time put into making the taper but you can probably make the 3-4 purpleheart dowels for that same 100.00.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase