- Mar 9, 2006 at 8:41 pm #1217995
Hows it going guys,
Yeah….I like using a stick, rather than trekking poles. Theres just so much sentimental value in the one I have….and well, I dont know….theres just something about trekking poles that dont suit my personality.
Anyway, I just finished constructing a grip for it, and I was wondering if anyone out there has any insight into how I might now make the stick collapsible – so as to make it more packable, and more importantly, so it could serve as my single 42″ support pole for a Gatewood Cape (granting it receives favorable reviews). The stick itself is currently about 50″ long, so a single separation point, most likely directly below the grip, would probably be ideal. The difficulty most likely lies in finding a strong weight bearing system that still allows me to manually seperate the two pole pieces while in the field. I’ve been trying to come up with something myself, but I’m really not too saavy in the Make your Own Gear department, so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank ya!
Dave:)Mar 9, 2006 at 9:12 pm #1352226Steve RobinsonBPL Member
What about the threaded metal connection you seee in poole cues that can be taken apart?Mar 9, 2006 at 9:16 pm #1352228
That was my initial idea…but I’m a bit unsure as to how I would go about doing it. You’re right though, that definitely could work, if only I could figure out how to do it. Perhaps I’ll go out for a couple of drinks tomorrow evening, and evaluate the system with the aided eye….
Dave:)Mar 10, 2006 at 1:12 am #1352232
I’m pretty handy at fixing all sorts of things – as long as wood is not involved, but I am, without a doubt the world’s worst carpenter – bar none. No…there is nothing anyone can do to help me in this area. [ok. i can frame, but forget finishing – of any sorts – too artistic for my brain. if ugly finishing carpentry/woodworking won prizes, i’d have no competition. ok…now, to get serious.]
Yet, I think this one is somethiing I could actually do, especially since pretty doesn’t count. I’m not familiar with pool cues, but based on the other Poster’s brief description, I’ve seen similar joinging mechanisms in store bought Coat/Hat trees.
I’ve actually got some of this hardware in the basement which was taken off of old, broken, now burned as kindling in my coal stove coat tree. I might give this project a go myself. Sounds like fun.
Here’s what is running through my mind right now…
1. get the hardware you think that you will need. the local hardware store will have what you want. the male side will be threaded on both ends with a splined divider area/ring. the male threaded part that is screwed into the wood will have a wood thread pitch and cut. the other end of the male piece will have a machine/metal thread pitch and cut. the female end will have a threaded insert to accept the male machine end. the outside of the female will either be a wood thread or fully knurled and/or splined for press fitting (hammering/pounding) into the wood.
2. cut your walking stick at the appropriate length.
3. This is the most crucial and error prone step in this procedure and must be done correctly. Drill holes in each end of the wood which is the same diameter as the central unthreaded portion of wood screw ends of the hardware. This way only the threads cut into the wood and you won’t run the risk of cracking your wood or not having enough bite from the threads. If you’re still concerned about cracking the wood even from drilling and then screwing in the joining fasterners, then you can wrap your wooden staff with some cloth and bind it tight with some hose clamps (local auto supply store will have them) for extra support when drilling and screwing. This will help if the wood is very hard or old, and you fear that it might crack. Make sure that the holes are deep enough to accept the full wood threaded length OF THE SIDE/HALF OF THE HARDWARE THAT IS TO BE INSERTED INTO THE WOOD. If it is difficult to screw these fasterner halves into the wood, drag the wood threaded ends across an old bar of soap before attempting to screw them in. You’d be better off getting advice on using a carpenters glue or some type of bonding agent on this wood-to-metal interface. I really don’t know anything about whether this should be done or not.
Note: About drilling the holes. It is absolutely essential that the holes be drilling “perfectly” vertical for the completed, assembled walking stick to be straight. Find a drill press to do this. A hand drill with one or two leveling bubbles might be used if you’re skillful and careful, but it might shift while drilling making the hole on an angle.
One other thing. Since I am so bad at carpentry, I often drill in two, three, or four steps, beginning with a very small bit, and working my way up to the proper size. So, a pilot hole first, at the very least. In this case, I’d go with the drill press, or an end mill with a drill bit. If you know anyone who can work with a table leg, maybe they have the right equipment. This is really way beyond me.
Best bet, take your walking stick to a professional woodworker and ask them to cut it and drill it. They’ve got the right equipment for “perfectly” vertically drilled holes. You can easily take it from there. Take your joining hardware with you so the woodworker can drill the right diameter and depth holes.
4. thread both the male and female pieces of the fasteners into the wood. Press fit, or carefully hammer the female end in if it is not threaded.
5. now you can simply screw the two pieces together.
6. if there is a gap, then you need to insert (screw, press, pound) one or both of the pieces of the fasterner deeper into the wood. If you have trouble doing this, then the holes need to be drilled deeper. Remove the hardware (only if screwed in) and return to step #3 above. If it’s press fit then you might have a problem. In this case, you might have to countersink the male half so that the little portion of the female half that is extending too far can be accepted and you can screw the connection down tight.
Keep in mind that this joint is going to be a weak point in you walking staff, and may be subject to unexpected failure when stressed/loaded during use on steep terrain (the worst time for a failure!!). You may want to bind, for added strength, both ends of the cut wood, near the joint, with some type of band/banding that is more flush than hose clamps.
I’d appreciate any feedback from real carpenters, woodworkers, hobbyists, out there. Please correct any errors, or enhance any deficiencies. I don’t want to give bad advice.Mar 10, 2006 at 7:28 am #1352240
Wow, thank you Paul. You pretty much elucidated the basic, fuzzy process that I had going on in my head, and I feel a bit more confident now about doing it myself, but moreso in the actual construction process than finding the parts I need (I’m always lost in a hardware store!). Finding a professional woodworker is something I hadn’t considered, and may not be that expensive. Maybe I’ll go looking for the parts first though before thinking about step # 2….lets just hope I can make it to step # 2. Thanks again,
-Dave:)Mar 10, 2006 at 8:33 am #1352247Robert MillerMember
The joint you're considering isn't as easy as it appears.
A threaded insert in a pool cue works because there aren't any bending loads across the joint. In theory this is also true for a treking pole. In reality I've found there are significant bending loads imparted to a pole when the user loads the pole to catch their balance.
Additionally threading anything into the end grain of wood is never a good idea.
My advice would be to save your sentimental stick for day hikes and get an adjustable aluminum pole for the cape.
RobertMar 10, 2006 at 8:52 am #1352251
I think if you use something threaded… it would be best for it to be a cylindrical / tubular connection rather than a butt joint with a small bolt (like a pool cue). What I’m envisioning is a metal collar that would slide over both ends of your stick… hopfully by at least an inch on both ends… but the more the overlap… the better… and there would be theads on the inside of the collar. Basically… what I’m saying is that the “male” side of the connection would be the full diameter of your stick. That sounded kinda funny :PMar 10, 2006 at 9:24 am #1352253
You could be right, and more than likely are, based on your experience. It does have sentimental value…like I said, but then again….it is just a stick, and if something goes wrong, well, it wouldnt be the end of the world. I definitely would like to give this a try, and I appreciate your opinion.
David – that does sound like it could be stronger than an internal threaded joint…hmm….I wonder if I could still dismember the two stick pieces while in the field with such a strong bond? Thinking….thinking….
Dave:)Mar 10, 2006 at 9:44 am #1352255
What’s your take on either a 12″-24″ removeable solid Al dowel, or a thick walled Al tube which when inserted into the drilled out center of each “half” of the cut walking staff? Holes drilled clear through the staff and central Al shaft would enable pegs (two pegs on each end???) would hold the entire assembly together? Duct tape wrapped around the staff to hold the pegs in place? Even it’s a better idea (???), perhaps the joint could not easily be made tight and still have pegs easily field insertable and removeable?
Also, regarding screwing into “end grain”, keep in mind that the pieces are not in tension (other than as a side effect of bending moment). Does this change anything as to this issue?Mar 10, 2006 at 10:04 am #1352256
Paul… other David here… but I think that any removal of material from the cut ends would make the joint not as strong as it could be. That’s why I like the idea of a metal collar / tube on the OUTSIDE of the cut ends of the stick. The lateral/diagonal stresses would transfer to the outer metal collar. With drilled out ends and a long metal dowel insert… the stresses would transfer from the center out to the wood… and potentially break. It would be prettier tho’ since you wouldn’t see any metal with the stick assembled.
As for the fastening part of it… it could be either threaded or simply lynch pinned thru.Mar 10, 2006 at 10:30 am #1352257
David, I like you sliding collar idea – pretty clever. Also, I understand the concerns about lateral/bending loads which was why my bold warning about it being a weak was added. My hope is that the suggested steel bands holding the wood in compression would ameliorate, somewhat, this weakness. Also, the central dowel/tube, in my second suggestion, is an attempt to further reduce this problem, since it is quite long (12″-24″). If the joint is tight (in either suggestion), some of the bending is minimized by a portion of the faces being placed into compression, causing the bending loads to distributed over more than just the central core. However, even this does not cause the loads to be distributed over as great an area as the intact unmodified wooden staff. Even taking these measures, I still expect this is the most likely failure point.Mar 10, 2006 at 11:21 am #1352259
In order to do a stick with the maximum amount of side load strength, your going to have to go with a collar. The collar is still a severe weakpoint point, but it works.
In order to fasten it, I peronally would go with an epoxy to hold it in place. The less material you remove from the stick, the better.
If your seriously interested in this, you might want to talk to some traditional archery bowyers who produce 2 piece takedown bows.
Kinda like this one http://www.oldbow.com/saxon_archery__two_piece__take.htmMar 10, 2006 at 11:25 am #1352261
Agreed. I like the sliding collar idea too, but am still a bit unsure as to how this would work as a threaded connection – i.e. wouldnt the wood on both connected halves need to have a threaded surface? I guess ‘sliding’ both ends into the metal collar was what you really meant, and I could see this working (I’m not worried about the aesthetic value), but what are you reccomending that I use as tighteners/fasteners to keep the collar in place once it has connected both ends of the stick? Perhaps a couple of small, threaded woodscrews on either end to penetrate both the metal and the would might work, but then again, this would most likely be sacraficing the weight bearing capacity of the stick in a similar way to that of the pool cue method. I think we’re getting close….
-Dave:)Mar 10, 2006 at 11:29 am #1352262
Thanks for the link Joe, but I’m a bit confused about your reccomendation for using epoxy (excuse my ignorance). I assume you are suggesting that I use epoxy to attach the collar to one half of the stick, so that an additional external fasteners are only needed on the other end, rather than on both?
Dave:)Mar 10, 2006 at 11:40 am #1352264
I don’t really know how the collar would fasten David… the main thing was just the structual idea of having a metal “tube” around the outside of the joint. It would be ideal is this collar / tube was threaded on the inside… and you had some kind of matching threaded “cap” or something for the male end of the joint. OR… you could just use lynch / cotter pins right thru the collar and wood… but that would be loose and rattle-y.Mar 10, 2006 at 11:56 am #1352265
The only bows I make are 1 peice “selfbows” so Im tapped out already on the process of making a a 2 peicer. As I said, you might want to talk to bowyers who do this type of work. Generally bow string tension holds the peices together, but they might have a few ideas on how to give you some solid joining here. Another resource might be SCA type spear makers or other armorers who make spears/pikes/halberds/etc with long shafts but that need to be taken down to fit in the back of compact cars.
The point on epoxy, which I now see was unclear, was to use a gluing agent, rather than pins or an over reliance on threading. As a weakpoint on the shaft, youll want as much material there to hold it all together as possible, and youll want to reduce to an absolute minimum any drilling, cutting, or thinning. Youd probably be OK removing a ring or two of wood from the shaft to ensure a flush fit of the collar, but Id be wary of much more stock removal than that.
Thinking out loud here, you may be able to get some sort of system milled for you that would provide a male and female threading that could be epoxied to their respective cut ends, with the reenforcing collar epoxied to the outside? (edit for clairity – the color is epoxied ONLY to one half of the shaft. The other half of the shaft slides into the collar. It is not glued. It is held in place in the collar by a minimal amount of threading.)
If anything goes wrong and breaks free, it will be the epoxy… and it would take quite a bit to make good epoxy let go… but your wood would still be in good shape so you could fix it good-as-new when you got home.Mar 10, 2006 at 12:07 pm #1352267
David and Joe,
Thanks for the clarification – I can visualize the process you are describing now. I think my best bet right now is to make a trip down to Lowe’s, and see what I might find lying around.
-Dave:)Mar 10, 2006 at 12:32 pm #1352270
Sliding collar would slide down and 1/4 turn to lock it in place. Grooves with notches would slide over some stops that would hold collar in the locked position.Mar 10, 2006 at 2:35 pm #1352275
Well, I came across a few different things at Lowe’s that might hold some promise. The first were some small matching Conduit’s, which in our language translates to ‘matching male and female collar parts that can be threaded together and have small screw inserts to attach the collar to the stick (epoxy would probably be used as well).’ This could work, but the Conduit’s were awfully heavy….too heavy in fact.
Also in the same aisle I found some PVC fittings, which are more or less lightweight plastic Conduits without the screw inserts. I bought 4 of these (two male, two female) in 2 different sizes (1/1/2″ and 1/1/4″, which I believe refers to the diameter of the threaded portion of the collar), and both were too big (my stick slid right through the collars). In the event that the 1/1/4″ diameter pieces are the smallest they have, I was thinking about imrovising and somehow thickening the collar attachment point of the stick. My initial thought was that I could tightly wrap duct tape around the stick (perhaps even sticky side out, which may combine well with the use of epoxy in attaching the collar, but may also slide over time…), until I came to the desired thickness. It all sounds pretty crude….and its definitely not going to be the best looking hiking stick on the block, but….does it sound like a reasonable enough plan?
Dave:)Mar 10, 2006 at 6:50 pm #1352285Robert MillerMember
Kicking around this design problem while earning a living today I came up with a similar idea to pj’s internal tube with pins. The concealed tube appealed to me because it maximized the asthetics of the sentimental stick.
If asthetics aren’t a big concern the external metal collar proposed by several people sounds like the best solution. That type of joint has proven very durable in such uses as attaching a wood dowel to a steel shovel.
David P – you need to find a tube that is snug fitting to maximize longevity. Avoid the duct tape shim.
pj – if you want further clarification on the end grain thread problem let me know. I don’t have the time right now to answer.
RobertMar 10, 2006 at 11:10 pm #1352290
Id stay away from the duct tape shim too…
whats the diameter of your walking stick, and does it have a strong taper?Mar 11, 2006 at 7:40 am #1352293
Yeah…perhaps I should stay away from the duct tape. The diameter of the stick, at the point where the collar is going to be attached, is aproximately 1″. Overall, the stick has a slight taper, but is no less than 3/4″ at the bottom most point. I’m going to make another trip over to Lowe’s today and see what I might scrounge up again. Thanks for everything guys!
Dave:)Mar 11, 2006 at 7:50 am #1352295obx hikerBPL Member
@obxcolaLocale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Sorry if this has been mentioned before in the thread; I didn’t read all the way through.
I’ve used grey pvc threaded fittings sold at hardware stores everywhere for electrical conduit, along with something like gorilla glue or liquid nails. Also the tip is key and I used a chair leg bumper. One good rocky trip will wipe out a bumper….
I haven’t had problems with weakness or failure and still have a 2 part stick that went from the rim of the Grand Canyon to Deer Creek falls and then over to Thunder River and Tapeats and back. Agree it seems to be more sorta soulful to carve your own out of native wood; though I’ve become a synthetic 2 pole hiker. Can’t beat it for stability and downhill.Mar 11, 2006 at 7:54 am #1352296
Last night I was also thinking more about the safety, rather than function, of this collapsible walking stick. We all pretty much agree that there is going to be a weak point in at the separation joint, whether major or minor. I was then thinking about how much trust I’m going to be putting into this stick…while threading a narrow strip of land next to a steep dropoff, while descending down a steep, rocky slope, while keeping myself balanced in fording rivers, etc., and perhaps….well, considering how much I’m going to depend on it for my safety, perhaps this isnt the best idea in the world. But then again….I have been known to overemphasize the danger in certain situations….what do you guys think?
Dave:)Mar 11, 2006 at 7:58 am #1352297
Thanks for the feedback! The system you described is the answer I came to yesterday while roaming around Lowe’s, and I just have to go back and find a couple of smaller diamater PVC fittings. I didnt think about the tip though….that might be a worthwihle consideration. I’m still a bit leary about the safety though….errr…I’m going to make a trip down to Lowe’s regardless to see what I can find. Thanks!
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