Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Australian wood for polearms Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 1,492

PostPosted: Wed 14 Oct, 2009 2:01 pm    Post subject: Australian wood for polearms         Reply with quote

Do any Australian here, or others with Australian-relevant experience, have any advice on woods for polearms?

Timber racks in generic local hardware stores are largely populated by pine, meranti and Tasmanian oak - none of which perform very well for polearms. Tasmanian oak (a.k.a. Australian ash, E. regnans and similar) is maybe OK for spears, but splits too easily for anything you cut/bash with.

Tool handles that could take it can be easily found, but they're usually too short.

So, I'm interested in what readily available woods we might have around that could be used. Floorboards can be had in many different species, some of which look like they might work well, and I'm hoping others' experience might save a lot of trial and error.

Any advice?
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,184

PostPosted: Wed 14 Oct, 2009 2:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Australia has some native species of Ash. Most of these would make suitable weapon shafts.
View user's profile Send private message
Tim Harris
Industry Professional



Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 06 Sep 2006

Posts: 161

PostPosted: Wed 14 Oct, 2009 3:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Demolition yards/building material recyclers could be good places to look.

Yellow box was once used for floorboards. I've made walking sticks from it. Spotted gum has been used successfuly for bow staves, but I don't know what lengths are available.
View user's profile Send private message
Eric Fick




Location: California
Joined: 16 Sep 2009

Posts: 78

PostPosted: Wed 14 Oct, 2009 3:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

At the end of the day, a good hard wood is a good hard wood, If you cant get your hands on Ash. Ultimately all hafts and poles will need to be replaced (some faster than others) but you should be looking for durability and weight.

If you can, look for hard woods with "like" characteristics and densities and use a good stain to get the right look

good luck!

I am currently trying out some red oak (i'm not from Australia) does anyone have any experience with red oak as an ash substitute?

If you really want the good stuff, have you looked into wood distributers that deal in exotic wood? I would guess you may need to have them ship it or take a drive, but again I don't live in Australia.

Cheers,

Eric Fick
Davenriche European Martial Artes Schoole
www.swordfightingschool.com
View user's profile Send private message
Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
Joined: 16 Nov 2008

Posts: 677

PostPosted: Wed 14 Oct, 2009 9:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Two words: Huon Pine Laughing Out Loud
Member of Australia's Stoccata School of Defence since 2008.
Host of Crash Course HEMA.
Founder of The Van Dieman's Land Stage Gladiators.
View user's profile Send private message
D. Austin
Industry Professional



Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 20 Sep 2007

Posts: 208

PostPosted: Thu 15 Oct, 2009 1:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Timo,

I'm not sure about Brisbane, but in Melbourne, we can get 1800mm garden stakes for about $10. These are about 50mm square, rough sawn Tasmanian Oak (long straight gum tree). The advantage is that you can sift through a big pile to find a straight one with the grain running along it and at that price, you can afford a few to experiment with. Planed to shape and given a few coats of linseed oil, it doesn't look bad, and will hold up fairly well, depending on the levels of use/abuse. I've put a fair bit of thought into this topic over the last few years and haven't yet come up up with a more durable and attractive option for under $100.

Unfortunately, there isn't really a better option readily available here. For a good source of timber varieties however, you may want to look for a marine timber supplier as wooden boat builders like to use species with good properties.

I've attached a picture of one made from a garden stake.

Darren.



 Attachment: 127.77 KB
Glaive rondel.jpg

View user's profile Send private message
William Carew




Location: Australia
Joined: 23 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 154

PostPosted: Thu 15 Oct, 2009 3:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We have some really good hardwoods here (some such as Grey and Red Ironbark are incredibly tough and resistant), but many of them are perhaps too dense or rigid to stand in for European ash.

I really love Jarrah but it has become hard to get here in Qld. Fortunately I can usually get Spotted Gum in dowel lengths suitable for 'short staves' up to about 6 foot, which is fantastic and quite attractive with some boiled linseed oil rubbed in. Makes very tough wasters, staves and sticks. Unfortunately SG is heavy for its thickness compared to 'Tassie Oak' which may be a consideration depending on the type of staff or shaft you want to create.

Speaking of 'Tassie Oak' it really isn't. It is usually one of three varieties (Mountain Ash, Alpine Ash and Messmate) sourced from Tasmania. I think it is actually a nice wood when you find a good piece with straight, even grain and treat it properly. The Tas Oak dowels at most hardware stores are a double edged sword: they are cheap and plentiful, but you never know what you are getting and it takes a while sorting through them to find one that is up to scratch: better yet (but more time consuming) is getting a larger plank and working it down to size yourself.

Cheers,

Bill

Bill Carew
Jogo do Pau Brisbane
COLLEGIUM IN ARMIS
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Matt Clarke




Location: Perth, Western Australia
Joined: 12 Nov 2006

Posts: 34

PostPosted: Thu 15 Oct, 2009 7:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here in Perth we can get foreign woods (including Ash) from Carbatec. They can also cut and shape the staves for a small fee. I have found the Perth store very good to work with.

They have stores around Australia including Brisbane-

http://www.carbatec.com.au/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 1,492

PostPosted: Sat 31 Oct, 2009 1:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all the info and suggestions.

At the moment, I'm experimenting with a shaft made of two Tassie oak skirting boards glued and bamboo-pinned together. This is mainly as a test for finishes, of which MkII is to be cloth+varnish. If it fails the appearance test, on it goes to the strength test. If it passes the appearance test, it's destined for a wallhanger polearm (2-handed bronze ge+spearpoint Chinese "halberd").

Next things to try:

Laminated pole of 4(?) thin Tassie oak boards - potential naginata shaft (elliptical section), and if that works well, other things.

Unknown hardwood floorboards - glue and pin two together? 19 mm thick each.

Look for jarrah - used to be able to get thin jarrah floorboards.

Tapered spear shafts - visit local martials arts store and look at tapered staffs, and consider logistics of visiting forest.

Visit Carbatec. Need to go there to get a spokeshave anyway. (Try buying a spokeshave at a regular hardware megastore - huge store, need to explain what a spokeshave is first. They have 1, with no blade. And no blades in stock.)

Again, thanks. It'll take time to search, buy, cut, and try, but hopefully there will be successful completion pics.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,170

PostPosted: Sat 31 Oct, 2009 4:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric Fick wrote:

I am currently trying out some red oak (i'm not from Australia) does anyone have any experience with red oak as an ash substitute?


A martial Arts supply store here in Montreal ( Yeah, it's far from Australia Wink Razz Big Grin ) sells Red Oak for BO staves and it hold up well to training and sparring with very little damage even when used to stop heavy blows from other Staff weapons.

Use red oak to mount my Michael Pikula spear head with good results and it takes a nice smooth finish using Teak Oil and a bit of sanding with a super fine abrasive.

I assume you mean real " Red Oak " and not something " called " Red Oak locally when it's really something else ?

Can't say that I have tested the qualities of my Red Oak staff to destruction but I don't think it would be used for BO staves if it was easy to break or tended to splinter easily or had a soft surface easy to dent.

I do know that even with a lot of use my other staff in White Oak shows zero damage and could be mistaken for one that had not even been used once.

( Note: More expensive than a lumber yard pole, but if one has a Martial Arts store locally the BO staves are a good option I think ).

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Australian wood for polearms
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum