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The Invisible Stick

Discussion in 'Personal Security Devices & Self-Defense' started by greenmountainbooks, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. greenmountainbooks

    greenmountainbooks Loaded Pockets

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    I have commented many times in this forum on the matter of walking sticks/canes and allied topics: how useful they are, what kind are desireable, responded to other threads (I love "Walking Amongst the Heathen" or a similar title) but thought at the risk of being tedious I would start a slightly new thread on my favorite topic here.
    In short, what is the most desireable self defense cane/stick that you can carry and not draw attention?
    I have been very vocal about my support for a heavy octagonal hickory cane made for stock handling, apparently vocal enough to make one guy think I owned the company!
    I have tried by now what is probably dozens of sticks, of wood and metal, domestic common woods and exotic imports, with a variety of heads, inc. micarta, metal, hornbeam and the like.
    Neverless, in the incredibly oppressive environment in which we now find ourselves, I cannot do otherwise than continue to advocate for a stick that is totally invisible in ordinary use. To wit: a stout, hardwood stick with a crook (aka "tourist") handle. Not only are they TOTALLY unnoticeable in daily life (I have carried mine into court) they can be used for a variety of neck holds and leg-grabs.
    Unlike the miriad number of sticks of things like titanium, stainless steel, huge wads of plastic, etc. mine is never noticed, never objected to and really functions in both a self defense capacity and a support on uneven ground.
    I have tried a variety of CS sticks, all of which are de facto weapons by virtue of the advertising of such. You can maybe get away from them in daily use, but try and get them into a court house, esp. if it is of fiberglass with a stainless steel death's head for a handle! How about the huge wad of polypro that is the CS African stick or the phony polypro "blackthorn?" How about even a commercial airline?
    I have tried most of these and even in a grocery store they bring unwanted attention. My stick looks drab, even a bit ugly, like something an old irrasible man might carry for a bad hip. I personally think this is the thing; it is the major reason I stay with it. The only reason I would change is to find a still denser, tougher wood than the hickory model I carry. I look periodically, but have not even found a thicker hickory model (mine is around 1 3/32" inches in the shaft).
    What is your experience people? Do you agree with my choice of the invisible over gaudy or pretty? How about the defensive capabilities of mine versus the other types?
    Oh, and mine now cost a weightly $11 plus shipping!
     
  2. TarHeelBrit
    • The Omnia Paratus

    TarHeelBrit Loaded Pockets

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    HEY! I resemble that remark. :D


    I'll take invisible any day. I looked at some on the CS website and although they could deal a hefty wallop to the bad guy if need be just the look would put them on their guard and try to possibly take it from you. Good luck trying to take them into a secure area such as the court house or past TSA at the airport

    I'll stick to my $10 walmart special for everyday use and if we're going out somewhere I use my Fashionable Canes dress stick. Both could deal some nastiness to anyone should the need arise.

    [​IMG]

    As for defensive capabilities I don't think there's much deference between the CS 'tactical' stuff or any good stout cane.
     
  3. Sriracha

    Sriracha Loaded Pockets

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    I dont know what stock handling is, but when I was a young lacrosse player, there was a company called "crooked arrow" who made laminated octagonal shafts for lacrosse sticks. I remember them being hefty and darn near unbreakable. I dont know if they still make them, but thats a good place for a start of a custom stick.
     
  4. jeepsrjason
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    jeepsrjason Loaded Pockets

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    I wish Cold Steel still offered the wax wood cane! I knew I should have bought one years ago....
     
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  5. SAKplumber
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    SAKplumber EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Moved to the Self Defense Forum per Rule 8 :)
     
  6. greenmountainbooks

    greenmountainbooks Loaded Pockets

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    This stuff used to be in this section: EDC "other stuff" or some such.
     
  7. greenmountainbooks

    greenmountainbooks Loaded Pockets

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    The problem I have with most drug store or Walmart-type sticks is that they lack mass and are somewhat fragile. My stock handler ("Elephant Cane" from eNasco/Nasco Farm Supply) is made to push, pull and strike huge animals with little pain response. Being thick hickory it is durable, being made to push animals, it is cheap.
    As noted, I like the crook (which I sometimes boil open to facilitate neck holds). Being now in my 61st year, it is still more invisible. If I need to appear dangerous, merely shifting my grip works.

    I do not like the straight, bulb headed canes, despite their attractive appearance (I actually have a Penang Lawyer (look it up or ask a Sherlock Holmes fan!) bought from the late, lamented Uncle Sam Umbrella Shop years ago...stunning, but draws attention). The bulb end does not permit a good grip and appears more like a weapon.

    Check out the multiple other threads on this subject.
     
    Last edited by greenmountainbooks, Oct 7, 2013
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  8. greenmountainbooks

    greenmountainbooks Loaded Pockets

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    If you liked that option, go to Home Depot in the garden section. Buy a hickory handle for a long tool like a hoe or shovel. It is stout, unbreakable in normal use and cheap. No shipping either.
    If you must have wax wood, try Amazon.com, however look at the reviews first. They are not positive. No crook, but ask a woodworker on how to do a stout cross handle.
     
    Last edited by greenmountainbooks, Oct 9, 2013
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  9. greenmountainbooks

    greenmountainbooks Loaded Pockets

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    I have heard of them, but have never seen one. Very rarely you can find an old hockey stick with such lamination. They do seem pretty light and they have a rectangular cross section which is not ideal. I have some maple hockey stick blanks that were originally intended to make wooden bows, but that interest fell aside years ago when my hands went bad and my archery buddy passed. A band saw and sander could make something nice out of them.
    I also have some 2"x2" ash staves I once cut from a heavy plank for bow making. One is becoming a hiking staff. It is too heavy for light weight packing, but for some purposes it would be attractive and even serve as a potential defensive device. I beats the $60 you would pay online or the $90 the local sports store gets.
     
    Last edited by greenmountainbooks, Oct 7, 2013
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  10. greenmountainbooks

    greenmountainbooks Loaded Pockets

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    Stock handling is the moving of cattle. You use the stick to push, the crook to pull and shaft to strike. The hardest blow you can deliver is barely noticed by most cattle, hence most use the tip to push. The crook can also be used on sheep like a crook, they do not respond (I am told) to a push.
     
    Last edited by greenmountainbooks, Oct 7, 2013
  11. jeepsrjason
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    jeepsrjason Loaded Pockets

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    But where do I get a crook???:D I thought about getting a wax wood staff from a martial arts supplier and then learning how to steam bend buuut I don't have time or a steamer or patience or skill!:cool: I don't mind Hickory at all. I just remember about a week of my life I really considered getting a CS wax wood cane. At the time I was stationed in Italy and definitely didn't need it but I really liked the idea. Anyway they're disco'd sooo....
     
  12. greenmountainbooks

    greenmountainbooks Loaded Pockets

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    Wax wood staves are available from a variety of sellers, check Amazon.com, do a search for "wax wood," or maybe the martial arts name for a stave (what is it anyway?). The prices vary wildly but as noted, the reviews are not positive: inconsistent quality, inconsistent thickness, grain runout, severe warpage on delivery, etc.
    The crook is an issue if you want one. I have steam bent wood, and it is not easy or quick. Without experience expect to ruin wood and spend days learning. The thickness is an issue too. I did it often and never was good at it.
    If you must have wax wood, you could put on a L handle (I cannot recall the trade name) or something like a "Prince of Wales" handle (do a search or check walking stick sites).
    You can also get metal fitting to do a T or L handle, but I do not like or use metal in my sticks.
    I once found and lost a government site that had comparitive qualities of nearly every wood you can imagine. Hickory came out first of all the readily available woods in qualities like impact resistence, resistence to splintering, strength and the like. Cocobolo was slightly better and slightly heavier, but it is extremely expensive if you can find it. Other woods came out better for specialized purposes (hornbeam for instance) but generally hickory was the best. I do not remember wax wood, but I suspect that it was originally used because of some specific quality, like resistence to sword cuts.
    BTW I like the look of ash as well, and it is sometimes sold as a defensive cane, but it is really inferior in most respects, except for flexibility. This is why it is used for bows. It is also much lighter than most other hardwoods.
    Edit: I just found a site, but I cannot post it here; try looking for either wax wood or "True Swords
     
    Last edited by greenmountainbooks, Oct 7, 2013
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  13. Sriracha

    Sriracha Loaded Pockets

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    So... I can't help you with the crook... but if you use your google-fu, (google "wood Lacrosse shaft") You will find laminated shafts made of every type of wood imaginable, including iron wood and bamboo. Some of the longer ones have a carbon fiber insert down the middle of the shaft. Pretty slick. Not cheap. Gives you dimensions and weight and custom options. One is Bamsticks and another is Hitstik. LOL nice names! The hit stick has purple heart wood and all sorts of cool stuff, but pricey!
     
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  14. jeepsrjason
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    jeepsrjason Loaded Pockets

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    Good thread! Thanks for the link and google hints everyone!!:D
     
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  15. SAKplumber
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    SAKplumber EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    There have been some Rule changes recently...
     
  16. greenmountainbooks

    greenmountainbooks Loaded Pockets

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    Yes, no crook and no handle, also not cheap. Try eBay as well. I just did. Likewise expensive.
    Some of the cheaper ones might make a great hiking staff, nearly indestructable (as the modern telescoping aluminum ones are certainly not). You could go ultra light with a composite or less light with a laminated wood. Maybe someone sells an affordable laminated bamboo shaft?
     
    Last edited by greenmountainbooks, Oct 7, 2013
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  17. jackknife

    jackknife Loaded Pockets

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    I would be the very last person on earth to nay say a good stick. I love sticks, and have made some of my own form Hornbeam, and bought a few Irish Bllackthorns when I traveled over in the U.K. I like a rustic looking stick over a crook top cane for a simple reason; vanity. I think some out there will associate a crook top cane with an "Old fart" or disabled person, and thus be a more likely target. My root knob handle walking sticks look a little more business like, but yet have went with me to any place I fly to. I've had no problem with security in London, Rome, New York city, Los Angles, Denver and most of all, all the tight security here in Washington D.C. where every government building has airport like security.

    The only thing they say at the TSA security at the airport is, they have to x-ray the stick to be sure nothing is concealed in it, and do I need assistance going through the metal detector?

    I prefer a strait stick because it works better with my old Army pugil stick techniques that use 'butt strokes' as part of the moves. The root ball handle makes for a good smash with the end. I keep some in the umbrella stand by the door, and just grab one on the way out. I like having a tool that is always right there in my hand ready to go. And goes anywhere with me, right through any security.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. greenmountainbooks

    greenmountainbooks Loaded Pockets

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    Well there is something to be said about rustic and attractive too. This is why I started this string. If you can find an old string entitled something like "Walking Amongst the Heathen" read that for a really, really good view of why rustic works particularly in the inner city.
    I also once wrote: "Much of what is perceived is a matter of demeanor and carriage. Look like someone you would not want to cross and mostly the sane and sober will not. For those neither sane nor sober...you have the stick."
    It also explains why looking old (which at a mere 61 probably is me) is not horrible unless you are terribly frail. As one person noted "all you can say about an old man is that he has lived a very long time in a hostile environment." It is the demeanor I think. There was once a thread on that topic too. It is why I joined this forum some years back.
    I, for one seem to intimidate people by my presence, although I am told that my size is a factor, even though I am usually innocuous enough and even genial.
    I note that many of the sticks you use have the angled "Prince of Wales" or even Pistol Grip handle, which is, in my view a close second to the crook. For me, the bulb is out because of the difficulty in holding it and the difficulty in actually using it for its purpose on rough ground like a woods walk. (On my land, I often end up doing this in an impromptue fashion).
    Hornbeam is great (as is hophornbeam, a different plant), as good as hickory I think and better than blackthorn. (Unless you happen to be somewhere where blackthorn grows in abundance which it did in rural Albany Cty NY where I grew up, but not in VT or the Berkshires where I hang my hat now.)
    I suppose cost is the factor, but I do own a huge blackthorn shaft (about 800 grams!) which I put a lignum vitae (it is the stuff used for stone sculptors mallets, astoundingly heavy, impact resistant and tough. It dulls ordinary saws and is profoundly expensive. It sells by the ounce ), but it is way too big and heavy and attracts too much attention. It is like an attractive baseball bat.
    Ask any woodworker, even a poor one like me and there are plenty of ways to attach a handle permanently and solidly, without the use even of the metal joins that you buy for the purpose.
    Now I have the urge to go bush hunting again
    (Oh...I do have a large stash of hophornbeam saplings that has been aging for a couple of years...hmm. It is easy to color a rustic shaft to look like blackthorn, someone ask if you are interested!)
    Edit three years later: I have been working as an EMT and despite what people say about me being intimidating, patients generally regard me as particularly comforting, especially children. So, I guess my "intimidating" demeanor is put on in some way.
     
    Last edited by greenmountainbooks, Dec 30, 2016
    #18 greenmountainbooks, Oct 8, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
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  19. greenmountainbooks

    greenmountainbooks Loaded Pockets

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    Yes! I guess I have not been active on this forum enough of late. It was Jackknife, the writer above who started the string that brought me here. It is called: "A cane; Stigma or sending a message?" It is worth reading for views on this subject.
    Go to: http://edcforums.com/threads/a-cane-stigma-or-sending-a-message.60211/
     
  20. ShadowE

    ShadowE Loaded Pockets

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    Lady walks by our store everyday swinging a metal baseball bat.

    Effective deterrent :)
     
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