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Singlestick/sabre material?

PostPosted: 22 Jul 2016 21:12
by Erian

I'm not sure where to post this, but the Historical Martial Arts forum would be my guess...

I'm practising singlestick/sabre with a friend of mine and we have made our own singlesticks. The guard is working perfectly (boiled leather stitched to form a basket) but the blades keep breaking. I have tried a hardwood sabre with an edge (to practice with edge alignment) and I've had a singlestick made from bamboo covered in 3 layers of linen and woodglue.

So neither of these types work. Does anyone know what type of wood might work? Or is there anything that I can do to improve the strength? (no metal, obviously) If at all possible, I would like to have an edge.

Re: Singlestick/sabre material?

PostPosted: 23 Jul 2016 02:42
by MEversbergII
Hickory, soaked in linseed oil for a week and let dry.


Re: Singlestick/sabre material?

PostPosted: 23 Jul 2016 16:29
by swordflasher
Ash is traditional. I have used a hazel knob-root [as a pommel] walking stick for practice as it is less likely to do damage, is light and a bit flexible; sand off any varnish. I've also used walking sticks from charity shops as a cheap source for workshops. Chestnut canes are used for French cane fighting. I'd avoid hardwoods unless you want to use lots of protection. pine broomsticks are by far the worst option as they break and have a splintered end.

Not traditional but rattan works, and smells nice when you really go for it..

Re: Singlestick/sabre material?

PostPosted: 30 May 2017 22:09
by Mearcstapa
I have had a 3/4" ash dowel that served me well for many years but was noticeably clumsier than the ash sticks 'in the round' (i.e. naturally tapering) some others had.

Consequently, about a month ago I cut some hazel wands from some neglected coppicing and have been drying them out in my room; when they're done I'll follow the advice above, soak them in oil, and see how they fare. I'll use on in the Blackford prizefight in July if I can to see how it does.