Friday, August 5, 2016

Guest Post: Making a Walking Stick from a Pummel Pipe

by Jonathan S.
While visiting with a friend last year, I had the opportunity to try out an all-polymer walking stick produced by a company whose name rhymes with “Old Schlemiel”. At the time, it rapidly fell under the heading of “I need one of these in my life”, but then the company in question made some truly… questionable... litigation decisions, and I decided I did not want to give them any of my money, no matter how awesome their walking stick. 

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across the Pummel Pipe Melee Weapon on a somewhat ironically dead webpage, and forwarded it to our illustrious editor for consideration. She volunteered Mr. Blackard to see how easily the parts for this gadget could be procured, and whether the result was worthy of consideration, and he did a thorough write-up on the subject.

Then the idea hit me a few days ago - why not combine the idea of the “Pummel Pipe” with the idea of a remarkably solid walking stick? Thus was born the Walking Whammer (the name is a bit of a work in progress).

  • A 36” section of 1/2" black iron pipe 
  • A 1/2" three-way black iron “T” 
  • A 3” section of 1/2" black iron pipe 
  • Two 1/2" black iron caps 
  • A 1/2" black iron plug 
  • Some Plastidip of the color of your preference (optional) 
  • A brush you don’t care about any more and/or paint thinner (optional) 
  • Approximately 90 feet of paracord 
  • Some beeswax (optional) 

To begin with, you will need to strip off the black substance that coats the iron to keep it from rusting in the store -- CLP worked just fine for me.

Screw the iron pipe sections together in a walking-stick-looking fashion, with the 3” segment providing your handle, the plug being the front of your handle, and the caps being the back of your handle and the bottom of the 36” leg.
Go ahead and use a pair of slip-joint pliers to ensure everything is nice and snug, but take care not to strip any of your threads. 

Once that is done, wipe off all the CLP (or whatever you used to clean the iron).

Take your Plastidip (if you are using it) and coat the foot and about six inches up the leg, and then coat the whole handle area down a couple inches on the leg. This is to protect the metal from any water you might encounter, as well as your hand’s own sweat, but it also keeps you from breaking anything with the tip as you walk along. It may take multiple coats, and it takes a while to cure. 

Now comes the time consuming part - wrapping approximately 36” of pipe in paracord. To keep the wrap together over that distance I used a spiral hitch for the leg, with a simple hitch at each end holding everything in place. This took around 70 feet of paracord, but be sure to leave yourself extra.

For the handle I chose a simple wrap, only I doubled it over to give my hand some extra padding and to match up with the height of the plug and “T” edges. This took about 12 feet of paracord, but extra is never bad.

Finally, sealing the handle paracord with beeswax will help it hold up over time, since that is what you are holding onto for hours on end. I melted the wax in a double boiler and used a basting brush to cover the handle, and then my wife’s hair dryer (sshhhh!) to melt it into the cord. Take care not to melt off your Plastidip, though. 

The end result is a walking cane that weighs in at about 3.5 pounds, but could probably be used as a vehicle recovery anchor so long as you wedged it into the right place… or it could be used in situations where carrying an overt self-defense implement is frowned upon, either way.

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