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All About Pole Spears & Slings What is it about that traditional method of the early hunter/gatherers under the water? These devices are indeed interesting and effective.

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Old 05-29-2018, 09:35 AM   #1
Hpwatson
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Wood pole spear? Dumb idea?

I just finished my first speargun build and had a great time with the project, now I'm wondering about building a pole spear. I'm not aware of any quality wood ones out there and I know the obvious reasons for using carbon fiber/fiberglass/aluminum but I'm just wondering if it could work or if it's worth the effort. I have some nice Bois D'arc (Osage Orange) wood that I think might work, it's one of the hardest woods in North America. Commonly used to make longbows. But also very heavy.

Anyway I'm just curious if anyone out there has built their own wood pole spear with any success or if this is just a bad idea.
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Old 05-29-2018, 02:46 PM   #2
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Re: Wood pole spear? Dumb idea?

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Originally Posted by Hpwatson View Post
I just finished my first speargun build and had a great time with the project, now I'm wondering about building a pole spear. I'm not aware of any quality wood ones out there and I know the obvious reasons for using carbon fiber/fiberglass/aluminum but I'm just wondering if it could work or if it's worth the effort. I have some nice Bois D'arc (Osage Orange) wood that I think might work, it's one of the hardest woods in North America. Commonly used to make longbows. But also very heavy.

Anyway I'm just curious if anyone out there has built their own wood pole spear with any success or if this is just a bad idea.


Thatís funny I was just thinking the same thing. Iíve built about 12 guns so far, but I have a bunch of ipe Deck boards left over from a job, I was thinking about trying to use this wood because itís so dense, probably rip two equal pieces, and then router out a space the last 12 or 14 inches of each rip, then epoxy in a piece of 5/16 speargun shaft and clamshell the wood around the spear gun shaft, And shape it/taper from there. Might give it a try if I have time. Anyone else thought about this?
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Old 05-29-2018, 04:35 PM   #3
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Re: Wood pole spear? Dumb idea?

That's a good idea, I expect you'd want to start with the minimum diameter possible so that you wouldn't have to shape much, otherwise it could be hard to maintain a straight pole. Or maybe put it on the router table with a small edge-rounding bit like 1/4" or so
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:17 AM   #4
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Re: Wood pole spear? Dumb idea?

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That's a good idea, I expect you'd want to start with the minimum diameter possible so that you wouldn't have to shape much, otherwise it could be hard to maintain a straight pole. Or maybe put it on the router table with a small edge-rounding bit like 1/4" or so
Might also be worth finding someone with a lathe.
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Old 05-30-2018, 02:26 PM   #5
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Re: Wood pole spear? Dumb idea?

I would score the shafts first with a cutoff wheel on a side grinder. Cut the two pieces to the thickness that will be the diameter I want, then I would rout the 2 end slots while the two pieces are square, then epoxy the pieces together. Then use a roundover bit the right size to get the round shape I wanted.

A lathe would be nice, but the piece would have to fit into the headstock, or the lathe bed would have to be REALLY long, and the piece would have to be held with a steady rest.
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Old 05-31-2018, 03:56 PM   #6
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Re: Wood pole spear? Dumb idea?

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I would score the shafts first with a cutoff wheel on a side grinder. Cut the two pieces to the thickness that will be the diameter I want, then I would rout the 2 end slots while the two pieces are square, then epoxy the pieces together. Then use a roundover bit the right size to get the round shape I wanted.



A lathe would be nice, but the piece would have to fit into the headstock, or the lathe bed would have to be REALLY long, and the piece would have to be held with a steady rest.


Yes wood guy, great advice as always. That was pretty much how I was thinking to do it as well. Definitely do the router cuts while the rips are still Square.
No lathe needed, iím thinking just shape with a sander/sandpaper. Good idea to score up the sides shaft material so the glue can get some bite. Iím going to give it a try, I will post up some pics. Also this gives me another use for all those slightly bent shafts Piled up in my closet


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Old 05-31-2018, 09:46 PM   #7
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Re: Wood pole spear? Dumb idea?

We played around with a bamboo pole spear. I'll see if I can find a picture. We split it thin, then pulled it through a dowel former (think very long bamboo skewers). we put them together with epoxy, under vacuum, in a PVA bag. With a forming mold around the whole thing. I know that sounds like a lot of trouble but we were actually working out techniques for making bamboo bicycles. (Nerd contests). For the pole spear we made it with a triangular-ish profile. Maximized strength without creating a bulky grip.
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:45 PM   #8
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Re: Wood pole spear? Dumb idea?

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We played around with a bamboo pole spear. I'll see if I can find a picture. We split it thin, then pulled it through a dowel former (think very long bamboo skewers). we put them together with epoxy, under vacuum, in a PVA bag. With a forming mold around the whole thing. I know that sounds like a lot of trouble but we were actually working out techniques for making bamboo bicycles. (Nerd contests). For the pole spear we made it with a triangular-ish profile. Maximized strength without creating a bulky grip.
Yes, bamboo is the perfect wood for the application, processed correctly.
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Old 05-31-2018, 11:48 PM   #9
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Re: Wood pole spear? Dumb idea?

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Yes wood guy, great advice as always. That was pretty much how I was thinking to do it as well. Definitely do the router cuts while the rips are still Square.
No lathe needed, iím thinking just shape with a sander/sandpaper. Good idea to score up the sides shaft material so the glue can get some bite. Iím going to give it a try, I will post up some pics. Also this gives me another use for all those slightly bent shafts Piled up in my closet


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Good idea on using the slightly bent shafts! If you think about it, Polynesians have been using pointy sticks to kill fish for hundreds of years, so there's a lot of data out there on wood polespears!
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Old 07-06-2018, 03:40 PM   #10
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Re: Wood pole spear? Dumb idea?

strange..some wood (or species of grass like bamboo) even grow straight and tubed for you!
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