IRISH BLACKTHORN WALKING STICK
IRISH BLACKTHORN WALKING STICK
Weight: 28.2 oz
Head: 2 3/4"
Thickness: 1" Base 1 3/8" Neck
The Blackthorn bush is found throughout Ireland and the British Isles. It has been prized for centuries as a material for premium walking sticks. The original Blackthorn sticks were 2 to 4 foot long Irish shillelaghs (the national weapon of rural Ireland). In expert hands the shillelagh was so fearsome that during the final occupation of Ireland, the English outlawed it. To get around the law, the Irish turned the shillelagh into a 3-foot walking stick. The English didn't want to appear unreasonable by outlawing walking sticks too, so the Irish kept their modified shillelaghs and the world gained a beautiful and functional walking stick known simply as the Blackthorn.
Cold Steel made the effort to obtain and sell authentic Blackthorn sticks over fifteen years ago, but the venture turned out to be disappointing, and not because the sticks didn’t sell well. It was because Blackthorn is difficult to come by and, since it's grown and not manufactured, it is somewhat inconsistent in quality.
Cold Steel's recent forays into injected molded polypropylene products has yielded some impressive results and now we have produced a new polypropylene Blackthorn that has all of the advantages of real Blackthorn and none of its pitfalls.
Our Irish Blackthorn Walking Stick is inspired by an authentic Blackthorn from Cold Steel President, Lynn C. Thompson’s private collection. It was copied carefully, and then artfully modified to a point where it not only mimics nature, but actually rivals and supersedes anything the natural world could produce! If nature had fashioned the most perfect Blackthorn stick, and you were lucky enough to come by it, our Irish Blackthorn Walking Stick is what it would look like. It's a superb faux Blackthorn stick, and since it’s injection molded from polypropylene, it will never warp, crack, swell up, or splinter and is easy to maintain with a little soap and water.
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For serious hopping and bopping, there just ain't no stoppin' CS plastic weaponry!
(Yeah, I know that it's PVC or LBJ or something, but I calls a hunk of plastic as I sees it!)
When the weather sux and I don't want spots on my fine wood canes, this plastic baby is the way to go!
I can belt it against anything and it stands strong.
I love the material!
The down-side of the shillelagh is that it is uncomfortable to carry!
My fingers are constantly searching for a 'better' more comfortable grip.
It fails terribly in the comfort of use, day to day.
The handle could have been better designed rather than mindlessly copy it from the original.
Looks great, but if it is uncomfortable to carry, odds are that it will not be there when/if needed, martially. You'd have to be a real hard-case to carry an n uncomfortable walking cane!
So I modified the problematic handle. What's the point if it's at home and I need it elsewhere?
First I sanded off that cheap painted wood-grain before it all wore off. Looks nice from the box, before it starts wearing off... soon..
After 220 grit paper, it was very pleasant feel to the hand, looked less... whorishly wannabe! Felt like velvet!
And then the 'remodel'.
I trimmed the sharp edge of the finger gripping surface on the bottom of the head. The ridge is sharp, with poor ergonomic finger gripping surface. A cane should not necessitate all fingers to clutch. Most weight should dangle from a second finger, with others as 'guidance. Natural swing, not a 'clutch'!
So, off I trimmed a bit of that obnoxious 'point', from which my fingers were always attempting to flee!
Thus exposing a couple deep and ugly air voids (manufacturing defects) within!
Ugly, but, at this point... so I filled them with 5 min epoxy, and sanded. Looks inconspicuous enough. A bit more solid + a tad more weight.
Where will another void pop up when I need it most?
That is not a point of confidence! Any weakness will be the one that fails to save your bacon! That is where it will fail, sometime, somewhere, when you need it most.
That is a big unreliability point against!
I trimmed a bit from the bottom for height adjustment and 'voila', another void rightin the center, about an inch deep and 1/4" wide.
How many more voids, I wonder?
I did whack it pretty good on the carpeted floor, long past where my other sticks or bokken (wooden swords) would have broken.
That is definitely meaningful!
I am a 'big guy'!
There is always that niggling doubt about the voids/defects.
But if the primary function is uncomfortable, you better hope that if you ever need it, that it is by the front door where it will likely be sitting in a cane stand... perhaps under the bed.
But you can do better than that for under the bed; cut it in half and put a wrist strap, and set a few bolts into the ball, for weight...
But.. beware the voids!
I would like to try the plastic bokken, but the voids... the voids...
Is the 'sword' riddled with voids also?
The 'war clubs'?
I'd like to hear CS' explanation of the defects.
The poor handle design (looks fine, before your fingers know the truth...) is, as far as I am concerned, another defect.
This is the difference between something well planned or something 'pumped out'.
It would have taken so little...
For the money (mine was free, the fellow in the Chinese restaurant swore that it must have been mine, so, eventually, I accepted it), you can afford to play with it!
I even take it with me, occasionally...
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