Are Laminated Bo Staffs Safe?


     The short answer is yes.

     Here is the slightly longer answer... REALLY yes. Here are the facts. The glue joint between the wood is actually stronger then the wood grain structure itself. So what this means is that if you try to tear apart the wood at the joint, the wood around the joint breaks first before the glue gives way. 

     But that is not all. Structurally, if a piece of wood starts to develop a crack, that crack will travel through the wood and and expand, or at the very worst break. However, due to the lamination of two or more pieces of wood, if a crack does develop, it can travel no further then where the next lamination of wood is. And because there are more then one grain structure, the crack can not continue. This makes laminated wood weapons actually safer then non laminated weapons.

     But what about heat? Can the glue joint be affected by heat. Yes it can. Under extreme heat are the only conditions that the glue joint can be lessened and actually ripped apart. But lets talk about this for a second. I have tested this. And Have heated a glue joint with a heat gun to the point where the wood was so hot you could not touch it even for a moment. And then I had to take a crowbar, and lift the two pieces of wood apart. Even with that heat... it wasn't the easiest thing to separate the wood. Also... if the wood gets hot, to the point where it could separate, if it cools down again, the glue joint regains its original strength. So leaving a laminated weapon in a car, could say weaken a joint, once it cools off it is just as strong as it ever was. And due to the TREMENDOUS heat I needed to apply to even get the glue to think of separating, a car temperature in the summer, although not ideal, would most likely not be the end of your weapon.

But what about warping? Wood kept in a heated environment can warp. However the good news about laminated weapons, is that due to once again the different grain structures, the structures are more random then if it was one piece of wood. So again, it resists warping and keeps its shape better. 

What about oily wood such as ipe? To tell you the truth... I have used ipe starting in archery bows (which is under WAY more stress then a martial arts staff) And I have NEVER ONCE had a failure. And even with a crowbar... the wood breaks first before the joint. I have heard of people having trouble, but I attribute this to faulty gluing methods, rather then the glue or the materials used. I am very metiulous and use the best wood glue available and the best gluing methods, and have never once had a problem gluing ipe to either hickory or white oak. 

So in summary... there are VERY few if any downsides to having a laminated weapon. They are safer, very beautiful, permanent lasting (I have no experience or reports from anyone of any age on which the glue joint will start to come apart so the lifetime seems infinite) In all my years I have had ZERO glue failures in my archery equipment or martial arts equipment. And I trust laminated weapons implicitly. 

 

      -Adam