Project help -- questions about lightweight metal tubes (Ti?)

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by DJ Niner, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Staff Member Moderator

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    So, I want to build a hiking staff/combination-tool-from-hell for outdoorsy use.

    Primary uses will be:

    - hiking staff (w/all associated tasks)
    - camera monopod (not attached to camera; will have a V- or cradle-type rest on top)
    - rescue myself tool (if I fall in a shallow well or punch through a partially frozen river/lake)
    - high-speed club or keep-your-distance tool for 2-legged/4-legged critter defense
    - reaching hook for snagging stuff that needs snagging/retrieving

    Approximate dimensions are 1" in diameter by 67"-72" long (longer tubes can be cut-down).

    Wants:

    - as lightweight as possible, consistent with VERY high durability in all intended uses
    (as I have an ongoing rotator-cuff injury on my dominant/primary-use side)
    - non-reflective finish (could be bead/grit blasted or just painted/coated)
    - resistance to denting (when swung like a baseball bat)
    - resistance to bending/folding-in-half when stressed at the midpoint
    - fairly easy to drill by hand for adding bolt-on accessories

    My initial thought was to use Titanium tubing, but there are many available wall thicknesses and I have no idea how thick I need to go to get the best balance between light weight, strength, dent resistance and bending resistance. Cost is a factor with Ti, but I'll drop $200+ on the basic tube if it meets most of my needs and wants. It appears to be available in wall thicknesses from .0280" to .0880" in the 1" diameter, with intermediate stops at .0510", .0610", .0650", and .0700" (from the supplier I was looking at).

    Alternatives would include aluminum (would have to be relatively thick to meet the needs, so probably would be much heavier), or perhaps Magnesium (I have zero experience with that).

    I'd love to hear some input from people who have used 1" Grade 9 Ti tubing in projects like bike frames, roll cages, or similar uses to get a feel for the wall thickness issues vs denting.

    Any and all on-subject input is appreciated! Thanks, folks!
     
  2. oceanwarrior

    oceanwarrior

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    From reading your wants list, I'd say your best bet would be an OAK pole with a boat hook on it.
    Second choice would be a fiberglass fireman's pike https://www.edarley.com/fiberglass-i-beam-pike-pole/

    Metal tubes have a nasty habit of denting/collapsing when used as a bat.
    Being a Machinst/Weldor all my life, I'd go with those.
     

  3. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    Galvanized steel electrical conduit.


    /
     
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  4. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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  5. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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  6. -JCN-

    -JCN-

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    Bamboo staff?

    (not kidding)



     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
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  7. RenoF250

    RenoF250

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    I was just thinking of making a staff myself. How crazy do you want to get? I would think CF inside of a Ti tube would be the best but pricey. You could ditch the Ti if you drop the club use which wouldn't be that great anyway if it is light.
    https://dragonplate.com/carbon-fiber-tubes/
     
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  8. canis latrans

    canis latrans

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    my first thought was a stick with a hook on one end.
     
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  9. Berto

    Berto woo woo

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    I'd lean cf if impact resistance is a big consideration, based on what I've seen of destruction testing in bike frames vs alum and steel/ti.
     
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  10. airmotive

    airmotive Tin Kicker

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    I can say...NOT magnesium.
    Magnesium has two nasty habits:
    Turning into dust when exposed to salt water...ie, sweat.
    Burning hotter than the sun if exposed to fire.
     
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  11. Rotn1

    Rotn1

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    There are a number of ways to insure strength. Certainly expensive metals and alloys will work.
    Thickness to diameter ratios are generally the rule of thumb for strength in tubing....... But you are going to have to go with standard diameters and wall thickness and grab what is commonly stocked.

    I suggest you make a prototype out of Cold finished (non galvanized) electrical conduit.
    It is readily available, inexpensive, lightweight, can be easily welded and worked. There are also methods for imparting a black oxide finish.
    Once you work out the design, you may just decide to keep what you have or go with a high strength aluminum tube.
    As far as Aluminum..... You can try 6061 T6 (hardened) may fit the bill. It comes in a standard size of 1" OD X .065" or .125" wall thickness...... . Go with the thicker wall.
    For camparison only, the theoretical weight per foot of a 1" X .125" aluminum tube is 0.4041 lbs; so 72" long will weigh 2.42 Lbs....... (For what it is worth the same size steel tube would weigh about 7 LBS.

    I looked at an online retailer and their price for a 6 foot length of 6061 T6 was about $47. UPS shipping would be extra.

    Sorry if the above is completely obvious.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
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  12. Rotn1

    Rotn1

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    Double.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  13. selogic

    selogic

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    A genuine Irish Shillelaghn .
     
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  14. DoubleWide

    DoubleWide

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    -resistance to denting (when swung like a baseball bat)
    - resistance to bending/folding-in-half when stressed at the midpoint

    Even metal bats dent. I think give up these points or you'll have to give up weight.

    Plenty of shooting stick designs will work. Pointy end for actual hiking, rubber cap otherwise.
     
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  15. mac66

    mac66 Huge Member Millennium Member

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    I've made a number of hiking staffs from hardwood and some from aluminum ski poles. One I made when I was a scout leader was called the Wilderness Walking Staff.

    [​IMG]

    http://167.250.5.172/docs/Primitive_Skills/Wilderness_Walking_Staff_2004.pdf

    I also have/had a couple commercial hiking poles. One had a compass, knife, saw, internal compartment. It was aluminum and was pretty handy until I fell and broke it crossing a stream one time.

    I also looked at making a segmented staff out of hardwood using table leg anchors or pool cue joints.

    [​IMG]
    https://www.schmelkecue.com/joint-styles.html

    Someone mentioned a bamboo pole. That's an excellent idea. Bamboo is very tough.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
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  16. syntaxerrorsix

    syntaxerrorsix Anti-Federalist CLM

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    Leki and a few others make Ti trekking poles that can be used as a camera mount. Easy enough to modify for your other wants. I get it though, re-inventing the wheel or making it yourself has some appeal.
     
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  17. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Staff Member Moderator

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    I've tried a few wood/oak staffs, they are just too heavy for walkabout use (I "walk" it alongside my body, so I am lifting it every other step, and my bum shoulder doesn't like that at ALL).

    The pike has possibilities, but the heavy metal hook would have to go, or get seriously modified...

    Thank you for the input, I'm going to browse a few of those pikes from different sources.

    .
     
  18. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Staff Member Moderator

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    Bamboo! (*slaps forehead*)
    Now there's a great example of something that never entered my mind (I'm a northern boy).

    I'll have to see if I could find some of the right size, and the camera mounting point might be a bit tricky, but I really like this idea. Light, sturdy, and won't conduct heat or cold like metal.

    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020 at 12:18 AM
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  19. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks for the link to the carbon tube supplier. Looks like the ones I'd want are nearly the same price as the Titanium tubes, but are quieter and don't conduct heat/cold. I'm concerned about getting sharp edges/slivers on both these and fiberglass shafts if they got banged on something like a jagged rock, and I don't know how easy it would be to repair minor problems like that.

    Anyone?
    .
     
  20. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Staff Member Moderator

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    Both times I snapped my cheap telescoping aluminum walking sticks, I ended up using a forked branch for the rest of each outing. Crude, but functional, and all-natural/organic, of course. :supergrin:
    .
     
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