White Box – Wheels and casters


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I decided to start with casters so here they are before painting started. These are two inch – we will see how they work out. I could not find larger casters at Lowe’s or Home Depot. I was not anticipating a runaway white box full of weapons rolling wildly so I thought  a caster with brakes was unnecessary. These were about $2.50 each – larger, harder swivel “wheels” with the ability to screw into the bottom can get quite expensive.

I was looking for zinc (or something silvery) coated three inch door hinges, but they were out of stock everywhere – and not due in for days. So I went with brass.

For a bill of materials and tool list we have


Thinking about blanket versus towel versus cardboard versus paper for the interior lining.



White Box – waiting for signs



The feather was dropped by a crow. The owning species of the eggshell is a bit more complicated. I am guessing ring-necked dove. I had no glossy black paint, but since I did have about half of a gallon of eggshell white paint, I am painting the box white. Normally, I prefer to use one coat of spirits of turpentine to open up the grain and then two coats of polyurethane, but because I was using surplus (=scrap) lumber of different types this seemed like a painting opportunity.

White Box – on all the corners

At one time describing oneself as “Irish on all the corners” mean you had four Irish immigrant grandparents. On the short sides the L-shaped brackets are again six inches from the edge and 12 inches apart on center.

I had 4 (four) 12 inch long pieces of rope so I drilled two holes in each end piece in order to use the rope pieces as handles. Also on on the lid – not shown yetWhiteBox07

and a simple fixture – a hose clamp – on the inside



White Box Testing


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In quality assurance, especially in electronics and software, white box testing involves testing the internal processes as opposed to black box testing which would test external functionality.

Currently, in the racks there are 51 weapons that are more than 20 inches long and less than 49 inches long. The 20 inches is the length of a standard cardboard carton of which we have dozens.  There are lots of 26 inch long wooden batons that have their own cartons because the boxes they were mailed in have been saved.  There’s something of a gap between 44 inch long weapons like the shinai and the Zhan Ma Dao (horse chopping saber) and 54 inch weapons like the Bagua saber as well as the butterfly wing and sun moon spear. When weapons like sword and saber are taught in class I felt it would be easiest to haul sixteen sword or 16 sabers or both in one container. I could not find a plastic container long enough and I had some surplus lumber around. At least in California forty-eight inches is a common measure for  pre-cut wood, so that was also an influence. So I started by assembling a pile of tools, some accessories (screws, sandpaper and paint) and five 1″ x 12″ x 48″ boards with one 1/4″ x 24″ x 48″ sheet of “oak” plywood and one piece of 1″ x 6″ x  40″ “whitewood”.

First thing was to glue the two worst boards together to form the base. Then the 1″ x 6″ was cut in half to form two reinforcing cleats. That’s Gorilla Glue on the cleats – soon to be turned over.




Longer pole


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I believe these photos are authentic images of the formidable Chen Fa Ke


All I have for him are dates of 1887 – 1957. If anyone knows days and months I would be obliged. Be aware that there are a number of faked photos.

According to legend he practiced groups of 10 repetitions at least three times per day. I have not heard anyone say whether this was all Lao Jia 1, all Xin Jia 1 or some combination. Likewise, I am am unclear if he included Cannon Fist (Lao Jia 2), Xin Jia 2 or weapons. Page 219 of Chen style Taijiquan (ISBN 962-238-016-6; compiled by Feng Zhiqiang and Feng Dabiao; published in 1984) mentions that in addition to sometimes doing “100 reps a day he practiced with a wooden staff about four meters long (slightly more than 13 feet) and fifteen centimeters (6 inches) thick”.

That is not a pole – that is a tree 

The Colors of Dragons


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The font Zhongyi Songti (中易宋体), known by some as its English name SimSun. If anyone can shed some light on why synonyms are used and how translation of colors could be improved I would be grateful.

green, blue, black, verdant, blue-green

Used in Chen style set and movement number (from the Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei books) saber 3, 15 – translated as blue; sword 4,7,9,18; spear 10; kwan dao 21; long pole 1; lao jia 17 and xin jia 17.



Xin Jia (2) 34, 35; cannon fist 25; long pole 12; spear 15



spear 63



sword 22

spear 32


black (bear) in double sword

blue, bluish-green

blue, cold, green, vast



Long Pole, Long Tassels, Long Point


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No one I know of in the martial arts woodworking community is set up to make
10′ staffs from other woods like oak or hickory. I gather that keeping the weapon
light enough to be be speedy means tapering it, and that not all woods can resist
breaking or splintering when the end is whipped around. Whether a stainless steel shaft would need to be tapered is an interesting question.

My cameraperson says using a small (6″) spear point with short (8″) red horsehair tassel on a long staff does not photograph very well. She feels I should try a spear point like the one shown below..



I found this on http://www.martial-way.com in Hong Kong. The overall length is 40 cm (15.75 inches) and the blade length is 28 cm (11 inches). The cost is $76 AND they will engrave your name and drill a hole if requested. Weight is 550 grams (19.4 ounces).

They have horsehair spear tassels in at least 4 colors (red, brown, black and white) and four sizes

  •      S : 9.8in * 4.3in, 0.88oz (25cm * 11cm, 25g) – $9
  •      M : 13.8in * 4.5in, 1oz (35cm * 11.5cm, 30g) – $10.30
  •      L :  15in * 4.5in, 1.6oz (38cm * 11.5cm, 45g ,denser than the size M) – $13.50
  •      XL : 17.7in * 4.5in, 1.9oz (45cm * 11.5cm, 55g) – $14.80

Stay tuned.







Hockey helmets for long pole


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There are at least three types


I personally find the full face shields (about $55) to be uncomfortably warm. They are usually worn in addition to a full helmet.


Hybrid face shields (about $65) are also usually worn with a full helmet. Then we have the full cage style helmet (about $50)



Then question with all three types is making sure the thin tip of the long pole cannot get through any of the larger openings. We have not had any clever (or dumb) ideas about how to determine what the student thinks about wearing the helmet or how the student feels about seeing through the cage or face shield.