Lit Bo Staff for Night Practice





Introduction: Lit Bo Staff for Night Practice

About: I love to tinker with things. Just about anything that has moving parts or does something will catch my interest. I love to tweak it till it does something it was never supposed to be able to do.

A few years back, I was getting bored with my everyday practice with the Bo, so I decided to do something different and create a Bo Staff with lighting.

**CAUTION** If you have not trained to use the Bo, you can cause serious injury to yourself and others. As always, check with your local laws prior to taking this out in your backyard as it may be considered Menacing in some locations

I apologize ahead of time, I did this a few years ago and do not have pix of all the steps, I also do not curerntly have the Bo anymore, but that is another story.

Step 1: Obtain Acrylic Bo

These are available at various Martial Art supply stores. I got mine at a mall type shop specializing in all things oriental. Cost depends on where you buy it. Mine was marked dow to $10. Also, the smooth acrylic bo is MUCH better for this than the one with the swirl pattern down the length.

Step 2: Obtain LED's

I like to use the flat rectangular LED's. Choose a color and brightness that you like and run wtih it.

Step 3: Install LED's Into Staff

I used a dremel with a small burr tool at low speed to hollow out a space for each LED. I space them about 6 inches apart, which gave me 12 LED's for a 6 foot Bo.

If you don't know how to use a dremel, there are a lot of tutorials here. I used it on low speed so as not to disturb the surrounding acrylic. When you get the general shape, use a scapel or exacto knife to cut the corners in.

Since I am not able to add pics for the rest of it, I will describe the rest of the steps here.

once you have created your LED spaces, you will need to clamp the Bo, or otherwise fix it into position so you can work. I used CAT5e network cable for the wiring, 24g solid. cut about a 7 foot length and take out one pair from the sheath. (Save the rest, I am sure you will find a use for it somewhere)

Once the Bo is secured, use your Dremel to cut 2 paralell grooves down the length of the Bo. These should lie next to your LED spaces.

If you have acess to a table saw with a narrow enough blade, this actually works better, but besure that it will not whiten the arcylic around the cut.

Now.... place your LED's into the grooves and cover wtih clear epoxy or silicone caulking, use plastic wrap over it to smooth it out. the wire tails for your LEDs should fall right over the wire grooves.

Lay the wires into the gorrves and mark off where the LED Tails cross it. Strip off about 1/8th inch of casing in that area and reset the wires into the grooves. I found that the easiest way to do this without killing the acrylic is to ise a screw driver (slotted head) to push the LED tails into the grooves and lay the wire over it. If you cut the grooves thin enough, the friction alone should keep it together. I siliconed over the length of the grooves to be safe. ALSO: Make sure that your wiring is in series (Daisy Chain).

Now, I am sure that someone will come up with a better way to do the next part, that's all you, I did it like this because I didn't happen to have a switch handy that I felt would work right. I had a crud load of button style batteries that were about 1/2 the diameter of the staff. I stacked up enough to meet the voltage requirements of the LED's, then wrapped them into a battery pack with white electrical tape. Now comes the really tricky part. I used a drill press that I could swing 90 degrees so it was pointing sideways. Drill bit was a touch bigger than the battery pack and I drilled down to the exact depth of the battery pack.

I put the positive end towards the inside of the hole, so I took the positive lead of the CAT5e cable and stripped the end (after determining length) and stuck it into the whole so the end was laying across the bottom fo the space. Next, I put in the battery back. I had to wrap a couple times around the end to make a true snug fit. Then I place the negative lead across the negative end of the battery pack and tapes it on with the white electrical tape.

Looks great and if you wnated to get really creative, could probably become a POV type toy as well.

All comments welcome, and remember, be safe.



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    21 Discussions

    acrylic is quite fragile. For more robust staff, use polycarbonate.

    nice write-up. I just went through a similar experience of making my own - i documented it with photos here:

    I have a 3d printer so I made some translucent connector pieces and used PVC piping - so you can build the whole thing for about $25

    P.S. the guard dog is a deceptivly fluffy looking soft coated-wheiten terrier, very protective....

    5 replies

    Currently, my home is guarded by 1 104lb German Shepard Dog, all muscle and teeth, 1 54lb Golden retriever puppy, 1 6lb 100db Chihuahua and 1 14lb, 3 legged miniature poolde who has a thing for taking you out at the knees. Who needs weapons :) ~C

    my house is guarded a giant 40ft genetically altered cat with giant claws and giant teeth. not much. :)

    Fear the dangerous poolde, for no one really knows what it is. lol Just kidding, still, in my experience, poodles are often the worse of the bunch to deal with. They can be mean little buggers. And yours has a reason to be pissed off. lol

    Calltaker, I am trying to complete some files for patent purposes and was wondering if you could give me as an exact date as you can on when you created this Bo and where. Your idea would be a good reference to have on hand when needed. If you can email me some pics with the date taken that would be cool

    I think, perhaps, that I'd wire half of the lights to each end with batteries. So as to maintain weight balance. I'm former colour guard and used a staff instead of a flag for my final in high school. In my experience even an ounce here or there can really throw you off when you get into more extreme staff work.

    I've managed to block spears, don't think I'll experiment with the arrow thing, unless left without a choice. lol


    11 years ago

    You used your Bo to defend your home from buglars, and the cops took it away from you?

    3 replies

    Yeah. Such is the law in NY. I could have gotten it back, but it would have actually cost me money to have it retrieved from evidence. Because it was instrumental in stopping a crime, it became evidence. The only good thing was that the idiots who broke into my place never filed a civil suit. The DA made a deal, they didn't file, I didn't get my Bo back. *shrug* At least they didn't take away my sword collection.

    Wait..they could have filed a suit against you? You need to come down to florida! Our castle doctrine says that if someone breaks in to your house or place of work, and you feel that they are threatening your life, you don't have to retreat before using deadly force.

    If someone broke into my house I would have used the swords, not the bo!

    lol, seriously, all though, that Bo looks pretty sweet from what I can tell...

    In The Hands Of One Skilled With The Bo He\She Is Practicly Invincable Fingers Become Twigs Arms Become Raw Meat The Knees Become Jar Lids Never Underestimate The Volosity Of A Properly Handeled Staff Quicker Than The Eye Can Judge.