How to Make a Jousting Stick

by Sam Kellenberg

Jousting was a medieval sport that tested the skill and accuracy of knights during mounted arms practices. Though it faded into antiquity for practical purposes in the 16th century, modern revivals of jousting competitions span the globe. Organizations that host such competitions often have their own rules for constructing appropriate, non-lethal lances.

Items you will need

  • 45 inches of 1.5-inch diameter closet pole or round banister material
  • 4-inch square piece of scrap 2-by-4
  • 2 PVC sleeves, roughly 2 ¼ inches long, 2-inch outside diameter, 1 5/8-inch inner diameter
  • 56 inches of 2-inch diameter cardboard tube with 1/8-inch sidewall
  • 24 inches of 2-inch diameter, 2 lb. density styrofoam
  • Sandpaper
  • Epoxy
  • Scrap paper or cardboard
  • Wood glue
  • 1.5-inch hole saw drill bit
  • 2.5-inch or larger hole saw drill bit
  • Hole saw adapter
  • Heavy duty drill
  • Pencil
  • Paint (if desired)
Step 1

Cut down the closet pole to 45 inches, if it is not already at that size. Sand one end so it is smoothly curved.

Step 2

Attach the 2 1/2 inch hole saw bit to a drill. Cut a circle from the 2-by-4 scrap.

Step 3

Exchange the larger hole saw bit for the smaller one. Using the attachment guide, center the blade on the middle of the circle from the previous step, and drill. The resulting wooden ring should have an edge roughly 3/4 inches wide.

Step 4

Sand the ring until smooth.

Step 5

Slide the ring over the unsanded end of the closet rod, until it is approximately 6 inches from that same end. If the ring will not slide over the rod, sand the interior of the ring until it does. The fit should be snug, not loose. Mark the pole on either side of the ring with the pencil, then remove the ring.

Step 6

Apply the wood glue around the circumference of the pole at the section marked, and re-apply the ring so that it rests over the glue. Allow the glue to dry.

Step 7

Add shims of paper or cardboard to the inside of your PVC pieces so that they will slide snugly onto the pole. Bond these shims to the PVC with epoxy.

Step 8

Apply epoxy to the inside of one piece of PVC, and slide it up the 6-inch side of the pole until it is flush against the ring. If needed, add more epoxy between the PVC and the pole to ensure a proper join. Allow to dry.

Step 9

Apply epoxy to the second PVC piece, and slide it, too, up the remaining space of the 6-inch side of the pole. Keep this piece of PVC flush with the end of the pole, so there is a gap between both pieces of PVC. Allow to dry.

Step 10

Sand the epoxy and any roughness from the pole.

Step 11

Apply the cardboard tube at the sanded end of the pole. Do not glue it or use epoxy. It should remain firmly attached by itself; it is meant to be replaced after every joust and ensures the non-lethality of the lance.

Step 12

Pop the styrofoam into the open end of the cardboard tube. The styrofoam is meant to crush on impact, absorbing much of the blow and reducing potential harm to combatants. Roughly 4 inches of the foam should be tucked into the tube.

Step 13

Paint your lance if desired.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use proper care and safety equipment when handling drill-bit saws.