In he’s time, master António Caçador wrote in his book in 1963, three ways of conserving the rods/ sticks: drying or lubricating them with olive oil or Vaseline
In the oven
Some put them in the oven to peel them and make them look nice, … , but this is the worst of the processes. Sticks exposed to heat, lose the natural sap consequently elasticity and break easily.
Oil or Olive Oil
Another process, and some adopt, is to make a hole in the top of the stick to fill with olive oil or oil and to hang them; it’s another case that does not work. The oil enters no more than two centimeters and the rest of the stick continues to dry.
We must pass them with a heavy layer of thick Vaseline, and then if it is only one, wrap itself in newspaper with a string and lies on dry ground, if they are more than one, after well-greased, as I said, they tie in sauce tightly and let themselves stay.
Regardless of the medium used, the fact is that a good stick can not be dry. The stick when it is dry can not absorb the blow and it finally pops, and consequently breaks. It has to be as flexible as possible.
Many masters submerged their rods in water 24 hours before the big events. The water would make them flexible and unbreakable. An impractical and temporary, but effective process.
In this article we will test the method of hydration with olive oil, discarding the option “Vaseline” for a more natural and vegetable fat.
Basically the process is simple, just make a hole in the top of the stick, put it vertically and fill that top with olive oil so that it goes down the shaft in the middle of the stick.
One of the great challenges of those who have tried this method is to put olive oil on the top of the stick, forcing its entrance through the shaft and not through its body.
In this sense, we created a watertight container for placement on the top of the rod, forcing it to enter only above and through the center.
- Bottle with large bottleneck (+/- 33mm)
- Rubber pipe seal
- Waterproofing tape
- Super Glue
- The bottle is cut so that only the bottleneck part;
- Glue the rubber seal to the bottleneck with superglue;
- Put tape on the rod so that it fits completely. Being the circumference of the irregular rods, this seal is important.
The conclusions were surprising.
Contrary to what Master Caçador wrote the olive oil descended from its top to the base, by the center, much more than the indicated 2 centimeters.
The initial forecast of the process would be 30 days, however in just 20 days the rod would already be 100% hydrated by the olive oil.
In the first 24 hours, the rod absorbed about 20ml of olive oil, the following days absorbed more than 60ml. About 2.5ml per day.
After the first week, you can already see the rod to “perspire” in its upper part. So that the oil does not flow from the outside, always clean the stick.
This process should be repeated over the course of several days until your base can already “perspire” as well.
The result was very positive, we managed to have a stick very flexible and resistant to the blows.
The only recommendation given is that always before use in practice/ fight, you should wipe it with a dry cloth to clean the small fat that it may have released. This just to ensure that it does not “slips away” from the hand.