Pre Cut breaking boards

sadantkd

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I never had any experience with pre cut breaking boards until recently, and I'm trying to figure out why they're so much easier to break than boards you buy at Home Depot and cut yourself. I mean the thinner boards are one thing, but even the one inch boards that presumably should be the same as standard boards you'd buy for shelving or whatever are ridiculously easy to break.
 

OnlyAnEgg

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If you look at the grain of the breaking boards vs the grain on shelving boards, you'll notice a significant difference.
 

terryl965

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They are prefab boards, I know I used then once and than said forget it, great for demo's nut not at all good for really seeing where you are with power or accuacy.
 
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sadantkd

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Thanks. I did notice the difference in the grain, but I was wondering how that happens? I was wondering if it was just from a different part of the tree.

Terry, what do you mean by prefabricated?
 

OnlyAnEgg

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Thanks. I did notice the difference in the grain, but I was wondering how that happens? I was wondering if it was just from a different part of the tree.

Terry, what do you mean by prefabricated?

No. They're cut differently to make breaking them easier. It's just like a piece of steak you cut against the grain. It will be easier to chew than one cut with the grain.
 

IcemanSK

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It does take the "guess work" out of breaking. Pre cut boards eliminate things like knots, tree sap & other things that make boards sometimes tougher to break. The upside is it builds confidence for the breaker. The downside is the challenge of a "unique" board goes away.

As my students get higher in rank, I'm going to get regular boars from the lumber yard so they still have that "unique" experience.
 

terryl965

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Just like you can buy prefab wood, that is put together with the shaving of wood, they do the same to some of the already cut wood, it is made to look like real wood but the texture is so much easier to break, kinda like particle wood.
 

dancingalone

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Those are actually dangerous to break with if you have any power and technique at all. I put my fist through two of them once on an impromptu demo and basically exploded the boards. Bits of wood and splinters flew everywhere. Fortunately no one got a shard in their eye, but I thought I would tell the story as a warning.
 

MBuzzy

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Just like you can buy prefab wood, that is put together with the shaving of wood, they do the same to some of the already cut wood, it is made to look like real wood but the texture is so much easier to break, kinda like particle wood.

If you are trying to break with particulate wood, I would advise against it. That stuff is not only harder, but can seriously injure you and the people around you. Particle board and "chip board" are intended to be used for construction, not for breaking. When they do break, there is no guarantee how the wood will behave, because you're talking about particulate matter basically glued together. When you weaken those bonds, wood can fly everywhere. To be perfectly honest, 11 years on the construction industry and I've never heard the term "prefab wood."

The thing to remember here is that when you buy wood from Home Depot - that is construction grade lumber. it is intended to be used for building and strength and grain control is not important. Generally, the pre-cut breaking boards are held to a higher standard. Like Iceman said, less knots, the grain is controlled and cut in such a way that it will break easier, etc. If you do need to go to Home Depot to buy your wood, you need to be sure to find a HIGH GRADE (very important) softwood, such as a higher graded pine. Then you want to buy the board stock, not sheet stock. Inspect for grain and for knots and be sure that you're getting what you want.

The other big issue with using off the shelf wood is consistency. The strength of one board may vary widely from one board to another. So in testing, you may have one kid that gets a less dense part of the tree and has no problem breaking and another kid whose board came from a little deeper in the tree and ends up crying with a broken hand.

If you ask me, pre-cut breaking boards are the way to go in all cases. You have consistency, quality guarantees and correct grain.

The key here is that breaking has absolutely NOTHING to do with strength - so the size and number of boards doesn't matter much. It is about accuracy and technique. It's just that a single board is a bit more forgiving than 8 boards.
 

terryl965

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You are right prefab is not the correct way of saying it, but my 86 year old G.M. calls it that what I mean is those rebreakable kind of boards that they make. As far as the particle wood boards maybe that is the wrong term as well but you know them they are really weak boards that are manufactured the Century rep told me there demo boards are manufacturing boards so whatever that means.
 

MBuzzy

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You are right prefab is not the correct way of saying it, but my 86 year old G.M. calls it that what I mean is those rebreakable kind of boards that they make. As far as the particle wood boards maybe that is the wrong term as well but you know them they are really weak boards that are manufactured the Century rep told me there demo boards are manufacturing boards so whatever that means.

OH!!! Ok, this is making more sense now! There are the re-breakable boards that century and other suppliers make that are plastic. As far as I'm concerned, those are much harder to break than wood.

I can understand an 86 year old instructor calling them whatever he wants! :)

If they are the wood ones, there are demo boards, which are much thinner and usually a really soft wood. There are also the standard boards that I was talking about that are made specifically for breaking. Usually a really high quality softwood. That might be what he meant. I dunno, the ones I buy come in bundles of 25, all wood and usally really good quality.
 

frank raud

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If you are trying to break with particulate wood, I would advise against it. That stuff is not only harder, but can seriously injure you and the people around you. Particle board and "chip board" are intended to be used for construction, not for breaking. When they do break, there is no guarantee how the wood will behave, because you're talking about particulate matter basically glued together. When you weaken those bonds, wood can fly everywhere. To be perfectly honest, 11 years on the construction industry and I've never heard the term "prefab wood."quote]

"round here it is referred to as "beaver puke".
 

SahBumNimRush

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Very enlightening, I've always bought my breaking materials at the lumber yard (personally, 2x12's are my favorite) or brick yard, unless I'm breaking ice, in which case i freeze myself. I've always wondered about those "demo" boards alot of martial arts supply companies sell.

I just can't justify the cost difference, it's just so much cheaper going to the lumber yard (I'm a cheapskate, haha!)
 

RSweet

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OH!!! Ok, this is making more sense now! There are the re-breakable boards that century and other suppliers make that are plastic. As far as I'm concerned, those are much harder to break than wood.

I can understand an 86 year old instructor calling them whatever he wants! :)

If they are the wood ones, there are demo boards, which are much thinner and usually a really soft wood. There are also the standard boards that I was talking about that are made specifically for breaking. Usually a really high quality softwood. That might be what he meant. I dunno, the ones I buy come in bundles of 25, all wood and usally really good quality.

I love those re-breakable boards. No splinters and I can use them in regular classes. When they aren't getting my point on how a technique needs to be done, I break them out and see who can break them using what we are working on. If they are being especially good or I want them to be good, and I want peace, we get them out and play - pick a color. They pick the board and what they want to break it with. I have been amazed at some of the lower ranking kids, who can break the higher colors. Then we mix and match to make it harder. If they don't hit it right, it doesn't break. Love those and the hoola hoops and the pool snoodles.
 

granfire

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I love those re-breakable boards. No splinters and I can use them in regular classes. When they aren't getting my point on how a technique needs to be done, I break them out and see who can break them using what we are working on. If they are being especially good or I want them to be good, and I want peace, we get them out and play - pick a color. They pick the board and what they want to break it with. I have been amazed at some of the lower ranking kids, who can break the higher colors. Then we mix and match to make it harder. If they don't hit it right, it doesn't break. Love those and the hoola hoops and the pool snoodles.

Cool concept! My butt would be strung up and run up a flaggpole though should I try to have a kid break a board not rated for their age (not so much rank). But that's ITA for ya.

I personally loathe the plastic ones. While you get a real good reading on your technique, you also have to modify it - more than what you would do for a wooden board: the boards bite back! So once a body part goes through it, don't pull back! ;)

We used to have wood for rank testing, but it has been changed to the plastic horror ^_^.

Demo boards (and when you forget your plastic for clinics) are regular pine shelving boards, 1x12s, cut to fit the age requirements. I would have to pick the Master's brain on how he picks it...ancient Chinese secret, you know! ;), much more fun to break. The charge from the school is 1.50 for a junior board, 2 dollars for an adult size...

Wood is so much more fun to break, I also prefer trying a new technique on wood...
 

IcemanSK

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Very enlightening, I've always bought my breaking materials at the lumber yard (personally, 2x12's are my favorite) or brick yard, unless I'm breaking ice, in which case i freeze myself. I've always wondered about those "demo" boards alot of martial arts supply companies sell.

I just can't justify the cost difference, it's just so much cheaper going to the lumber yard (I'm a cheapskate, haha!)

Ideally, "demo boards" are for high-flying difficult kicks used in...well, demos. They are really thin & basically meant merely as a target to aim one's kick at. I would hope that few schools use them for belt tests, but I wouldn't bet again it.

The folks at MTeam in San Jose, CA use tons of these boards during demos like this:
But not for belt tests.
 
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SahBumNimRush

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Ideally, "demo boards" are for high-flying difficult kicks used in...well, demos. They are really thin & basically meant merely as a target to aim one's kick at. I would hope that few schools use them for belt tests, but I wouldn't bet again it.

The folks at MTeam in San Jose, CA use tons of these boards during demos like this:
But not for belt tests.


We use normal 1x12's as our standard demo board (1x6's for the children). Although, those boards would allow us to add a few inches of height and distance to some of our more "acrobatic" breaks. Thanks for the post!
 
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FearlessFreep

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Very enlightening, I've always bought my breaking materials at the lumber yard (personally, 2x12's are my favorite) or brick yard, unless I'm breaking ice, in

Yeah, for my last test my instructor just went to Home Depot and bought the cinder block slabs and long lengths of 1" board that he cut down to fit. Knots and all were in those boards.

And what was left of the boards we cut down to form practice handgun shapes :)
 

SahBumNimRush

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Yeah, for my last test my instructor just went to Home Depot and bought the cinder block slabs and long lengths of 1" board that he cut down to fit. Knots and all were in those boards.

And what was left of the boards we cut down to form practice handgun shapes :)

That's a great idea for the left overs! We have parents that use them as kindling for their fireplaces.
 

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