Re: Rods from shish kebab sticks?
I've been making my own bundle sticks (hot rods, thunder rods, etc) for years. Just find a store that sells real dowels. They some in different sizes so you can make perfect sized rods, and they are generally pretty cheap. I normally go to the local hobby shop or small town hardware store.
I assemble them with two wraps of duct tape around the upper portion. Then smear some wood glue between the sticks on the grip end. Then both these areas get some heat shrink tubing I order from the local industrial supply (comes in all sorts of colors). To top it off I've been reusing the rubber ends from the pro-mark thunder rods for years. Last time I added it up a pair of thunder rods cost me something like $5.00 to make.