Robert, thanks for having this exchange of ideas with me. No. I don't think that you're missing anything. I'll go give it some more thought until I've nailed everything down in my mind and then I think that I'll see it precisely your way. The flange is definitely the way to go if a threaded insert was used. That was in my mind also, and didn't originally suggest it since I was unfamiliar with easy to find hardware that would allow David to complete his project. Other than appearance, I agree that the outside collar is more structurally sound. Thanks again. BTW, I checked out some of your handiwork. Nice pics; nice work. You have my envy.
>>"I think you're missing where the fulcrum is located. I believe it would be at a point on the circumference of the stick, which would place the entire insert in tension."
Robert, Your comment "I think you're missing" IS EXACTLY CORRECT. Boy, did I miss that point. Your mention of "fulcrum" was the key for me - once I stopped and thought about it just a bit. It was the key point I was neglecting. When the fulcrum point is considered, it's clear that the entire threaded insert, is all in tension. The fulcrum point being at the outer circumference of the staff will want to pull/rip the entire threaded insert out of the wood when the bending loads and the hiking staff radius act as a lever (i think m times c over i is useful here for analysis). Now, this, i.e. a catastrophic static failure, might not actually happen depending upon the loading, but that would be the what the bending loads would try to do. Good point. Thanks for taking the time to share and enlighten me as to the key concept that I was missing.