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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:Although I still consider ball-chain the best all-around kind of chain, last night I saw a case of the chain failing. This was the first time I've seen it fail.

Interestingly, the chain failed at the cold end: the rod attached the topmost ball (caged inside the connector) snapped. My guess is that this link may be under added stress if it is rocking against the wall of the connector, but the connector would need to be held fairly rigidly for this to be an issue, I think. I believe the chains in question had about a year of use in them, though I can't say how much.

Nobody got hurt, btw.


Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:So then are you recommending that ballchains get replaced maybe every nine months or year or so, depending on use? Or do you think this was an isolated incedent? Did the connector wear the ballchain through thereby severing it or some such thing?
I can say I am so accustomed to my dog chains that I am not fond of ball or bike chain, though I have explored them both. So this is very curious to me. Thanks Adam!


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:In terms of physics, the cold end does have more stress on it. As it has the added stress of the chain.

Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:My own chains have been in hard use for over a year (I'm going to retire them soon because of the balls spreading at the hot end [that really sounds kinky]), and like I said, this is the first time I've seen ball-chain fail. So my guess is that it's an unusual incident, but I thought it should be reported.

I was surprised that it happened at the cold end, because I would have thought the repeated heating/cooling cycles would weaken the metal at the hot end.


Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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rex


rex

member
Location: Holiday, FL, USA

Total posts: 263
Posted:weird.. SCI FI uses dog chains.. Pele too? is this a growing trend?

and uhm.. Pele: bike chains? do you mean the chain used to pedal the bike? wouldn't this be kinda... non flexible? or am i missing something?

hey... why not try chainsaw blades, add a whole new element of danger..


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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted:Chainsaw chains - doable, but not the most comfortable to play with, and the swing's a bit awkward Helps to know an arborist or two

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Dom
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK

Total posts: 3009
Posted:Cheers Adam. I use ball chain on those large 'monster' wicks you made. So far they're still going strong but I'll try to remember to really check the first link.

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arashi


arashi

Pooh-Bah
Location: austin,tx

Total posts: 2363
Posted:with dog chain you can see and inspect each link of your equipment, and has a pound stress rating. we have used it for 7 years or so without incedent. seems like if ball chain is going you have no way of knowing if it's going? is that right?

-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.

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Malcolm
SAPPHIRE Member since Nov 2003

Malcolm

HOP admin
Location: HOP

Total posts: 1000
Posted:Any chance on a proper autopsy report?
What size, NPS, S/S or aluminium/with colour burnt off?
Was the damage wear and tear or did someone try forcing a bend in the connector and ball chain crushing the connector rods between the balls?
I am sure we can visually see all wear and tear on a ball chain before it can become hazardous (except aluminium of course)

Did you see any wear at the cold end of your own set?


"May your balls always burn"

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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:Malcolm--

The chain in question was #15 nickel-plate steel. I had a chance to do a brief visual inspection on the scene, but unfortunately my scanning-tunneling electron microscope was in the shop.

The failure seems like a result of wear-and-tear, although I have no way of knowing whether that set of chains had been subjected to any weird stresses. I was just playing around with some chain and a connector, and it does seem as if the outermost rods can "chafe" against the connector edges--this may be what caused it. Not sure if/why the cold end would be more prone to chafing than the hot end, but that appears to have been the case here.

I inspected my own chains, and don't see any obvious signs of wear at the cold end except that tiny striations in the rods are more visible--I think these are manufacturing artifacts that were obscured by the nickel plate, but that's worn away a little.

So what to do? I usually wrap duct tape over the connectors at the cold end to cover over sharp edges--extending that down to the first exposed ball might retard the chafing a bit--any kind of sleeve would do. SS ball-chain is much harder, and might resist this chafing better.


Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:monster wicks n nickel plating? you austin twirlers are fully tech! I *have* to meet u peeps one day....! <---note rare level of seriousness

Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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Malcolm
SAPPHIRE Member since Nov 2003

Malcolm

HOP admin
Location: HOP

Total posts: 1000
Posted:Adam,

Thanks for the update on your investigation. You can borrow my electron microscope anytime

Kindest regards

Malcolm


"May your balls always burn"

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Paddy


back from the dead...sort of
Location: 4341'N 7938'W

Total posts: 884
Posted:s'funny, I had my first ball chain breakage this week as well. It was only tennis balls being spun, but it really freaked me out, because if fire was being used I'd would have lit a bunch of bushes on fire. I've now replaced all my chains (which were about 6 months old, with usage every day) and started making a cable set as well.

It wasn't me that broke them- it was a grade 8 kid who'd never spun before and wanted to try- and I didn't see the break happen, so I haven't ruled out the possibility that he whacked them against something. Nonetheless, better safe than sorry.


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Kinudin (Soul Fyre)


veteran
Location: San Diego, California, USA

Total posts: 1325
Posted:That's right Paddy... blame it on the 8th graders

This is a very interesting thread. Because originally I wanted to get ball chain and this makes me think twice. The stuff at lowe's breaks easily maybe I should use bigger "official" ball chain...

Kinudin


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.Morph.
SILVER Member since Mar 2002

.Morph.

addict
Location: Lancashire, UK

Total posts: 669
Posted:While we're on about ball chain, what kinda connectors do you use? I use the common hardware store stylie U shape kind. They've always been okay, but a few weeks ago one snaped while I was using fire!! Luckily the poi flew straight down on to the ground and was controlled easily, but very very worrying.

:0)~


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nasu


member
Location: Chicago, IL, USA

Total posts: 35
Posted:I actually had the ball chain on mine break aswell, in the cold end, basicly one of the rods had poped out.

Luckly it was while I was spinning out. So it was far from the eyes of the crowd.

These are the 30cm BC round wicks outta the hop shop.

I had them for maybe a month. I do alot of wraps and at generally very high speed. I practice daily, at least 3 hours.. Seems I put alot of stress in them.

I since have switched to aluminum curb-chain.
Although I was able to repair them and hand them down to my GF who hasn't had anyproblem with them since.

-nasu


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Paddy


back from the dead...sort of
Location: 4341'N 7938'W

Total posts: 884
Posted:FireMorph, I use the use the U shaped ones as well. Before I used fire, I had some tennis balls bust loose by bending the two sides of the connector apart, but since then I've doubled them up and they've never given me problems since.

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Paddy


back from the dead...sort of
Location: 4341'N 7938'W

Total posts: 884
Posted:I just looked at my old chains, and compared them directly with the new ones...the old ones are noticable stretched. Approximately 25 beads of the new chain is the same length as 24 beads of the old, which is about a 4% increase in length. Quite a bit if when you consider metal chain...

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Anselm


member
Location: Central or Northern CA, depend...

Total posts: 28
Posted:I use non-kink chain (aka toilette chaing). It's that funny stuff with links made out of steel cut into an "8" shape and bent in half. Neverhad any trouble. They last well, are tough, don't kink, are light, and generally very cheap.

Anselm


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Kender


Kender

member
Location: Springfield, MO. USA

Total posts: 33
Posted:I started out using a chainmail style chain. It worked for about 4 months before the links spread apart. I switched over to dogchain and havent had a problem sense. The only drawback I've noticed is that it tends to get heavy after spinning a while. Or maybe im just outta shape

-= Kender =-


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Paddy


back from the dead...sort of
Location: 4341'N 7938'W

Total posts: 884
Posted:Funny this has come up again...I just had another failure, on the very first ball of the chain. I doubled up on my couplers after they failed on me...the result, I think, is that the first ball's range of motion is restricted, so the force is applied to link which eventually bends and breaks.

I hope I can find a way to remedy this, as I really like ball chain, but these failures are freaking me out. I was pretty close to a dense forest when it happened.


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Aquae Atrae


member
Location: Arvada, CO, USA

Total posts: 2
Posted:Greets,

I've been learning to spin and using HOP's ball chain and connectors for about nine months now. Some freinds and I did a fair amount of research and definitely prefer ball chain as it's almost impossible to lock onto ya when it wraps. Very cool!

For those of you who's chains broke at the last link of the cold end... I'd be curious what kind of triggers / grips you've been using. What I'm starting to realize is that the majority of stress occurs at the pivot point.

We've made our triggers of leather straps that loop around two fingers (tightening nicely) and then feed through a central slot. With this, the pivoting occurs primarily of the straps around the slot and the chain remains straight through the entire rotation.

I've recently seen a variation of this with shorter straps that don't extend past the slot, however do hold a D-shaped ring which serves as the pivot. That may work even more smoothly.

Might be something to consider. Thanks for the reports though! I'll keep my eye on 'em.


Doug
[The long-haired red-headed guy with glasses]

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