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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Hey kids. I KNOW there are a million different practice poi designs out there but I'm looking for something I can mass produce easily for poi workshops. It needs to be easy to make and cheap AND most importantly be a decent set of poi. Many of the ultra cheap designs that people come up with handle like a cheap set of poi.

What do YOU use? (Specifics directions please!)


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Durbs
BRONZE Member since Sep 2001

Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

Total posts: 5688
Posted:You know - I was just about to ask the same question for exactly the same reason!

My personal faveourite is as follows:
"Ingredients":
2x Tennis Balls
Some thick string (Preferably coloured)
Flat/Thick soft material for handles - Leather strips, ribbon etc.
Large screw or washer

Tools:
Knife (Sharp and with a point)
Darning Needle large enough for string

Simply cut a slit in one side of the tennis ball and make a hole opposite this in the other side. Thread the string through the hole and pull it out the slit (This is wear the needle is useful). Tie this end to the large screw/washer and pull back in to the hole.
Fasten the handle material into a loop. You can knot it, sew it, glue it - whatever works.
Attach the other end of sting to the handle material at the right lenght - trim all loose ends and - Voila! One poi!

The slit should be as small as possible, as long as you can reach inside and pull the needle/string out that's fine.

Tennis balls are a nice weight and with a slit in them are virtually painless!
They're also very UV active


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LLcoolPat


member
Location: san diego, ca

Total posts: 38
Posted:I just started doing a poi workshop for little kids with a friend of mine and she came up with a design that ends up costing about $1 per set. I liked how they feel so much that they have replaced my Zuni as my practice set.

The design uses balloons, string, bird seed, batting, squares of cheap but cool looking fabric, zip ties and those whiffle type practice golf balls.

First you blow up the balloon to stretch it out a bit. Use a funnel to fill the balloon with the bird seed to the right weight. put the string deep down into the neck of the balloon and tie a knot in the balloon around it. Wrap the balloon in the squares of batting and fabric and tie it all off with a zip tie on the ball side of the knot in the balloon. If you don't get the zip tie on that side of the knot, the balloon will stretch when you use them. We ran the end of the string through the holes in the golf balls and tied a knot in the end for handles.

It took 4 of us a few hours to make over 100 sets. They're safe for the kids and while we had a few break, they were so cheap and easy to make that fixing a few here and there or just making a few new sets is no big deal.


If you do decide to make sets out of tennis balls, call around to some tennis clubs. They collect tons of dead balls and give them away all the time.


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BlackFireJack


member
Location: Bergen , Norway

Total posts: 167
Posted:I use exactly the same method as 'Durbs' exept that I make a small hole in the center of a 'Beer-cap'....thread the rope,string or whatever through and make a knot on the other end...

And if there is mass production involved, and you need alot of beercaps.....well, must be the Dreamfactory....


I like Fire.. :)

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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted:I use tennis balls for my workshops with a length of string inserted. I tie a few knots in the end of the string and poke it through the hole I've made in the tennis ball. Seems to work pretty well, and is cheap. No handles, just tie a loop in the other end.

I usually get these back at the end of the workshops and people are happy to go home and make their own. But they're so cheap to make, you can just as easily give them away.


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Glåss
DIAMOND Member since Nov 2001

Glåss

The Ministry of Manipulation
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 2523
Posted:hiya NYC

Go buy a lot of long stripy socks

stick in the end workshop juggling balls, you can get them here for 50p if your running a workshop.
or, weight-out bags of pulses/seeds/nuts tie them off, drom them in the end of the socks.

Swing

tennis balls- why do we still all uses these for poi?? these are the most stupid thing to have , esp for learning. they're ugly and they really hurt. (even if you slit them lots) duh. balls with seeds don't. no brainer.

Be cool
Drew

[ 07. February 2003, 00:04: Message edited by: glass ]


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Durbs
BRONZE Member since Sep 2001

Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

Total posts: 5688
Posted:I disagree - tennis balls are fairly soft and fluffy. They look OK - not fantastic, but ok - and are bright and a nice wieght.

Stripy socks are cool too, but I the cheapest I've seen them is 3 a pair so you're looking about 4 a set (socks + 2 balls)

Where as 2 tennis balls plus string is at most 2.50, probably cheaper


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:The sock idea is a bit more expensive. I'll be gettin' 100feet of rope for $8 and the tennis balls are less than $1 a piece so my whole poi pair is $2.

I don't get the stripy sock idea.

Plus I do need to buy a "Glass" style set of poi from ya... (Like Orange's)... but that's a story for another time.


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Er... I mean I get the stripy sock idea, it just seems a bit pricy and the socks rip and stuff, no?

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FireMecca
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

member
Location: Tucson

Total posts: 69
Posted:The practice poi we sell are fairly easy and robust, though we are set up for doing many sets at once. Our sets consists of plastic-dipped weighted balls, intended to be the same length as a fire head if ordered with a fire set, so that interchanging is easy. The weight is slightly heavier than a dry head, and slightly less than a wet head. We're working on swirl patterns at the moment, but people here don't seem to be a big fan of tails (except kids).

MJ
Flamma Aeterna


That which does not kill me, only makes me stranger.

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Jello


ambiguous
Location: Mpls, MN, USA

Total posts: 646
Posted:Give the eager students dead glowsticks and ask them to bring a extra set of shoestrings Duct Tape the dead glowsticks, as well all know the leaking of toxic chemicals can be bad. if you're really ambitious you might want to bleed them and than duct tape them just for fun. I don't know, personal preference.

Of course this whole idea would not work for a workshop, so go with something else. Oh, buy long bungee cords! Though take off the hooks on the end. ok, while fun, thats a bad idea as well.


_________________________________
Fuzzy Dice.......................................

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pj


member
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Total posts: 277
Posted:I talked to a chemist about the contents of glow sticks and got the following information:

The individual contents of the chemicals before the two halves are mixed are slightly toxic, but not seriously so. Once the glowstick has been activated, the contents are indeed non-toxic. But that doesn't make them safe! What you *really* need to worry about is all the broken glass in the mixture!

A friend of mine found this out the hard way when he thought it would be really cool if he had a glowing, uh, member.

-p.


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Thanks... I think I'm gonna stay away from glows for now but it's a good idea.

As for the contents, PJ, we've discussed this endlessly so you can do a search and find out the toxicity (or lack of) as well as the glass eating facts. You'll may even find out that I'm a chemist too.


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Update: I ended up making 12 tennis ball poi for $18. $1.33 a pair is pretty darn cheap. Also, I used the "straw" part of a pen to get the string through the ball. My string fit into the plastic cylindar of a pen so I pushed the pen through and ran the string through, then pulled the pen out. Pretty darn simple.

Thanks for the help and input.


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Durbs
BRONZE Member since Sep 2001

Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

Total posts: 5688
Posted:Genius!!
That pen idea is sooooo much simpler than faffing around with needles.
Pesky teachers and their clever brains


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Meenik
SAPPHIRE Member since Nov 2001

Meenik

enthusiast
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Total posts: 272
Posted:I used to use the empty pen method by pushing the string up into the back of the pen, then pushing the pen through the tennis ball and pulling it out the other side, along with the string. It worked very well.

Then I made a tool out of a length coat hanger by bending a small eyehole at one end, and a curved handle at the other end (you can see a picture at http://www.thevenue.org/making_practice_poi.htm).
I then push the end of the coat hanger through the tennis ball, loop the string through the eyehole, and pull the coat hanger back out. I find this to be faster when I'm making several sets at once.

Also, I've never needed washers. I just fold the string back on itself and tie a single, fat knot. I've never had one pull through or come undone.

Other tips: Use a lighter to singe the ends of the strings, to keep them from fraying. Old leather/suede coats are great to cut up for handles (I bought a suede coast for $7, and have probably made 100 handles from it so far). Weight the tennis balls by opening the top hole a bit with a knife, and stuffing in beans.

If any of this is confusing, try the link above. The pictures might help clarify.

All this said, I agree that tennis balls can be painful, especially if they're weighted. Particularly if you get one right in the eye, or on the lip, or right on the nose. I don't mind this myself, as it keeps me alert, but it can dissuade beginners from practicing. So I'm looking for a cheap, bean bag approach. The one above sounded great for kids, but I'm pretty sure that I'd tear one of those apart in a couple of weeks. And I don't know where to get socks cheap enough, especially if I'm trying to avoid those made in evil export trading zones.

Any other affordable bean bag designs?


"They're interdimensional fractal intelligences. That's why they wear funny shoes."

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Actually, I really enjoyed the simple ones that I made. I got soft rope and did do the "melt the ends" trick. I didn't have handles but instead made a slipknot kind of thing at the end that I could easily untie and retie to adjust the length.

Soft rope and two tennis balls is all you need. I love 'em.


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Meenik
SAPPHIRE Member since Nov 2001

Meenik

enthusiast
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Total posts: 272
Posted:Don't you find that non-handled poi chafe your fingers after a while? Or are you using really soft fluffy string or something?

"They're interdimensional fractal intelligences. That's why they wear funny shoes."

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:No.. I... er, actually my buddy found this lovely rope. It's quite soft. I know it's a nylon blend but surprisingly easy on the hands.

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