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Posted: on the homeofpoi shopping cart, it says this would be `ready for attachment of glow sticks, practice balls, beaming balls or tube core fire heads`. the distinction of `tube core fire heads` makes me wonder if they won't work with cathederal or monkey fist heads. i understand that they're heavier, but at a tensile strength of 125lbs, shouldn't it hold up?
i already have cable poi cords, and very much dislike them. I'd like to try ballchain, but if it won't handle my heads, it'd be just a waste of money.
Lights dancing off my skin as chains wrap round it. Pain is in a little box and I'm so glad I found it.
Your probrably on the right track. 125lb isn't really that much and when you consider the extra weight of a soaked cathredral poi head, plus centripital force, plus fire that can harden the metal and make it weak/brittle, plus do anything traumatic to it at high speed and blamo, poi head in the audience. Just think, at 125lbs it couldn't support you. I've broken through solid brass links and some welded links before. Stuff with a lot more weight resistance. If your using cathedrals and monkeys fists I suggest WELDED link chain. And of course always inspect your equipment before each burn. If you look around you can find some lighter weight welded link chain.
I think it's just a typo. I've used HoP's small ball chain on wicks larger than HoP's and they've been fine. 125 lbs is quite a lot and you've got to continously spin pretty heavy wicks very fast to push that. All the fire heads have a loop that can easily attach to any chain they supply.
But yes, if buying chain from a store make sure that it can take a good weight and if it's chain make sure that it's weilded.
Erm, I must disagree with you Cody. I spin monkey fists on 13 gauge ballchain which has a 90 pound stress limit, and I've never had any problems. Just make sure with ballchain you replace them more often than you might think... it is EXTREMELY inexpensive to replace them even as often as every 3 or 4 months, I simply purchased 10 feet of chain and I replace them when I see the balls closest to the fire head (which burn the hottest and take the most stress) seem to be looking on the old side, which tends to be after about 4 months. Better safe than sorry, especially when you can replace your chains for 3 dollars or so.
Does anyone know what the difference between Nickel plated steel (what the 15 guage is) and stainless steel is (what the 13 gauge is)? I have only used SS chain (both 13 gauge and 15 gauge) and have not had a problem with either. Is nickel plated as strong (or stronger) than stainless steel?
Millenium is right in that is does need to be periodically replaced and you should routinely check the small balls to see if they are starting to separate.
If you are in doubt about the nickel plated, you could always order chain directly from ballchain.com. They are the manufacturers of the chain and sell it in various lengths and various components. Whatever you do, do not spin fire with the aluminum chain. It is much weaker than the steel.
1,015 posts Location: Austin TX USA
SS #13 has a test strength of 115 lb; NPS #15 has a test strength of 120 lb--for a given size, SS is stronger. I can attest that it is much, much harder (not the same as stronger) as well.
I've got a page where I document ball-chain aging:
In my experience, it's not necessarily the balls that fail, it's also the connecting rods, and it apparently isn't a heat-related issue.
I recommend replacing ball-chain about once a year for active burners; I know people who recommend replacing much more often--about every 50 burns. That strikes me as a very conservative approach. EDITED_BY: adamrice (1078343606)
I'm sure many people have great luck spinning with ball chain, and I don't mean to discourage it's use in average sized poi. But I'm not going to sugar coat the facts either. It's hard to put stock in ballchain's consistancy (with large wicks) if it is required to be replaced often, at least compared to welded link chain. Welded link chain does not need to be replaced, unless of course there is obvious weaknesses. When it comes to larger wicks, I personally would not risk ball chain.
It really depends on how big your wicks actually are too. You could have tiny cathedral wicks and be just fine. I don't know what the cut off wick weight would be.
Cody Canon Controlled Burn, Reno Nevada
1,015 posts Location: Austin TX USA
FWIW, I've used ball-chain--a lot--with wicks that clock in at about a pound each. As, I believe, has Dom. No particular problems on my part. My estimate is that even with these very heavy wicks, there's no more than 50 lb of force on the chains, so that gives you a pretty good safety margin.
Ball-chain isn't as strong as welded-link chain, it's true. There's a tradeoff. I still give the nod to ball-chain.
I race control line model airplanes that weigh a good 1.5 kg at speeds over 190 km/hr, and the centripetal pull averages around 40 lbs. or so. These aiplanes are typically only supported by .018" cable, which is less than half the thickness of the cable we spin poi on.
Judging by the way my poi feels, I doubt that even giant monkeyfists have the ability to exceed the tensile strength of the ball chain. If you're worried about it, go with the #15, but there's no reason that #13/15 ball chain OR cable wouldn't be plenty strong enough for standard size cathedrals or monkey fists. Welded chain is much heavier and will pinch the crap out of your arms if you do wraps, so keep that in mind also.
Cody, yeah, safety is always good, but overkill doesn't do you any good either. It just adds unnecessary weight, especially with welded chain, as it has other cons in the realm of poi. Sure a little overkill insures that there won't be a problem, but welded link chain for standard cath's? I'm sure that's quite a bit more than the forces exherted require.
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