Forums > Technical Discussion > Question about my monkey fist heads...

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MillenniuM
MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck

Member Since: 10th Jul 2003
Total posts: 595
Posted:I purchased some 2.5" monkey fists from HOP about two months ago and have since burned them for about 3 sessions, with an average of 6 or 7 burns per session. I was spinning them today, unlit, and noticed a lot of degredation on the rope near where the loop to connect it to my quick link. It's a tiny bit frayed, but what I'm most worried about is it changed from the normal blackened-char color to a metal-like silver with a bit of white cotton fray. I burned my tube cores 200+ times, and never experienced anything like that.

Anyone with monkey fists experienced this? I'm a bit worried they might be breaking or I'm doing something wrong, but I know I take care of my wicks very well. Heeeelp!


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BoomShankar
BoomShankar

member
Location: Leeds UK
Member Since: 15th Jul 2003
Total posts: 95
Posted:yeah wierd that, innit.. I had the exactly the same thing happen to me fire ropes and I came to the conclusion it was because I hadn't been soaking them in fuel properly... but after seeing this post it seems more likely that kevlar rope just cant hack it cause I only used them a few times over a month or so and they went a very shiny silver near the heads and broke up into fraying pieces frown I say we're being ripped off cause this kevlar rope sh:t int cheap rolleyes

progger

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funken
funken

journeyman
Location: Germany
Member Since: 27th Feb 2004
Total posts: 92
Posted:the same happened to my heads eek

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Big Andy
member
Location: Dallas, Tx
Member Since: 1st Apr 2003
Total posts: 186
Posted:I can't say for sure what's happening to you guys' heads, but I know my first set of cathedral heads are completely silver on the top from rubbing against the NPS ball chain. I don't know if your heads are ever rubbing against the chain or not, as i don't know your skill level, but that's my experience. As for the fraying, I have no idea if that's indicative of rapid deterioration or if they will last just as long.

Dark Poet seems to like the Monkey Fists, maybe he has an experience/observation to share about this.


"We can't stop here! This is bat country!"

"Welcome to the U-S-A,
We'll treat you right, unless you're black or gay, or Cherokeeeeee!!"

-Brian Griffin from "Family Guy" (the dog)

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MillenniuM
MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck

Member Since: 10th Jul 2003
Total posts: 595
Posted:The only way I could see my ballchain rubbing against my hads is during hyperloops and aurwraps, but they rarely actually touch the chain, that is only if I'm doing buzzsaw orbitals or something similar. I'm getting worried that after a few more months I won't be able to safely spin them with an audience frown

Any other crazy monkey fisters with insight?


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FireMecca
member
Location: Tucson
Member Since: 30th Oct 2002
Total posts: 69
Posted:What you should be experiencing here is damage to the rope wick due to the heat buildup in the metal hardware that touches it. This can be avoided by putting wick (insulation, essentially) around the hardware, but, then, that wick would need to be replaced eventually. This is normal, and I would not worry too much unless you are noticing damage to the fiberglass core of the rope. However, the "heat limit" of the fiberglass is much greater than that of the kevlar blend outer braid, so I do not think you should experience any problems.

MJ
Flamma Aeterna


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

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darkpoet
darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish
Member Since: 14th May 2003
Total posts: 525
Posted:holy sh|t i live in dallas too..oooh pm me m8..yeah all wicks will degrade over time, your supposed to replace them every 6 months or so
expensive habits no?
and yes...i love my monkies weavesmiley


Jesus saves sinners and redeems them for cash and
prizes

Co-Founder of Keepers of Light

Educate yourself about the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Big Andy
member
Location: Dallas, Tx
Member Since: 1st Apr 2003
Total posts: 186
Posted:Yeah, I don't burn terribly often, but I;ve been practicing like a madman lately, so my wicks are getting some wearon them they probably shouldn't, still haven't made the practice poi I keep telling myself I'm going to make.

On a side note, I've got some Monkies on the way from someone else in this thread myself wink I'm not worried about their longevity, I think that kevlar rope is probably pretty stout stuff. There may be some deterioration, but i doubt what you're experiencing will make them unsafe anytime soon.

And Darkpoet, check your PM's por favor.


"We can't stop here! This is bat country!"

"Welcome to the U-S-A,
We'll treat you right, unless you're black or gay, or Cherokeeeeee!!"

-Brian Griffin from "Family Guy" (the dog)

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KristieEB
member
Location: Oakland, CA
Member Since: 17th Sep 2003
Total posts: 108
Posted:i bought mine several months ago and the exact same thing happened. silver showing on the very top of the knot (not directly against the hardware). i think there could be chain wear, because i still tangle frequently and the heads rub as i disentangle. i guess the rope is just a different animal than the wicking.

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i8beefy2
i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA
Member Since: 24th Mar 2003
Total posts: 674
Posted:I kill monkey fist wicks consistantly within a few weeks / months. Cores pull out, metal wire loops snap, they come undone for no reason. Oh and the wear on the top is universal. Mine actually burn through to that point fairly quickly, but not to worry, they will really last for a long time even frayed like that. Well, long for me anyway... Its never been the fraying that has killed a monkey's fist for me... always the other problems inherent in these wicks.

None the less, I hate cathedrals. Refuse to use them. They get all tangled up realy bad during air wraps and I hate that so much. Havn't tried tube core, think I'll have to give those a shot sometime.


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TheBovrilMonkey
TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England
Member Since: 3rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 2629
Posted:
Apparently, it's the metal loop itself that's wearing the kevlar down as it moves around during spinning.

According to this, the design's been changed - they've now got eyebolts instead of the wire loop.


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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MillenniuM
MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck

Member Since: 10th Jul 2003
Total posts: 595
Posted:Hmm... I'm glad I got mine before they changed design. Those metaly bits tend to get quite hot and burn during wraps, and prevent you from getting the nice "snap back" with the loops. I'm sure Malcolm was just getting too many returns with the old design, due to the wear? Oh well. I'm buying Cathedrals next time anyway.

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i8beefy2
i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA
Member Since: 24th Mar 2003
Total posts: 674
Posted:I have been spinning for a little more than two years. In that time I have destroyed 8 sets of monkey fist heads. Three due to unwrapping, which has been fixed. Three due to the core pulling out, which may or may not have been fixed because the last two have died due to the attachment method failing. The first one was the steel wire. These break. I have broken them on monkeys fists, cathedrals, and multiple tennis ball practice poi I've made. The last one was one of the version offered here now. Broke the eye bolt on the FIRST NIGHT I used it.

I don't trust monkey fists anymore. I don't trust cathedrals anymore. I only trust tube core, and IMO they are better than the other logistically anyway.

My 2 cents...


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UCOF
UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel

Member Since: 17th Apr 2002
Total posts: 15414
Posted:Im a little disapointed..

I thought this thread was about Monks.

On the board overview it says
"Question about my monk.."



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TheBovrilMonkey
TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England
Member Since: 3rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 2629
Posted:Quote:
I have been spinning for a little more than two years. In that time I have destroyed 8 sets of monkey fist heads.
<snip>
Broke the eye bolt on the FIRST NIGHT I used it.




eek
Wow, what've you been doing to them to break that many? I find it hard to believe that you managed to get eight faulty sets but I find it equally hard to believe that you can go through that many non-faulty pairs so quickly.
Obviously something's happening though - what's your spinning style like? Do you do lots of wraps or stuff that'd put loads of stress on the eyebolts? Did the metal of the eyebolt break, or did it pull out of the core?
On average, how many burns d'you reckon you got out of each pair?

Hmm, that's come out half wrong, it looks like I'm demanding a load of info, but I'm really just curious and quite amazed - I've never managed to break a pair of poi before biggrin


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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Dom
Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK
Member Since: 19th Dec 2001
Total posts: 3009
Posted:Same here, how you using these? I had the original HoP monkey fist design and the rope did fray around the metal and Malcolm's told me that they found a way to fix that. However, with quite a bit of use lit and unlit, and a lot of travelling, wraps and catches, mine lasted 8 months.

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i8beefy2
i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA
Member Since: 24th Mar 2003
Total posts: 674
Posted:I do do a lot of wraps. In particular I do a lot of air wraps, which sometimes tangle and get pulled apart. But they still shouldn't be breaking like this. That's why I'm switching to tube core. I really am not all that hard on the things (at least not from my point of view). I used to just break ball chain, so I switched to dog chain. Havn't broke that yet, but I keep eating heads left and right. I mean I killed this last set in ONE NIGHT. That alone amazes me to no end.

When I spin, I SPIN (usually 10-15 burns a session), which I guess may be a bit excessive to some of you. I do tend to spin kinda fast and hard, with lots of wraps. I just don't feel that they should be breaking THAT fast though. I think pulling apart tangled air wraps would put the most stress on the things, but I'm not THAT rough on em.


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BoomShankar
BoomShankar

member
Location: Leeds UK
Member Since: 15th Jul 2003
Total posts: 95
Posted:the main reason I was gonna buy monkies was for doing multiple wraps - with them being round and non-metal youd have thought theyd be all about that.. umm

progger

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Big Andy
member
Location: Dallas, Tx
Member Since: 1st Apr 2003
Total posts: 186
Posted:Quote:
Originally posted by i8beefy2
The first one was the steel wire. These break. I have broken them on monkeys fists, cathedrals, and multiple tennis ball practice poi I've made. The last one was one of the version offered here now. Broke the eye bolt on the FIRST NIGHT I used it.


Damn, that sucks. Maybe you got a faulty eye bolt? I personally am weary of the eye bolts. I think any eye bolt thick enough for me to trust with being heated to high temps and then smacked into each other would be too heavy, and any eye bolt light enough to make a poi head with wouldn't hold up. This isn't based on any real empirical evidence, just my own *limited* experience with bolts, vibration, stress, and heat in other hobbies/applications.

As far as the cable, it can be doubled up. If you are making your own heads and don't trust one thickness of 1/16" cable, then double up on it. Make the cable twice as long and fold it in half before you start construction.

Or if the problem is that the cable is kinking at the top of the loop, then find an eyelet that will force the cable to make a smooth radius instead of kinking.

Quote:
I don't trust monkey fists anymore. I don't trust cathedrals anymore. I only trust tube core, and IMO they are better than the other logistically anyway.


I have a set of cathedrals I got from Adam Rice a while back that have endured some heave abuse. Seriously, I use to get really frustarated when I was learning a group of combinations and bash my wicks into the concrete repeatedly (yes, I have a temper, lol). These wicks are fine, still have a good burn time, and show no signs of being unsafe yet, though they don't look new anymore, of course.

The tube core is definately a strong design, but they look horrible, and don't burn very long at all. I don't know exactly why they look so bad mid-burn. Could be the shape, surface area, or maybe even wicking action, who knows? But cathedrals and monkey fists look fantastic and burn for a long time. Someone should do some research on this, or some product development. The tube core concept has the most structural integrity, combined with being a relatively light design. I guess the goal would be to make something as lightweight/structurally sound as tube cores, but with the burn time/flame of cath's/monkies. I'm sure there is a compromise that can be reached with a little product development.


"We can't stop here! This is bat country!"

"Welcome to the U-S-A,
We'll treat you right, unless you're black or gay, or Cherokeeeeee!!"

-Brian Griffin from "Family Guy" (the dog)

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i8beefy2
i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA
Member Since: 24th Mar 2003
Total posts: 674
Posted:Yes, I don't trust the eye bolts that are that small anymore either. The wire breaks off, actually, right where it enters the poi head (read: ya know that little crimpy thing that secures those wires together? Right underneith that thing). Even if you doubled it up, I'd think it would still wear through.

Here's the thing: I always thought that monkey fist knots worked by getting tighter as you pull on the rope that it is made out of. However, all of the designs I have seen rely on some kind of attachment to the CORE, not the rope. If there were a way to attach to the end of the ROPE a connector of sorts, I believe the design would be much more secure (IE it wouldn't pull apart or have the core pulled out of it, and the connector could be bigger and stronger). That being said, I've been trying to figure out a good way to do this with no ideas coming out of it yet.





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MiG
MiG

Self-Flagellation Expert
Location: Bogged at CG
Member Since: 16th Apr 2004
Total posts: 3415
Posted:Id invesitigate options for attachment of monkey fists, but i dont know how to tie them, so thats out. Oh, and as for increasted burn time with tube core, i read on another post of one way to do it. you wrap cheap old towel around the core, then wrap over the top of that wth kevlar. apparently the towel soaks in loads more fuel, and lasts just as long, because its covered from the fire. you have to make sure its sealed off, tho, or otherwise the wicks will hollow out. PVA glue, or whatever it is, over the unsealed bits, maybe?



Edit- Found the post its in:

Post with stuff about towels

EDITED_BY: MiG (1082520639)


"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
--Rougie

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*HyperLight
*HyperLight

old hand
Location: Great Malvern [UK]
Member Since: 9th Dec 2003
Total posts: 1174
Posted:@MiG : If you want to know how to tie monkey fists, google is your friend smile

Cake or Death?

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MiG
MiG

Self-Flagellation Expert
Location: Bogged at CG
Member Since: 16th Apr 2004
Total posts: 3415
Posted:thanks for that smile

"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
--Rougie

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FireMecca
member
Location: Tucson
Member Since: 30th Oct 2002
Total posts: 69
Posted:Beefy,

In our design, the core can not, by design, be pulled out. In fact, the fist should tighten to a small degree, depending on what size of poi (i.e., how heavy) they are. If you would like to talk about design, please message me.

MJ


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

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phidauex
member
Location: St. Louis, MO
Member Since: 30th Apr 2004
Total posts: 10
Posted:The flamma aeterna method (at least, the one on the website) is quite good. Thats a technique I've seen used in the marine world for making core-less monkey fists. Or more accurately, making the rope be its own core.

If you know how to tie a monkey fist (its not that hard to learn), then just tie a small overhand knot in the end of your rope, tie a two bight fist using that overhand knot tucked inside as its core, then tie a four bight monkey fist on the same rope using your first fist as the core. Basically you are nesting the knots inside of each other. This means you have no extra core, you have only one rope coming out of the knot, and you have 100% absorbent material, instead of a 'dead weight' of non-absorbent material in the middle. The knot will work itself tighter over time too.

Its tricky to do because you have to judge the excess rope well, or you end up with extra rope on the wrong side, or not enough rope to finish the knot. Start with much more than you think you'll need (mabye 20 feet per wick) and don't be afraid to untie and try again. There is a way to tie the knot in reverse which is a bit tricky, but makes it easier to judge lengths.

To attach, you can thread cable through the monkey fists as you are assembling it, such that the cable loop goes through the outer fist, and partially through the inner fist. Its hard to describe, but you can sort of 'weave' it through the fist to get a good connection. You can also use the rope coming out of the fist as an attachment point.

peace,
sam


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FireMecca
member
Location: Tucson
Member Since: 30th Oct 2002
Total posts: 69
Posted:I was discussing this method with someone yesterday, as well as how to calculate how much rope one needs. For 3/8" monkey fists, I think we have worked out to be 4ft to 6ft of excess rope required, whether you are making one fist or ten. Essentially, if you know how much wick is required for this method (~12ft), simply multiply by the number of fists you want to make, and add 4 - 6ft. We have our method down, now, but it is hard to give numbers, as everyone ties the knots with different tightness, etc.

I will be updating our tutorial soon to discuss the optimization of rope-use.

Matthew
Flamma Aeterna


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

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phidauex
member
Location: St. Louis, MO
Member Since: 30th Apr 2004
Total posts: 10
Posted:Well, I just ordered 60ft of 3/8" wick from you (along with scads of other things), with the intent of making some big snakes w/ 30ft of it, and a pair of monkey fists with the other 30, so it seems I judged right. I'm practicing my reverse method now, and it seems I can do a nested monkey fist using 3/8" poly rope that consumes about 11ft of rope with only 1.5 excess feet. Its a bit touchy near the end, but it works.

The monkey fist is not a hard knot once you've learned it, but it is notoriously difficult to describe, draw, or take photos of because of its highly three dimensional nature. All my fire buddies were amazed that I was making monkey fists, but I think once I show them how, they'll say 'oh, thats not so bad...'

Considering the amount of time it takes me to ram a tube through kevlar tape to make cathedrals, this monkey fist business doesn't seem so hard at all. wink

I would love some more information on how you attach to the cables however... I'm experimenting with threading cable through the knots as I make them, but if you've come upon a great method, I'd love a picture or description if you have any!

peace,
sam


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adamrice
adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA
Member Since: 19th Dec 2000
Total posts: 1015
Posted:I'd be interested in a description of the reverse method--I haven't figured that one out. For the regular method, I've made a little jig out of dowels and some 1"x1", which makes it a lot easier to start off pretty snug--I've also set it up so I can make 5-bight knots if I want to.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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FireMecca
member
Location: Tucson
Member Since: 30th Oct 2002
Total posts: 69
Posted:Adam,

Working a monkey fist in reverse is essentially "threading" a fist. You start from the core and work "backward" from the way you would normally tie the fist. After you have the first bights around the core, you thread the end all the way back to where you would normally begin. It's a big hassle, but it can save one a few feet of rope if one can do it without pulling one's hair out. Easier with stretchy rope (Like the KF we use).

On the topic of saving rope; when making monkey fists either "in reverse," or when one has accidentally cut off exactly how much one needs, instead of having enough to make tying the knot comfortable, I have been working with stabbing a very long piece of KEVLAR(R) cord through the rope very near to the end of the rope, and use this as a guide to pull the rope through the knot. Another way to do it is use some cheap rope that is the same diameter, temporarily whip the end of that rope to the end of your kevlar rope, and treat it as one long piece. At the end, recover your cheap rope. So, in essence, you can buy exactly how much expensive KEVLAR(R) blend rope you need, instead of 5ft extra.

MJ
Flamma Aeterna


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

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