• All Purchases made this month instantly go into the draw to win a USD $ 100.00 credit to your HoP account.
 

MikeIcon
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

MikeIcon

Pooh-Bah
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA

Total posts: 2109
Posted:So a friend and I are working on a prototype staff and we wanted to make it out of solid aluminum stock. There are reasons we want to make it this way that can not be discussed at this time due to its top secretness but I wanted to get some info before we actually go ahead with buying materials and getting it machined. So my question is, has anyone made a staff from solid aluminum and if so, how did it turn out. How was the weight/balance, durability, overall feel/look, etc. Any info would be great.

Let's turn those old bridges we crossed into ashes.
We'll blaze a new trail,
and torch the rough patches.

-Me

Delete Topic

spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX

Total posts: 2014
Posted:I have never used an aluminun staff for fire spinning, but we used them all the time for flag spinning in high school marching band. Our practice flags had aluminum poles as well, so they got plenty of abuse since that is how we learned to do throws and we never treated them nicely. Their shiny patina disappeared quickly (I imagine it would with fire as well, so no loss there), but they held up extremely well. It took quite some talent to get the pole to bend (like a car running over it, or a something really large getting dropped on it). Here's just one website that carries pre-made ones. There are several others out there that produce them as well.

Delete

MikeIcon
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

MikeIcon

Pooh-Bah
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA

Total posts: 2109
Posted:Were your flags solid or just aluminum tubes? Doesnt say on the site you listed but it seems like they are just tubes. If they were solid, score +1 for durability smile

Let's turn those old bridges we crossed into ashes.
We'll blaze a new trail,
and torch the rough patches.

-Me

Delete

Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:I've been thinking about this for quite a while now, but have yet to make anything myself either.

I'll keep watching this thread with interest...


HoP Posting Guidelines
* Is it the Truth?
* Is it Fair to all concerned?
* Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
* Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Delete

Glåss
DIAMOND Member since Nov 2001

Glåss

The Ministry of Manipulation
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 2523
Posted:Solid aluminium <---- Silly idea
from engineering and design point of view

it scores pants on: cost, structural and weight (depending on diameter)

I can elaborate on that if you wish but i need more details from you including:
diameter length, which aluminium were you proposing to use etc etc

I would vote for a sustainable source hardwood staff every time
and put that inside an aluminium or steel tube if you want something stronger or heavier depending on your diameter and for firproofing at ends

Glass (also a fairly pants material to make a staff out of)


Delete

Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted:My first impression is that a solid Al staff would have a problem with heat build-up.

But thats just a thought.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

Delete

spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX

Total posts: 2014
Posted:They were just aluminum tubes. Don't know the thickness, but I'd guess just under 1/8 inch.

Delete

...{SAFE}...


...{SAFE}...

"if i jump in the fire, will you?"
Location: USA, wishing I was in SA

Total posts: 633
Posted:my mom used to work for a company that sold machined brass. i tryed spinning one of those things 4foot long , 1/2 inch thick, and DAMN ! its gonna get heavy ! contact staff with it is going to become difficult , as is any throw . "just wait till that thing hits you ANYWHERE ! " trust me you'll know all about it. not to say that AL is as heavy as brass , but the solidness of the staff and the momentum, well , think about it ! the movement and dynamics of the staff are going to be different , not to the degree where you cant spin it , but where you will have to learn to adjust and compensate for some movements .

hope that helps biggrin


i like breaking the Law frown , of Gravity wink !

Delete

thor


thor

Flaming Lesbian
Location: Portland, Oregon

Total posts: 181
Posted:i scored 2 48"x1" aluminum round bars for my stilts recently, and before i chopped them up, i spun one as a staff, and dear lord they're heavy.

maybe a 1/2" bar would be easier


Lights dancing off my skin as chains wrap round it.
Pain is in a little box and I'm so glad I found it.

Delete

strugz
BRONZE Member since Mar 2002

strugz

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Southampton - Possibly...

Total posts: 3964
Posted:Solid Ali - youd be nuts unless it was really thin i.e. 15mm (no good for a contact stick wink)

Solid ali will be damn heavey and as peeps have said here Ali is a really good heat conductor - next down from copper i think - it would get real hot eek

Saying that ive made some out of Ali before - it was 25mm dia tube and the ali was about 5mm thk (i got this thickness coz i got fed up with meatal staffs bending.)

With a tube you can plug the ends to reduce the heat transfer, if its solid you loose this advantage.

As for weight - yeah they are heavey - but it comes down to prefferance - i like a heavey stick (stops me from going wrong so often) as i dont want to get hit wink

So whats the top secret on the solidness Icon - what madness are you planning wink

weavesmiley


"...We don't stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing......."

Delete

MikeIcon
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

MikeIcon

Pooh-Bah
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA

Total posts: 2109
Posted:Hrm, well I cant give out the secret yet but Ill give a hint... Think staff meets Transformers smile

Thanks for the info everyone. Given the info you have supplied as well as stuff Ive figured on my own, Im thinking solid aluminum probably isnt the way to go with this. Im just gonna have to find a way to do the same thing with aluminum tube or at least less solid parts... On to prototype 2 ubbidea


Let's turn those old bridges we crossed into ashes.
We'll blaze a new trail,
and torch the rough patches.

-Me

Delete

Phellan


member
Location: Kamloops, BC

Total posts: 74
Posted:Having spun with hollow steel and aluminum tubes, I'd say aluminum is fairly durable--as long as you don't heat it up. It'll warp fairly easily depending on the lengths.

One of our spinners has 3 Al staves and they are all gorgeous staffs. Beautiful balance, easy to throw, very light and absolutely amazing to work with as doubles. They *do* however heat up with extended burning (I'm talking several hours straight), however these staff's have plugs in the ends of the tube, so heat transfer isn't really all that bad. They also don't warp as they are fairly short staff's, like 3-3.5 ft.

My own metal staff is about 4.5 ft, and has no plugs in the ends and warps very badly when it gets heated up, which is a problem.

ICoN, I've been contemplating this build for a while, but haven't got around to doing it. The easiest ways to ensure that these staffs don't either: warp or heat up very much would be to *have* them solid. Weight would be an issue for a steel staff maybe, but for an Al staff it wouldn't be.

My suggestions to fix that minus having solid staff (and these are ideas I plan to try out myself):

Either have a fibreglass core to your tube with metal plugs at the end, OR instead of haivng 1/8th thickness and a 3/4" thick tube (that's what I have) try for something like 3/8th thickness and a 1" tube.

My preference is to try and create a fiberglass core on a standard size tube. not sure how to make sure it sets properly, and also heating the pipe while it sets might be a good idea, as from what I know fiberglass gets harder w/ heat when it sets.

Just my opinion on that smile


Delete

musashii


musashii

starring Skippy the green llama
Location: Seattle, WA

Total posts: 1148
Posted:I've always wondered the same thing..Phellan, do you have any leads on obtaining fiberglass for the cores? I'm about an hour or three south of you in Seattle.

First intention, then enlightenment..
Ars Pyronomica

" Life is programmed. Whether death is programmed or not is yet to be determined."

Delete

Dragon7
GOLD Member since Oct 2003

Dragon7

addict
Location: Aotearoa (NZ)

Total posts: 625
Posted:It would be pretty easy to set glass to make the core. Ud need a high mix of hardner depending if u were using epoxy. I wouldn't recomend heating the aluminum while setting. This is presuming your not going to get fire anywhere near the glass, ever. That stuff is real toxic, if you get a bad mix with too much hardner, it can start smoking poisonous gass, and then catch on fire! eek toxic meltdown.

I cant really see the point of having a core though, all it would do is slow you down. U can get that out of any standard wodden or steel staff.

I use Ali hollow tubing, 22 or -25cm dai, 2.5mil. Its strong enough to cut and modify. But if you want to make something freaky, u can always use a welder and make hinges etc. But I cant remember if u can weld aluminum or not. U better ask Dentrassi.


Delete

vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas

Total posts: 3899
Posted:ICoN's teaser hint left me with a cool idea - spinning a conducting staff between two tesla coils! That would be bloody awesome!!!



Actually I have to wonder if Dr. Megavolt hasn't done this already... I'd almost be suprised if he hasn't. One year at Burningman he did a trampoline routine between two huge (like 4 meter) tesla coils and it was one of the most increadible performances I have ever seen - lightning going into his arms and out through his feet so that when he jumped up it looked like he was riding beams of lightning into the sky. And when he did flips, there were these tremdous arcs that would flick out and then flip between coming from his legs and then head as they conducted to the ground.



I bet spinning a Al staff in between those coils would be wicked too - might be a bit difficult in the faraday suit, but worth the effort for sure!



<edited for atttrocious speling>

EDITED_BY: vanize (1098440684)


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

Delete

Durbs
BRONZE Member since Sep 2001

Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

Total posts: 5688
Posted:Isn't the HoP Pixie stick solid Alu?

I was looking at them, and as they're so short and so thin - don't they get stoopidly hot?


Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

Delete

musashii


musashii

starring Skippy the green llama
Location: Seattle, WA

Total posts: 1148
Posted:Written by: vanize

ICoN's teaser hint left me with a cool idea - spinning a conducting staff between two tesla coils! That would be bloody awesome!!!

Actually I have to wonder if Dr. Megavolt hasn't done this already... I'd almost be suprised if he hasn't. One year at Burningman he did a trampoline routine between two huge (like 4 meter) tesla coils and it was one of the most increadible performances I have ever seen - lightning going into his arms and out through his feet so that when he jumped up it looked like he was riding beams of lightning into the sky. And when he did flips, there were these tremdous arcs that would flick out and then flip between coming from his legs and then head as they conducted to the ground.

I bet spinning a Al staff in between those coils would be wicked too - might be a bit difficult in the faraday suit, but worth the effort for sure!

<edited for atttrocious speling>



Actually he started spinning fluorescent lightbulbs held together in a staff between the coils and they all lit up, from what I heard. wicked..


First intention, then enlightenment..
Ars Pyronomica

" Life is programmed. Whether death is programmed or not is yet to be determined."

Delete

Phellan


member
Location: Kamloops, BC

Total posts: 74
Posted:I'm about 5-6 north of you actually Musa, but that's a technicality. And I was thinking of just setting it as Dragon mentioned, and yea, it would be toxic if you burned it and the like. But one should be wearing protective gear anyways with fibreglass since it's particles can get into your lungs and slice 'em up badly enough as it is.

I'd go with a fibreglass core cause it's light and solid. My metal staff has warped very badly without a core, and I've seen Wooden cores + steel staff's that have warped. Fibreglass should keep it solid without too much added weight (mind you that I spin a 7-8lbs staff and wouldn't mind it heavier even so I'm not the best person to talk to about weight stuff wink). However if you're not opposed to a heavier staff it should work. Especially with Al the staff at like 5 ft or so I can't see it being more than 5lbs or so maybe tops. Practice with it for a month or so and it'd be easy to twirl with, and it's extra weight lends nicely for fast spinning (which is why my metal staff warps. . .spin it very fast and a simple drop can warp a warm metal staff frown ).

And Durbs. . . even little Al sticks take time to heat up badly, and with plugs in the end it does take a rather long time for heat to transfer. While making a Cu staff wouldn't be high on my list, Al. takes a long time of consistant burns (or white gas/big BIG wick) to get heated up to the point of being uncomfortable.

Metal staff's without plugs in the end heat up VERY QUICKLY from my experience. I've got two staffs that are exactly the same--except one no longer has plugs in them (didn't like to stay in. . .damnit!). One of them can be spun 10+ times and still not be too hot cause the plugs absorb heat fairly well and heat disipates over the length of the staff.

The one without plugs ends up having a super-heated air current flowing through the tube. Give it maybe 3-4 spins at 2min each and it's friggin hot on the area around ~6-8" down from the wick. Mind you that these staffs are 4.5 ft.

I find that people think Steel and Al staffs heat up faster than they do, really the only issue with a steel staff that most people I know have is the weight.


Delete

vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas

Total posts: 3899
Posted:Written by: musashii

Written by: vanize

ICoN's teaser hint left me with a cool idea - spinning a conducting staff between two tesla coils! That would be bloody awesome!!!

Actually I have to wonder if Dr. Megavolt hasn't done this already... I'd almost be suprised if he hasn't. One year at Burningman he did a trampoline routine between two huge (like 4 meter) tesla coils and it was one of the most increadible performances I have ever seen - lightning going into his arms and out through his feet so that when he jumped up it looked like he was riding beams of lightning into the sky. And when he did flips, there were these tremdous arcs that would flick out and then flip between coming from his legs and then head as they conducted to the ground.

I bet spinning a Al staff in between those coils would be wicked too - might be a bit difficult in the faraday suit, but worth the effort for sure!

<edited for atttrocious speling>



Actually he started spinning fluorescent lightbulbs held together in a staff between the coils and they all lit up, from what I heard. wicked..



Ah yes - I've seen him with the florescent bulbs (used sort of like a magic wand), so spinning them like a staff is a natural evolution. I bet it was friggin cool! and even better than using a Al staff for sure - except for the breakability factor - you wouldn't be able to do throws or even risk doing double staff probably (unless you were REALLY good and very used to the suit). Doing a big throw with a conducting staff between the coils would be hoss...


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

Delete

quiet


quiet

analytic
Location: bristol

Total posts: 503
Posted:can i re-iterate a worry about fibreglass, i.e. if you get the resin too hot, it will start emitting all kinds of noxious fumes. and i dread to think what that's like when you add paraffin vapour . . .

so i'd strongly recommend sticking to wood & metal

q


ture na sig

Delete

musashii


musashii

starring Skippy the green llama
Location: Seattle, WA

Total posts: 1148
Posted:Concentrate makes staves with fiberglass cores, perhaps a different kind?

First intention, then enlightenment..
Ars Pyronomica

" Life is programmed. Whether death is programmed or not is yet to be determined."

Delete

Phellan


member
Location: Kamloops, BC

Total posts: 74
Posted:No it's just that you cap the ends of the staff with metal. . . basically it's sealed inside a solid metal shaft. No fumes would be able to escape, and in theory the heat dissapation shouldn't get it heated enough to do that. . .

Steel-staves can take a *lot* of burns consecutively. . .
Only seomthing like an 50-60min of burning straight with a 5ft wick would heat it up enough to burn your hand.

Least none of the metal staves I've seen that have plugs in them heat up faster than that.


Delete