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Psycho_lemming
SILVER Member since Jul 2004

Psycho_lemming

Running hippy spinning lemming
Location: Scotland

Total posts: 15
Posted:hey all....

ok so i was just chatting to someone in the park who was selling poi and fire poi sets amongst other things, he seemed like a nice guy but i personally didnt like the sets he was selling, lots of exposed metal etc....

i had brought my poi along hoping to find some nice friendly people to poi with, but this guy then informed me that i shouldnt use ball chain and that my poi were so dangerous i should never use them with my fire heads again....

i know my chains are old and looking battered but really never again!!!????! ubbcrying

i couldnt work out if he just had a thing against ball chains or if i need to seriously retire my chains,
how many people have had ball chain snap????

i love my poi to bits, frown its a sad day if i cant use them....

any advise...please!

take care hug


Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering...

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Psycho_lemming
SILVER Member since Jul 2004

Psycho_lemming

Running hippy spinning lemming
Location: Scotland

Total posts: 15
Posted:oh dear.... looks like i should have done a BETTER durbs....



Written by: vanize


the ball chain will heat fatigue and break long before the useful life of your monkey fists is over.



and ball chain is the only chain to spin with if you ask me, but you need a way to replace the ballchain before it fails, which it will - particularly if it is so close to the fire as to actually be part of the poi head.







so i'm gonna buy some new chain 2mos to be safe....

EDITED_BY: Psycho_lemming (1110009764)


Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering...

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Nucleopoi
BRONZE Member since Nov 2004

Nucleopoi

chemical attraction
Location: Ilkeston, Derbyshire, England

Total posts: 1097
Posted:which are the best chains to use for fire poi?

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spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX

Total posts: 2014
Posted:Psycho_lemming, also make sure the new chain you buy is Stainless steel (not some coated stuff). It will last longer with your fire poi. Also, don't ever use the aluminum stuff with your fire poi. They will break off almost instantly.

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pj


member
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Total posts: 277
Posted:
There are a bunch of problems with ball chain, but that doesn't mean you can use it or wig out if that's what you've got.

The first problem with ball chain is that it comes in *many* different grades, and the stuff strong enough for poi *not* easy to find. You must use a *minimum* guage of #13 stainlees steel or #15 nickel plate steel. Anything else *will* fail in short order. If you purchased from a reputable shop, you should be ok. If you purchased from "some guy" you might want to think twice.

The second problem is that even the above recomended ball chains still suffer from metal fatigue. Even the above chains can and will fail. It's simply a matter of time and how you spin. If you have heavy wicks and do a lot of wraps, your chains might go before your wicks. The important thing here is to inspect your chains on a regular basis. When you can see the balls start to "open up" it's time for replacement.

Final problem is construction. The end connectors of ball chain must be CRIMPED in place! I witnessed a failure as a result of this first-hand, and although the poi were commercially made (and rather well otherwise, I might add) none of the connectors were crimped and would slide off rather easily. Special crimping tools are made for this purpose, but a pair of pliers will do a decent job. Since then I've been inspecting other ball-chain rigs and found that this is not an isolated case.

If you've got a set of ball chains and never inspected them, do it NOW!

-p.


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DoktorSkell
SILVER Member since Jan 2005

DoktorSkell

addict
Location: Van Diemans Land

Total posts: 475
Posted:

OK this has been brought up so many times that its hilarity is wearing thin.

For once and for all this is the answer to the question.

There is no "Best" cord for poi. its all matter of personal preferance.
As long as it is a quality piece of stainless steel metal work, Ball chain.
Oval link chain. or Wire is fine. Its just up to you to see which you prefer.

I personally use oval link chain because i like my poi heavy.
If you are going to use Wire get 2mm stainless steel wire from your local ship chandler.

If you are going to use ball chain or oval link, get it from the HoP shop.
Just replace your ball chain regularly and follow the crimp instruction and you should have happy safe spinning


Fair luna bright, fair luna moon
it shines at night but fades too soon
fair luna moon, fair luna bright
forever we dance
we dance under starlight

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vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas

Total posts: 3899
Posted:to reiterate and back up what others have just said, ballchain has many many advantages over other types of chain or cable, but one minor and one major disadvantage:

minor: connectors need to be tightly crimped

major: heat fatigue. 13 gauge stainless steal (SS) will heat fatigue fairly quickly - count on about 50 burns maximum for 13 SS. when you start to see the spreading mentioned earlier, flip it over so that the heat fatigued and is now near the handles and not the fire - this will give you another 30 to 50 burns or so.

15 gauge SS will last significantly longer - as long as 100 -200 burns per side, but it will eventually fail as well - it is important to keep an eye on it.

stainless is stronger/more resistant to heat fatigue than nickle plated steel (NPS). furthermore, NPS has a nasty habit of eventually starting to shead its nickle plating, which can actually cause metal splinters to lodge in your skin. Also SS is significantly more corrosion resistant than NPS. SS cost something like 50-100% more than NPS, but it will last as much longer than to make it more than worth the investment.

if you have really large wicks, I recomend even considering finding yourself 20 gauge ballchain. I have never seen 20 gauge fail, but it is significantly heavier. you can use the same exact connectors with 20 guage as you use with 15 gauge BTW.

neer use anything besides steal for fire poi, and nothing les than 13 gauge. for practice poi, I have used 10 gauge brass balllchain for years and years without it ever failing, but put that on fire poi the same weight as those practice poi and it wouldn't last a couple burns. I once made the mistake of buying 13 gauge aluminum ballchain thinking it would be pretty for practice poi, but after about 15 minutes of spinning (witout fire) the aluminum fatigued and broke.

but even if you are not using ballchain, there is still a risk of failure from heat fatiuge - I have seen traditional link chain and quite sturdy looking swivels fail too. so ALWAYS cheack your equipment before and after a spin - handles, links, chain, wicks, bolts, everything!

One of these days I am going to get around to writing up that ballchain article for the HoP article section...


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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Olive
GOLD Member since Jun 2004

Olive

enthusiast
Location: Paris 19e

Total posts: 286
Posted:my 2 euro cents:
be sure when you insert the ball chain inside the connector to have it suficiently open:
do not force the pin that links the balls, inside the connector, or you'll mark the pin and it will break even sooner than expected

need to order some more from HoP, can't find any in Paris frown
have a clue what it's normally used for?


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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon

Total posts: 929
Posted:Anyone care to explain the gauge system for ballchains since it doesnt seem to make sense from any sort of wire/metal working sense. The higher the number the thinner the metal usually.

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spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX

Total posts: 2014
Posted:In this case, the higher the number the larger the ball associated with the ballchain. For fire poi, you need at least 13 guage, 15 is better though. For really large poi heads, 20 guage works well.

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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon

Total posts: 929
Posted:Yeah I realize that I was just curious how they figure the "gauge" since it doesn't work with any sort of jewelers or metalworking methods that I know of.

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ImmortalAngel
SILVER Member since Jan 2004

Scientist!
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Total posts: 578
Posted:In any metal working trade the higher the guage the bigger/stronger it is...Ballchain, aircraft wire, twisted oval link chain...

Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> STAY SAFE! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug.gif" alt="" />

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old_school_hero


old_school_hero

newbie
Location: CA, Fountain Valley

Total posts: 2
Posted:gauges of stuff go as follows for those non metal workers

the lower the number the thicker the metal
take piercings for example
the thiner the metal the larger the number


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pj


member
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Total posts: 277
Posted:I think the proper term for the sizing of ball chain is not "guage" but rather "trade number" or "trade size".

Personally, I have (and spin) poi made from aircraft cable, ball chain, and twist chain. Each has it's advantages and disadvantages.

As an aside, one of the reasons you see so many poi made from ball chain is that it is much easier, quicker, and cheaper to build poi using ball chain than anything else. If you are paying a premium for ball chain poi, you are getting ripped off!

-p.


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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon

Total posts: 929
Posted:Thanks PJ, that makes more sense to me.

ImmortalAngel, sorry but you're wrong, the higher the number the thinner the metal, 20g is smaller than 16g. That goes with any of the many various gauge systems out there.


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vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas

Total posts: 3899
Posted:sorry lurch, but you are wrong when it comes to ballchain - 20 gauge is about 4 times thicker than 10 gauge:




Non-Https Image Link






you are correct if you are talking about shotguns...



gauge also gage (gj)

n.

1.

a. A standard or scale of measurement.

b. A standard dimension, quantity, or capacity.

2. An instrument for measuring or testing.

3. A means of estimating or evaluating; a test: a gauge of character. See Synonyms at standard.

4. Nautical The position of a vessel in relation to another vessel and the wind.

5.

a. The distance between the two rails of a railroad.

b. The distance between two wheels on an axle.

6. The interior diameter of a shotgun barrel as determined by the number of lead balls of a size exactly fitting the barrel that are required to make one pound. Often used in combination: a 12-gauge shotgun.

7. The amount of plaster of Paris combined with common plaster to speed setting of the mixture.

8. Thickness or diameter, as of sheet metal or wire.

9. The fineness of knitted cloth as determined by the number of loops per 1 1/2 inches.



electrical wire is smaller with a bigger gauge # too I think. and body piercing jewelry as well?


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon

Total posts: 929
Posted:Argh ubbloco I don't want to start a huge argument about it

Yes, wire, jewelry, sheet metal, shotguns etc, they are all smaller the larger the number which is why I was asking about the gauge system for ballchains.

From every ballchain manufacturer site I've looked at they are never refered to as 'gauge'. They are based on their number (Number 30 chain for example), just look at your picture, but that is not the same thing as gauge. As PJ said it's probably just a term use issue

Ask any metal worker about gauge systems and they'll be telling you the same thing I am. At least until you start getting into high quality work with very demanding tolerances. It doesn't make sense to me an I was curious if its just a term being used wrong, of there actually is a system for gauges and what exactly that system is.


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vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas

Total posts: 3899
Posted:yes, well, I agree with you for the most part, but if you ever hear anyone say 15 gauge ballchain, rest assured it is biggre than something they will call 10 gauge.



the definition is there to point out that gauge mearly refers to a size measurement of diameter, but there is actually no set way for it to be measured from small to large or inverse - gauge increases with increasing size for railroads for example, but deacreases with increasing size for wire.



there is no universal set gauge rule, though there are at least standards within some industries that are usually followed. I will agree that most things follow the inverse size relation trend, but not everything, and just because it doesn't follow what you expect in that regard doesn't mean it isn't a measurement of gauge.



brush sizes also follow the # rule as you pointed out (and bigger numbers = bigger brushes), but technically this is in fact a statement of gauge as well, so...



however, ballchain is messed up in that it isn't even a linear gauge to size relation - 20 gauge being like 4 times the size of 10 gauge... at last in ball size - the wire between balls might be only twice the size though... not sure about that.



anyway, I'm just being horribly pedantic as usual, so peace


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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