Forums > Technical Discussion > Flexible Fire Snakes Construction

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gher
stranger

Member Since: 4th Mar 2009
Total posts: 8
Posted:I've been spinning poi on and off for the last three or so years, and bought a pair in December. I've just got the hang of poi in the last month or so and my routine tends to involve a lot of body contact because I've learnt nunchucks. However, I find that my current poi limit this part of my routine for a few reasons:

1. Chain tangles easily.
2. Chain gets hot when the poi are lit.
3. Poi heads have a bit too much momentum for my liking.

Thus I'm convinced that snakes would be a more suitable toy for me and I would like to build my own in the near future. I would like them to be flexible enough that I can wrap them around myself and I'm told that the HoP snakes are too stiff to do that with. Also they seemed to have doubled in price over the last two months. So I'm posting to seek advice on how to make flexible fire snakes.

I made a 4-plait leather stockwhip a few months ago, which was fairly easy and I'm thinking that a similar approach can be used for snakes. My current design is to get two lengths of thin kevlar rope for each snake and do a round 4-plait starting from a steel ring or quicklink. I will then tie it off using a crown knot. I may add a turkshead behind it if I feel it needs more weight and I have enough rope.

An explanation of the knots is here: http://home.zonnet.nl/willeke_igkt/tables/used_knots_table.html
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The wick will end up around 400-500mm long. I will then attach it to the handle with about 100mm of chain, plus the necessary hardware. Handles will either be double-loop nylon/leather or wooden knobs but I'll decide on that later.

My first question is would this design be suitable for flexible snakes? It's a similar design to the Anacondas from Fire By Riz, except I'll be tying mine off with the ropes themselves rather than kevlar thread (though I can do that too). I don't want it to be too chunky.

Which brings me to my next question, what diameter rope should I be using? It's mainly a toss-up between 6mm and 10mm (1/4" and 3/8") but this will affect which supplier I use, which in turn affects what hardware and other toys I can buy with it and I'd like to keep the number of orders to a minimum.

Finally, about how long can I expect these babies to burn for? Just a simple comparison compared to cylindrical poi heads will do.


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aston
aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2007
Total posts: 4061
Posted:Personally, I would be more worried about wrapping snakes, since you have hot burny flames in contact for longer that just a poi head.

Although, I have only used snakes once and was being very undaring to be honest.

Sorry I could not be more help.


'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

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gher
stranger

Member Since: 4th Mar 2009
Total posts: 8
Posted:I'm fine with wicks just brushing against bare skin quickly - in fact I do waist and leg wraps with my poi lit already. Arm wraps you can forget about because the heads tend to hook onto the chain, and I have long hair.

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Mr Majestik
Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear
Member Since: 9th Mar 2004
Total posts: 4693
Posted:i'm not sure how much wrap you would get from plaited snakes. i've used a 8plait (i think) kevlar whip which worked really well, but i'm not so sure it would have wound around the diameter of an arm.

something to consider is that with normal poi all the weight is at the end, thus makeing wraps easy because the weight that keeps it moving is right at the end of the cord/rope/chain. with snakes the weight is spread evenly down the length and so you may find wraps with snakes wont go as many times around as your normal poi would.

burn time is always directly relative to the amount of kevlar and the surface area. more kevlar and a smaller surface area will result in a more powerful flame that burns longer. this is why monkeyfists work so well. snakes, as their design is a large surface area in comparison to a small amount of kevlar will have a shorter burn time. this was the major fault i found with a fire whip. the kevlar just didnt hold enough fuel to make for a good fire session.

and i would still strongly recommend some form of arm protectors to do wraps.


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
Member Since: 1st Aug 2007
Total posts: 2418
Posted:I hesitate to even say this but I HAVE seen a spiral wrap done with ropes... I would recommend against doing that as its level of impressiveness didnt outstrip the level of danger, but it did mean the ropes were flexy.

hug

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gher
stranger

Member Since: 4th Mar 2009
Total posts: 8
Posted:Originally Posted By: Mr Majestikwith snakes the weight is spread evenly down the length and so you may find wraps with snakes wont go as many times around as your normal poi would.

Exactly the problem! The normal poi wrap around too much because the chain is so thin! Like I said, I don't want to be tying myself up. Half to three quarters around an arm or leg at most and then come back.

Yes I do realise the dangers of flame on skin. Maybe I am being a little gung-ho as I am more of a staff person, but moves like this come naturally to me and I'd like to do them lit. I don't know if any of the gear available is suitable for what I want and if it turns out to be too dangerous then at least I get a decent pair of snakes out of it.

All that aside, what size rope was used in the whip?


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aston
aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2007
Total posts: 4061
Posted:They really should not tangle. At least, they never have tangled on me....

Sorry I can not add more. frown


'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

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Mr Majestik
Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear
Member Since: 9th Mar 2004
Total posts: 4693
Posted:i cant remember sorry, but it was pure kevlar thread.

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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Lev
Firedance Philosopher
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
Member Since: 19th Jan 2009
Total posts: 79
Posted:Fire snakes for me last in good burn for about 3 mins and sub-burn for about 1, sub is just much harder to keep lit but it still goes yellow during stalls.

You could also consider club poi as an alternative, snakes are way way hot and really distort your vision contrast during spin but on the upside they make a really cool flame effect and they look great during longarm.

As for snake wraps... leather arm bracers, try practicing it with unsoaked unlit wicks first imo?


I don't have any of the problems with poi that you seem to encounter so I really can't comment, what I can say is that when it comes to snakes vs poi, snakes are great for performance when the audience just wants to see something cool, poi is good for the artist because it allows way more functionality and freedom of movement... the biggest freedom snakes provide is from your own fears, which makes them way more fun to just dance around with ^_^


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gher
stranger

Member Since: 4th Mar 2009
Total posts: 8
Posted:Perhaps my poi keep tangling because of the chains. They're twisted link. I've heard that ball chain doesn't tangle easily but I find it too fast and I'd prefer not to use it.

Leather bracers would be a good addition to my firetwirling 'costume', which currently consists of my doof shorts or leather pants once winter rolls around. I've been considering buying some to wear to goth clubs anyway.

Thanks for the replies, I'm going to try it out with 1/4" rope and see how that goes. I'm also planning on making a whip while I'm at it.


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ubersmack
ubersmack

journeyman
Location: Wisconsin
Member Since: 9th Jul 2006
Total posts: 73
Posted:Poi


The snakes in that picture are homemade, very flexible, yet very durable. I can get some more closeup pictures or whatever if you are interested


"Runs with Scissors"

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Live_in_a_spin
Live_in_a_spin

Dude where's my Poi?
Location: neather here nor there
Member Since: 30th Oct 2005
Total posts: 383
Posted:Heres a picture of the snakes i made last year.
very flexible.
Made out of 20mm kevlar rope.
http://www.homeofpoi.com/gallery/showpho...=500&page=1


Live life in a spin!!!
but if you fall don't come crying to me!!!

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natasqi
natasqi

addict
Location: Perth
Member Since: 4th Jul 2007
Total posts: 489
Posted:We have snakes made from 3 or 4 inch wide kevlar which is double thickeness and folded over chain... Gives it good weight and very flexible.

Looks just as effective light up, doesn't last for as long probably and doesn't look as professional when not lit.


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Rellizate
Rellizate

old hand
Location: Cambridge, UK
Member Since: 10th Feb 2007
Total posts: 719
Posted:http://www.homeofpoi.com/gallery/showpho...=500&page=2
br>
Made out of 12.5mm rope. Flexible enough to do wraps around body parts easy and maybe just about an airwrap. Nothing more though.

smile


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daniel_bareket
stranger

Member Since: 10th Mar 2009
Total posts: 17
Posted:what about using kevlar rope instead of a chain?

I find it really nice for wrapping and anything that involves body...


I just make one big monkey fist on one side for the head and a small one on the other side for handle, and you have very comfortable normal poi (not snakes!) with no metal


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