Posted:Hello everybody. Let me preface this post with the following. I have no experience handling and a little knowledge of the construction of fire toys. I am planning to build a breakdown fire staff for a lady friend who has been spinning for at least 5 years and as far as I am concerned is very proficient in it. I am well aware that these staves are readily available for sale online but it would be a lot more special being hand made. I have a pretty solid idea of the basic construction of a staff based on talking to her and web research. As for the breakdown aspect I have a solid design in mind involving custom turned fittings off the lathe. My concern is the weight. From what I have found online, most commercial staves appear to be in the 2-3 lb range. As best I can tell from pictures of her spinning her staff looks like it is 5'. The staff I am planing is the following:
5' Overall length (able to break down to 13"ish and smaller bits for the wicks) Aluminum tubing - 1.05" outside diameter without and grip tape 2" wide wicks (I have 10' of 1/8" thick flat wick in hand) and if my math is correct an overall weight of around 5 lbs
I know that type of spinning (contact or not) influences ideal weight and I would imagine that weights are more personal preference than anything but does this sound like it would be too heavy? I don't think she does a much if any contact and I haven't seen her spin staff in a long time so I really can't speak much for the style. The other thing that I keep thinking is that the extra weight (whether its a few ounces or pounds) has to been seen as a trade off for the portability. I would just ask her opinion but I was hoping to make it a surprise. Any advice would be much appreciated.
beaniebob casually noob tech poi spinrar Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia Member Since: 22nd Nov 2010 Total posts: 155
Posted:Unless she does a lot of baton twirling style things, I don't see any real problem with a heavier staff, so long as you get enough of the weight distributed to the ends to not screw up the rotational inertia. If it's heavier than what she's used to, she'll probably adjust to it after a little while anyways.
How many sections are you making your staff in?
"If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error."
Posted:Thanks for the reply. My plan is to have it break into 4 13" main sections (the inside two set up with grip tape ( does 26" of grip length seem like enough/too much?) and have two 4 inch end sections that contain the wick. This way if everything works to plan the ends can be changed out for larger wicks, doubles, anything else you could think of. I also figured you would be able to use half the staff or one section as a torch or maybe perform with the staff broken in half if anyone does some sort of double torch routines? The idea is to keep it small while making it adaptable.
Posted:Status update: I have started machining the parts for the staff. I have 3/4 13" sections assembled and one wick section. Had a few issues along the way with assembly that held me up today. The fittings I am making are about .005 inch larger than the tube to accommodate for any potential thermal expansion of the staff. To assemble the tubing has to be heated to several hundred degrees (using rosebud on acetylene torch) and you have to be quick and aligned when inserting the fitting. Had a few tries not go so well. I will try to get some pictures of the progress taken tomorrow so you guys can see what I'm doing.
Lone wolf- the wood isn't necessary for rigidity as the tube I am using has thick walls and is plenty strong. I am was planing on using the wood in the with sections as this is what I was told the wick will screw into to attach after wrapping. I have 2 lengths of hardwood that I turned down to size on my wood lathe that I am planning on inserting then tig welding an end cap on to prevent fuel from soaking in and otherwise burning away (i have heard of people wrapping the wood in fool tape to accomplish the same thing).
Posted:Hey guys, so the staff is pretty much done. All that's left is to machine a little groove in my male fittings for a locking ring and to polish the aluminum and put on the grip tape. I am also planning on making up a small wooden box to hold all of the staff parts and a piece of douvetine. It turned out pretty well but was a very time consuming project. There was a good deal of experimentation that happened along the way. I had to rething the assembly order of the wick pieces as the wood core interfered with the rig welding of the end caps and caused 2 failed attempts on that piece before I got the procedure down. Everything feels solid and robust. The scale I have aty shop only reads in half pound increments but the overall weight is between 3.5 and 4 lbs. I will get pictures up soon.
Posted:Here are some of the pictures from the build and the final product. I am pretty happy with how everything turned out in the end. All thats left now is to see how it holds up. It might be a while (possibly month or two) before it gets tested but I will let you guys know.