INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH ball joints.

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by minsok, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. minsok

    minsok Well-Known Member

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    Tired of floppy ball joints? I was. This isn't so much a tutorial as a product endorsement, but I'll put in a half ass how to, too. Like a lot of you, I used bionicle lego ball joints and stuff I had left over from broken robots for a long time. Eventually I happened on ball and socket joints commonly called "doll armatures" because they're used to make skeletons for dolls and stuffed animals. Each segment is a ball attached to a socket, so there's only one type of piece. You can find the white ones by going to craft sites and looking for doll armatures. I think they're knock offs of the black ones, which are brand name Loc Line and you can by at modularhose.com. Loc Line is used for channeling water in aquariums and some industrial things. Both are quality, the knock offs are nice because they're cheaper and come in other sizes. 1/8" and 1/4" are where I usually stay. The 3/4" is ridiculously huge and could be used for Unicron's shoulders and combiner joints. They can support that much weight and be sanded to detach/reattach easier. There's also a 2.5" size! Ridiculous! But I guess people don't just use these for toys.
    [​IMG]

    These things crush lego. They're durable, incredibly hard to snap together, and most importantly, tight as hell. I've got customs that are a few years old and have been fiddled with a lot and the long snakes of ball joints still hold as much weight as when I first got them. The arrow is pointing to magic. There's about 20 ball joints EASILY holding up a 6 ounce object. Try putting together TWO lego ball joints and doing that. Instant frustration. Obviously, these can make awesome custom display stands, too.
    [​IMG]

    These things bend about 25 degrees in all directions, which is their one weakness. Comparatively, lego can bend a good 180 degrees on one plane, but only about 25 degrees in every other direction. So, these aren't great for elbows since you'd have to chain a good 5 just to make a decent bend.
    [​IMG]

    As you can see, I use these for necks, waists, shoulders, hips, wrists, and ankles. They really make blocky robots come alive.
    [​IMG]

    The process is easy. You drill a hole where you want the socket and then you glue in the socket. You can just screw the ball in place, or you can drill a hole for that and attach it socket and all. After the adhesive cures, brute force the pieces together. It can be really hard.
    [​IMG]

    I'm baffled that no-one seems to use these. I just know there's a grip of customizers that are tearing their hair out because they can't make their combiners stand under their own weight. I know I would have quit customizing a long time ago or at least given up on my awesome designs if I never found these things. If you want more examples, you can literally look at anything in my customs gallery except for a few exceptions.
     

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  2. G60Force

    G60Force World Smallest Mini-Con

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    DUDE I LOVE YOU! :D  heheh...
    even though on certain occasions Lego's get preferred
    But dang imma start looking for these, wish me luck ;) 
     
  3. Zildjian

    Zildjian Well-Known Member

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    Struxx are better than legos. Especially the MASSIVE ball and socket sets.
     
  4. minsok

    minsok Well-Known Member

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    You'll find doll armatures worldwide. I don't know about loc line though.

    Weird I never heard of those. I'm willing to try it when I need the range of motion, otherwise I'm confident nothing trumps these ball joints.
     
  5. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    these are kick ass. thanks.

    just bought some of the ¼" and ½" off their site, in black.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  6. Megatron31

    Megatron31 I Belong to Nobody! TFW2005 Supporter

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    those would be very awesome for integrating joints on combiners may have to check and see if my local hobby lobby has them
     
  7. destrongerlupus

    destrongerlupus #MoreSawBoss

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    Oh this is simply genius!

    I've got one massive project I'm currently working on, and THIS is what I needed. "Industrial" is a magic word in hobby supplies as far as I'm concerned!
     
  8. minsok

    minsok Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I wish I'd known they came in Black, Gray, White, OR Blue a few months ago. These will definitely enhance your work. You know what I just thought of? If you use these for a neck joint, because they're hollow, you can run wires through the neck to LED the eyes!

    If they specialize in dolls and stuffed animals, they'll have them. You can find loc line in aquarium and hardware stores if you're lucky.

    Yeah, so much better than expensive designer ball joints. Like $6-$7 per foot.
     
  9. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    awesome idea.
     
  10. G60Force

    G60Force World Smallest Mini-Con

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    agree first thing i thought seeing the pics....
    you could even for example light up a dino neck and wire through al the socket+balls
     
  11. Shockwave-the-Magnificent

    Shockwave-the-Magnificent Plus-size Class

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    Hmmm... I'm thinking about getting some of these and modding my KO Devistator and Bruticus now. Super articulated G1 tots = WIN :D 
     
  12. minsok

    minsok Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I usually don't care about LED, but I want to have a central source for my http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/radicons-customs/328318-razorclaw.html custom.

    Yeah, you can use these things as the connection points if you sand out the inside of the socket a little so it's not a total pain to attach/detach. I've done that on a few customs.
     
  13. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    While I wouldn't attach/detach ball joints too often, if I could attach my combiner bots with different joints (like Lego pegs) and then use these for articulation without worry of it toppling over, that would be epic!

    Gotta try these sometime.
     
  14. minsok

    minsok Well-Known Member

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    Argh, I just found out that there are some doll armatures that don't have holes in the inside so you can't run wire through it. I also found out what I listed as 1/8" is actually 3/16". There's also a Taiwanese company called Jeton that makes these things.
     
  15. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    Reviving this thread because I am considering purchasing some off eBay.

    A question for those of you who have used these things: is it necessary to buy those pliers that Loc-line sells? Apparently they make it much easier to attach and detach the pieces, but I'm wondering if it is a necessity or not.

    Also, I'm currently looking at 1/2 inch joints. Do you guys think they can support a combiner's weight, specifically as shoulder joints? Or should I go for bigger joints?

    And finally a warning to anyone who wants to buy them from modularhose.com who live outside of the US: shipping is ridiculous. I wanted to buy just one strand of these things and the shipping calculated to over 100 USD!
     
  16. minsok

    minsok Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that shipping is ridiculous since they only weigh a few ounces. Maybe JETON is more widely available to you, it's the same product.

    Lets see. I'm playing with a 1/2" string now. It supports the weight of my 2.5 lb steel toe boot without moving, but it starts to sag when I shake it. I'm pretty sure no leader class transformer weighs that much unless you fill it with epoxy. Pressing the joints against a postal scale, it takes over 3 lbs of force to bend it. If I had an actual scale, I could tell you how much force is required to bend it. The pliers aren't necessary, but it can be REALLY hard to put these things together, mostly because they're small and hard to get a grip on. Two pairs of pliers will work fine.

    Anyway, if your combiner is Unicron-Fort Max size, I'd guarantee it will work for the shoulders and even hips if you don't make the parts too heavy. Frenzy_rumble could tell you better if they'd work for combiners, PM him maybe; they're not really my thing.

    And while I'm here, bought some STRUXX a few weeks ago and they are damn good, way better than lego. Never going back, (unless I need a smaller ball joint).
     
  17. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    Oh great, I need them to work for combiners about Unicron size, so they should work.

    Anyways, I just bought 2 strands of this stuff, so 24 joints in total. They should be enough, though I worry just how strong they will be, as lifting Animated Lockdown plus a full arm assembly is quite...rigorous.
     
  18. minsok

    minsok Well-Known Member

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    Let me know how you like it. I bet you're going to be surprised by how tight the joint is.
     
  19. hthrun

    hthrun Show accuracy's overrated

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    I was just thinking of using these for RotF Devastator's hips. The current ones on there fall off all the time for me. I'll have to PM frenzy_rumble...
     
  20. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    I gotta be honest. I don't see myself ever using the ones I bought on a custom. They are extremely difficult to pull apart from one another, and extremely stiff and tight. The part which connects the ball to it's host is a small, thin edge, mounting it would be a difficult challenge. I'd imagine if permanently welded, they may work, but still - would be VERY hard to move the ball in it's socket.
     

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