Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Arm Rods: Part Two

Until recently I was using round dowels for the handles, until puppeteer Tom Fountain turned me on to square rods. Square rods give you a good grip, and a wide rage of manipulation possibilities.

To make a handle you will need a square dowel, a drill, a hammer, and bailing wire (or steel garden wire).

1) Cut two pieces of rod so that they fit comfortably in your hand (a couple of inches or so).

2) Drill two small holes, one just below the other, about an inch down from the top of the handle.


3) Insert the small 90 degree angled piano wire into the top hole, and hold it so lies flush with the dowel. Carefully pound it into place with a hammer.


4) Insert the bailing wire into the bottom hole and twist it around it's self to anchor it.


5) Holding the piano wire flush with the dowel, wrap them both with the bailing wire. Work your way up the rod keeping the coils tight and close together. Once you clear the handle, wrap the wire around the piano wire, about a half an inch.


Now you have a handle - your rods are almost done!


Project Puppet said...

What size piano wire?

Sean Johnson said...


The gauge of piano wire you select will depend on the size and weight of the puppet hand. You want to select one that is just thick enough to the job without bending under the weight of the hand, but not so think that it is unsightly. Using a slightly thinner gauge, will make it easier to create the 90 degree bends in the top and bottom.


Jeff Pidgeon said...

Can you furnish a diagram, or photos, perhaps? As I was reading, I thought to myself...folks might get confused...heck, I've watched ya do this and I didn't quite follow...just a thought. Loving the blog!


Sean Johnson said...


I will be posting photos as soon as I'm able.


Sean Johnson said...


I've found the best size wire to use is 3/32.