Question About Magnets

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by notwithak, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. notwithak

    notwithak New Member

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    Hello there! I'm working on a 6' prop staff that separates into two 3' sticks for both transportation and possible performances. Think Nightwing from Injustice. The staff would be made from PVC pipe.

    My question is, would magnets work well to keep them together? If so, do you have any idea of what pull strength I should use? I'm not hard-set on using magnets because I don't want the two halves to separate mid-spin and fly off due to the magnets being too weak. In this case, there's no such thing as too strong a magnet.
  2. MadMike

    MadMike Well-Known Member

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    I just googles Nightwing and see that he has two identical bats or sticks or whatever you wanna call them. If I get you right, you want a long staff that separates into two (identical) sticks. But what exactly are those "performances" you are planning? Just separating them and wielding both sticks around separately, or do you want to spin the long staff around (like Darth Maul in Episode 1)?

    If you just want to separate them, you should go for magnets.
    If you want to spin the whole staff around, I don't think that magnets would be the right choice. The problem is not that the magnets wouldn't be strong enough, but rather to place them in the PVC pipe.

    pvc 1.png

    You can either place the in the walls of the pipe (the red part of the attached picture), but then you really need some itsy bitsy magnets, and I really don't know if you can really get the desired strength this way.
    Or you could place one larger magnet in the middle of the pipe (blue part), where you would then have the problem of attaching it. The other problem I see here is if your two halves will stick together so well with only one magnet in the middle (rather than four or six magnets in the red part, which would mage a better interlocking system)

    A more sturdy solution that comes into my mind would be some PVC fittings, something like a thread, similar to a pool cue. But then you end up with two not identical parts...
  3. Crazylegsmurphy

    Crazylegsmurphy Active Member

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    I have my doubts that magnets would work for anything other than display, and very light posing/handling.

    Rare Earth magnets are very strong, if you stack them, you can get more strength. The problem is that magnets don't have very good lateral strength. Which is why is quite difficult to pull two magnets apart, but you can slide/pry them off comparatively easy. When you're twirling around a stick held together by magnets, you're going to get forces that the magnets will unlikely be able to handle.

    Does it matter if the ends of your sticks have extra for */clicking to each other, or are you looking for flat ends that you can just "press" together and then take apart?
  4. Jintosh

    Jintosh Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You would have to make it so the two pieces interlock (but not tightly) and then use magnets to hold them together.
  5. Forge

    Forge Member

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    Yes, rare earth magnets would be your best bet, I'd go with a good size, they are very strong on their own but adding torque, say grabbing the stick at its end will separate them.

    I buy my magnets from , they have many sizes to choose from.

    Have a look at this video to get an idea of their strength
  6. TazMan2000

    TazMan2000 Sr Member

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    I would not go for magnets at all. A suitable sized dowel secured permanently on one side and secured with a single screw on the other, would allow for relatively easy disassembly. It would be able to survive drops and any other movements with an extremely reduced chance of separating compared to magnets. One of the problems with magnets is securing them in place inside the pvc pipe. Another is expense. An oak dowel and a few screws will not nearly be that expensive.

  7. Jintosh

    Jintosh Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The problem is Nightwing's staff is basically magical. It can't exist in the real world. Something that uses screws would not come apart in a performance. I can see he wants a solid rod that can break apart in front of people and be two pieces. I like my idea best to TRY. But securing the magnets in my diagram would indeed be the hard part. I don't know if it's possible to literally drill a hole right through the middle of the magnet and bolt it in place...:confused
  8. Forge

    Forge Member

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    Same company as the video I posted above, countersunk magnets...

    These might be too strong, 65lbs + pull force, maybe something smaller will suffice. If you use Jontishs interlocking idea, you could remove much of the torsion/torque on the magnets when you spin the combined staff, just don't test it near your TV.

    If you are very pedantic like me and want the two sections to be identical, then perhaps have the extending magnet on a spring that would retract back in once they separate :)
    You may not get this right first time and looks like this will be a trial and error project, makes it all the more interesting.
  9. Xtafa

    Xtafa Active Member

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    Have two identicle bayonet style plugs that link into each other if you are worried about magnets.
  10. ARKM

    ARKM Sr Member

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    I recently invented some saber staff couplers that might work for you. However you would have to make them yourself or get someone besides me to make them for you as all I wanted to do by making them is give other people ideas. I just posted a pic heavy thread about it (with a couple of vids in it as well) over in the Star Wars section. Here's the link. I hope that helps...
    vidman likes this.
  11. Chodan

    Chodan New Member

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    For anyone looking at this now or in the future, I have found something that would work. It is made for bo staff demonstrations for martial arts, so it WILL hold up to any type of movements in staff form, but is still easily separable.

    It's called the Bo Buster and seems like a good idea for this sort of thing.

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