Technique question: How to solidify a hula-hoop?

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DR4296

Active Member
Greetings All !

As part of a costume-building challenge I have before me, I need to build a couple of sturdy rings, 28-30 inches in diameter... something I can drill holes through, and attach bolts and screws to, theoretically.

Like a lot of people I've talked to, my first thought went to large garbage cans or standard 55 gallon trash barrels or storage drums. However, those 55 gallon barrels are all about 23-24 inches in diameter.

And so, eventually, somebody suggested hula-hoops to me. I went to my local dollar store and, sure enough, there were three different sizes, one of which was 28" and one of which was 30".

I tried drilling two holes in one of them... a larger one to insert the tip of a funnel...and a smaller one to let the air out... while I filled it with some fiberlgass resin (which turned out to be a messy ordeal... the hole for the funnel wasn't exactly a tight fit against the funnel sides). I then leaned it against something, so as to try to keep it as vertical as possible while the resin hardened overnight.

However, when I returned the next morning, the ring was in... well... something close to a pear-shape. The heat had apparently caused the hula-hoop wall to flex quite a bit. So, I'm thinking fiberglass resin probably isn't the way to go.

Been toying with the idea of taking a heat gun to some PVC, but I'd like to get these rings as close to a perfect circle in shape as I can.

Any thoughts?


Thanks!

-= Dave =-
 

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Contec

Master Member
You could have plugged the holes together and then layed it down flat. But i think would work with a resin that sets faster( something like 20 minutes or faster) ...Some Rotocasting Resin should do the trick.
 

PotionMistress

Sr Member
Without knowing exactly how you are going to use the hoops, what about filling them with fine, dry sand? It would take some time and a lot of shaking, but if it doesn't matter how heavy they are, it could work for you. It would be quite sturdy. The trick is getting it completely filled without leaving any airgaps, so you would have to keep shaking down the sand as you filled it. Then when done, seal the hole with 2-part epoxy glue and/or apoxie sculpt. If you are using these for skirt hoops or having to carry them around somehow, it may be to heavy though.
 

Dracosfire83

Well-Known Member
You could wrap the hula hoop with some fleece fabric then brush on the same resin. After the resin soaks into the fabric and hardens retaining its shape with a very sturdy shell. Then you could fill it with more resin and tap the holes for the bolts or use some threaded inserts.
 

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DR4296

Active Member
You could have plugged the holes together and then layed it down flat. But i think would work with a resin that sets faster( something like 20 minutes or faster) ...Some Rotocasting Resin should do the trick.

Yeah, I wasn't sure what to plug the holes with at the time.... other than just fill it to the rim with resin and let the resin be the plug. I made a nice mess of my garage floor in the experiment.

I'm not familiar with Rotocasting Resin. Can you recommend any particular product and where I can get it ?

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I like that option, myself.


Ah, but if I fill them with sand, won't that make sinking a screw into them rather difficult ? And I would think the sand would leak out ?
 

Contec

Master Member
Yeah, I wasn't sure what to plug the holes with at the time.... other than just fill it to the rim with resin and let the resin be the plug. I made a nice mess of my garage floor in the experiment.

I'm not familiar with Rotocasting Resin. Can you recommend any particular product and where I can get it ?

- - - Updated - - -
Smooth-On has pretty much any resin there is. But i have never bought from them so i can't say any names
 

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