Arm Rods?

Newton Gimmick

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Can someone point me in the direction of some place to buy decent quality arm rods for cheap?
 

Newton Gimmick

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Thanks. Any chance anyone knows where some are that are similar to the ones that come with the Whatnots?
 

D'Snowth

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A simpler method, and probably less cost-consuming would be to save up old-fashioned wire coat hangers; they can be cut to the length you want, and can be painted black (or other colors for chromakey/bluescreen-greenscreen work), while similar colored duct or masking tape can be wrapped around the ends for makeshift handles.

I am aware that it's a painfully primitive, and quite amateur way of obtaining armrods, but it is quite effective irregardless; remember even Cheryl Henson reminded us that even if a puppet is made of simple materials, the important thing is the character and personality.
 

ZeppoAndFriends

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A simpler method, and probably less cost-consuming would be to save up old-fashioned wire coat hangers; they can be cut to the length you want, and can be painted black (or other colors for chromakey/bluescreen-greenscreen work), while similar colored duct or masking tape can be wrapped around the ends for makeshift handles.

I am aware that it's a painfully primitive, and quite amateur way of obtaining armrods, but it is quite effective irregardless; remember even Cheryl Henson reminded us that even if a puppet is made of simple materials, the important thing is the character and personality.
That's what I use and they work fine! If you have some of them lying around, go for it! :excited:

Interesting note, you can make the hands move in different ways by not straightening the hangers all the way (just a little quirk I discovered by accident).

And, yeah, if your character doesn't have a personality, professional grade materials don't mean squat! :grouchy:
 

D'Snowth

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As far as bending is concerned, I've also found that you can get a better overall manipulation of the hands and arms, if the end of the rod is bent slightly, so that it can be inserted into one of the puppet's fingers (you can notice this with earlier, floppy-fingers monster Muppets, where you see each hand usually has one stiff finger where the rod would be).
 

Buck-Beaver

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Re: coat hangers, they are OK and I have used more than a few puppets made with them, but the wire really is inferior. The real limitation of coat hanger wire is that it's thin, bendable and you can't make longer rods with it. For small puppets with short rods it can be OK, but for larger puppets or anything requiring a longer rod it's not really ideal.

Most hobby shops sell music wire (or "piano wire") and it's really a much better material to work with (hardened steel) and not very expensive. 3/32 inch music wire is what most puppet builders I know like to work with, but there are a variety of different thicknesses available depending on your needs.

Swazzle has a good tutorial for making your own arm rods at http://swazzle.com/blogs/2006/01/puppet-building-tutorial-arm-rods.html
 

D'Snowth

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Isn't the thiness of the rods something to take into consideration to minimize visibility?

As for length, I basically always have to take the hangers apart, straighten them out as best as I can with pliars, then again, cut them to the desired length; I wouldn't recommend just cutting the straight bottom end off and using that, then the rods really would be too short.
 

Gelfling Girl

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Well, these aren't really the best when it comes to visibility, but if that's not much of a concern to you, from my experience so far, I would suggest getting a wooden rod with a loop-ended screw inserted on one end, then take a needle and thick thread to sew it through the loop onto the puppet's arm.
 

D'Snowth

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I've used wooden rods before, though I've found that they break way to easily. But I digress.
 
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