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Old 02-08-10, 06:48 PM   #1
Cosmo
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Canada Rola bola tubes wanted

Hello,

I am looking for some professional rola bola tubes. Right now I am using 6" pvc tubing and am sick of them, (ugly and warped) Does anyone know what the goods are on getting some nice ones, buy second hand or made to order. I am looking for those nice steel tubes most circus rola bola'sts have.

Thanks!
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Old 02-08-10, 07:13 PM   #2
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You don't want steel you want aluminum.

Try www.metalsupermarkets.com

They might have a location in your area that you could go down to and find exactly what your looking for.
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Old 02-08-10, 07:32 PM   #3
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Is aluminum strong enough? There is alot of weight rolling around on these tubes. I am doing a double stack, with the tubes at angles to each other, a riser in between, and a very heavy and large top board, shaped like an airplane.
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Old 02-08-10, 11:11 PM   #4
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Default Water main PVC

Use underground water main PVC. It is really thick and will not warp or bend.
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Old 02-09-10, 11:14 AM   #5
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Default Rola tubes

Marcus is right. Find a metal company in town.

A 1/4 in./6.35-7 mm wall should be fine.

I recently had a local machine shop turn and weld aluminum at 10 in. o.d. x 8 in. length with a 1/4 in wall, for USD $43.00. An in-stock aluminum tube, 8 in. o.d. cut to 10 in. length, was a just little over half that price.

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Old 02-09-10, 11:33 AM   #6
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Jeez, mine was way more than that.... crap
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Old 02-09-10, 11:48 AM   #7
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Default Rola Tube

Sorry, I should have mentioned... it was aluminum tube for industrial application, so it has some blemish. But, the shop buffed it out real nice.

Does that make you feel better Evan?

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Old 02-09-10, 12:38 PM   #8
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well, mine is anodized blue and all kinds of super high quality, but I had to pay more than 10x that. ugh, at least it's a tax deduction
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Old 02-09-10, 03:29 PM   #9
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Yes aluminum is going to be strong enough but if you don't believe us you are still going to want to go to a metal company and look around you should be able to find what your looking for.

As far as I know there isn't a company out there that makes high quality rola bola tubes. But there are a lot of companies out there that sell pipe made of all sorts of different types of material and when comes down to it that is what a rola bola tube is a piece of pipe.
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Old 07-07-10, 11:51 PM   #10
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Evan,

I just spent more than $1000 to get the stacking cylinders from JuggleArts in Austrialia-- they are doing several custom cuts on three of the cylinders plus I ordered an extra one at a longer length for practice-- QUITE the hit in the wallet but I lost patience with some of the kludges from "idea men" at machine shops.

To Cosmo's original question- aluminum is the way to go but the cylinders are HEAVY and that is an issue sometimes (I fly 6-10 times a month with my kit).

I recommend PVC cylinders by Unicycle/Volitige in France. I have two myself.

http://www.unicycle.fr/equilibre/rol...a-classic.html

It's about as expensive as the aluminum cylinder. The surface is textured so if you have rubber on the bottom of your rolla board (I highly recommend) it grips quite nicely while still giving you a lot of play.

Side note - the rolla boards by unicycle/volitge are total crap, but they look nice when new! The rubber on the bottom is great, but it's really thin so if you do rolla bolla with a bowling ball it starts to warp and bubble up where the ball makes contact after about 3 months of use. However, if you do jumps you wont have to worry about this as the board is a cheap particle board that will snap in two if you do anything less than a light landing.


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Old 09-26-10, 03:28 PM   #11
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Default Rola Bola

This thread is a little old... but I'll submit my reply. Rola Bola is kinda my thing...

PVC: from the local hardware store is child's play.

PVC: from an industrial supply isn't bad. Bought some Schedule 80, 6" for rollers and 10" for spacers. It's strong, but HEAVY (heavier than 1/4" aluminum. I traveled for many years with a 5 stack .250" aluminum set with boards and misc. props, all under 50lbs. ). And the 10" spacers are pretty massive, the next size down is 8". (Outside diameter is actually 1/2" larger, so it's 6.5, 8.5, 10.5, etc...) If I were to do it again I might go schedule 80 for the rollers, schedule 40 for the spacers. After the cut I used a belt sander to clean up the edges. *Cutting (see below)

Aluminum: extruded AL6061 T6 Tubing. As most of these companies are industrial its best to tell them you're using it for cosmetic application and you want as true to circular as possible (usually meaning a tube from the top of the stack, bottom tubes get squished and become oval). The .250" wall thickness is sturdy and light, but you might find even the nicest tubes are SLIGHTLY oval, I haven't yet decided if this is a good thing or a bad thing, just find out where it rolls to and mark it as the bottom (you'll know what I mean if you just set it on a flat surface and let it go). Anything larger than .250 is very heavy, won't be oval, but will weigh about 10-15lbs per peice (similar to schedule 80 plastic). After you find some tubes you like find an electroplating/anodizing company, a basic clear anodizing will do or go crazy and get some colors or even nickel plate/chrome. Hard anodizing will make it a dull grey but makes it more scratch resistant (or so I am told). Most folks fail to get their props anodized/coated and I've seen rolla props "rot" away and become weakened/cracked/etc... *Cutting (see below)

*Cuts: applies both to plastic and metal - industrial cuts are done without a thought or a care, they're ugly and will ruin your prop. Tell them -cosmetic use, clean cuts and as straight as possible. The machines they use to cut the pipes will do a great job, but not if the workers put the pipe in crooked and rush the cut. Also, you lose the blade size when you cut, so for example if you have a 14" cut it ends up 13 7/8" or something.

If you want a really expensive option you buy large diameter aluminum and then have it machined down to size, making it perfectly circular... the options above are the cheaper DIY methods. Good luck with all your Rola Bola needs and dreams!

Here's a couple recent clips of me doing my Rola Bola thing!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PYzt5OBHgM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wwv12Z4Fs88

Last edited by thayr; 09-26-10 at 03:29 PM. Reason: adding links
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Old 09-26-10, 06:21 PM   #12
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thayr

Some awesome work on Rola Bola!!!
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Old 11-18-10, 05:25 PM   #13
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So what I am finding, is that it is really hard to find .250" thickness here in Vancouver. All the metal supply shops are stumped when I tell them that, nobody carries it because apparently nobody uses it for anything. They only carry 1/8'' wall thickness. Am I crazy? do I need to shop in the States or something?

2 years later, I have begun my search anew. This time I am walking away with what I want.
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