Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rambling About Balls

It is odd to me that people like round balls a great deal more than cubes. I am talking of course of juggling balls.

Practicing with the CMU Juggling Club has just be great on so many levels. One of the benefits is experimenting with new equipment. In the past we would just have the members of our group to kick around a new juggling apparatus. In the last year if we have been experimenting with something we h
ave been able to pass it around what ever it is with a dozen or more jugglers.

One of the newest thing we have experimented with is the round juggling ball. now you may say to yourself, Self, aren’t all balls round. Well I suppose in once sense you would be correct. We tend to call anything that is the size of a ball a ball. So we have cubes that are balls. I am sure there are some pictures of juggling cubes.

Anyway. It is much easier to sew a cube. I have gotten rather good at it. I can sex a juggling cube in under two minutes. Stuff in under a minute and sew up the stuffing hole by hand in two minutes. We have gotten so good at making juggling cubes that we give sets away to strangers who show up at juggling practices.

The ball pattern we are experimenting is a lot like the cover on a baseball. In face I disassemble a base ball to get the pattern. We upped the size just a little bit. Anyway it weighs the same as our large juggling cubes.

Anyway we have made two sets of round bean bag type juggling balls. One set is being circulated among the younger members of the brigade. The other set I have been using as much as possible. Also it has been passed around at two of the CMU Juggling meetings.

Everyone likes the size except for a couple of the youngest members of the Brigade. They of course being ten have small hands. I think I can scale them down to meet their needs. The only other complaint is the stuffing. We use wooden fuel pellets to fill our bean bags. They are angular and let out dust for the first couple of weeks of juggling with them.

The grains I have found in the strip district have been processed so that they can easily be boiled. This means that is they get wet they expand. They also cost seven bucks a pound. That is the problem with the wooden pellets. If they get wet they expand.

I do know that many juggling balls are stuffed with millet. I don’t know what kind of millet is best. Even so on the up side you can get white millet for feeding birds at Agway stores. They closest Agway store is a bit of a hike It looks like it is around forty bucks for a fifty pound bag. This is a lot more than the three buck we spend for fifty pounds of wood pellets. Also I imagine the volume of millet is a bit less. Which at this point we are stuffing the balls by volume and not weight.

Well that is where we stand. in another week or two we might have a round millet filled juggling ball. Well we will test that bad boy when we get it. If the stuffing is really our last problem this may be the last step to the best possible juggling ball we can make.
So that is more than you probably every wanted to hear someone ramble on about balls. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

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