Hi everyone!  I really, really, really need some help!

I have been making hoops for a few years now.  I sell a lot of infinity style collapsibles.  Up until now, I have been using 3/4" Lasco brand couplings.  They have six teeth on either end, and the teeth go almost all the way to the center of the connector.  They're almost 3 1/2" long. 

I can't find them anymore. 

The only place I CAN find them is selling them for $3 each.  I might have to face the fact that these connectors won't be available for much longer, or they'll be really expensive if they are.  I can't afford $6 per hoop for connectors, because I don't sell very many hoops, so my overhead is kind of high.  But I don't want to have to stop offering collapsible hoops, or try to make the bungee style ones, because the people that order from me really like the hoops I offer now.

Those of you that make them, what connectors do you use?  Where do you get them?  How well do they stay in?  The only ones I can find now (from Lowe's) pop right out when I try to collapse the hoop down.  I'm using 160 PSI 3/4" black irrigation tubing.

Thank you so much for any help you can give me!  <3

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I made my first collapsible hoop a couple days ago.  I used the same connectors as I do for my other hoops.  I just sanded down one end of each connector.  Once everything cooled down it collapsed for me.  It's getting easier to do now that I'm used to the movement.  I made it with the same tubing you're using.  I plan on making one with my 100 PSI 3/4" tubing in the next few days.

Did you make an infinity style or one using bungee cord?  I don't sand down my connectors because I need them to grip really well for the style of hoop I make.

I made an infinity style one.  I'd like to make one using bungee cord since my infinity one still seems kinda big for my purse.  (My purse is way bigger than I need.)

Where did you get your supplies?  I've been going to Lowe's.  The connectors I've been finding there recently tend to pop out or pull out too far.

I try to get everything I can from Home Depot.  Ours is horrible about having the tubing I need in stock, but they usually have the connectors.

I don't know where you live, but our local ace hardware is the only place that carries them here. Lowes just has those smooth ones (forget the brand) & Tractor Farm Supply used too....but ours TFS is bad about restocking them.

Have you tried online? I bought these on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003WJRG30/ and they look pretty similar! (I put together an infinity-style hoop last night, but haven't collapsed it yet because 1) I have no idea what I'm doing, 2) it wasn't firmed up/set yet)

Here are some lasco couplings for $.89/each: http://www.zorotools.com/g/00023681/k-G2076182?srccode=cii_23393768 (though I'm not familiar with the seller)

Mrmph, those are the ones that pop out too much (or completely).  I don't know why.  The ones I usually use are these: http://www.acehardwareoutlet.com/ProductDetails.aspx?SKU=41996

The picture is super blurry, but you can see the ridged area is longer, the teeth are deeper and extend closer to the middle.  I don't know why they are so expensive and hard to find now.  :(

I use pvc couplings for 3/4 inch pvc pipe. They run under fifty cents! I do the same, "infinity" style, and because of the barbed edges, they'll slide in once the pvc pipe is warmed up (i use hot water for 15-30 seconds) and they seal up, YET they'll still TWIST so you can collapse the hoop. The collapsible hoops I make technically only cost about 35 cents more to make as far as materials are concerned.

Good luck!

The ones I am talking about look like ur photo, but have fewer "teeth." I got them at a supply store called Menard's in Iowa. I've also found them at Lowe's or Home Depot.

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