Hi all,
I've been making hoops (using 3/4 inch Polyethylene tubing, 100 PSI) but wanted to try my hand at collapsible hoops. I have seen several different types, and am interested in what type of tubing works best for these, since it seems like flexible tubing is key.
#1 -- The first type of collapsible hoop i'm thinking of is the hoop that folds into a 'figure 8' shape, then folds in half, so its two small circles overlapping-- it doesn't come apart at the connector.
#2-- the other type of collapsible hoop is the kind that has 1 connector -- the hoop comes apart at the connector, and then the hoop folds into two smaller circles and you can reconnect the hoop at the same connector. I am also wondering what kind of connector you'd use for this hoop so that you can take it apart and reconnect without it coming apart too easily. The one I saw wasn't a button connector, it just slid inside.
Both these hoops would fold down to look the same size. Please let me know if you have experience with these and what types of tubing (and connectors!) work best. I'm hoping to purchase some new supplies in the next couple of days... any helpful hints in the construction process of either of this would be helpful too! Or which type you prefer if you've made either or both and why. THANKS!!!

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I would also like to know all of this too!!!
3/4 100psi works great for the figure 8 collapsible hoops that dont come apart. thats how i make all of mine. for connectors use the gray coloured 3/4inch that are about 3.5 inches long
I just had the collapsible hoop discussion with a fellow hoop maker a couple days ago. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. With #1 down the road eventually the tubing may stretch out and the connector will no longer be flat inside the tubing. However, it is as easy to make as a non-collapsible, it just has two connectors in stead of 1. With #2 the hoop can pop apart during use (I have not personally tried this method, but I have seen a friend have to tape and retape the connection to get it to stay long enough to hoop with.) I was interested in a button connector, but my hoop maker friend said they come apart pretty easily too. Someone else may have had better success with them though.

To make #1 I use a 3/4" Lasco coupling from Ace hardware. Here's a link to the info: http://www.acehardwaresuperstore.com/lasco-insert-coupling-insert-x...

I have used 3/4" 100 psi and 160 psi poly tubing for the fold down hoops and both work fine. I have not tried 1" or 1/2" so I don't know about those.
Hmmm this is very interesting... since i have current hoops with those connectors and 100 psi 3/4 in tubing, i may just try to give one of them a fold tonight and see what happens?!

Also, thanks for the ace hardware link, my local hardwares stores dont carry the tubing and such but i think i'm going to try to get them to order it for me-- the website links will definitely help! :)
i texted becca telling her that i needed tubing and can only seem to find places where i have to buy in mass quantity. Let me know if you want to buy a bunch because we can split it and then have a hoop making session :)
The Lasco connectors have two large oval bumps in the middle. (The Genova doesn't.) You have to shove one end of the tubing at each connection over these bumps to "fix" it. The tubing on the other side of the connection twists around the connector. Won't work if you don't have two connectors directly across from each other in the hoop.
Personally the only collapsible hoops I make are using 3/4 inch 160 PSI tubing. I use the 2 connector figure 8 method. I tried it using 100 PSI tubing but after a few days hooping with it the hoop popped apart while using it. The tubing didn't seem to fit on the connectors tight enough to keep it together in motion and I have since re taped these hoops so they don't collapse. Hope this helps.
AH brilliant, thanks T.O.O.C.! I see... you use 2 connectors across from each other. Wish I would have read that part earlier--- i twisted my 1-connector hoop at home and it dented, so now this all makes quite a bit more sense.

Also, WIllow, thanks for the advise on the tubing! I have only been using 100 psi but i think I'll give 160 a go. I actually really liked a small hoop i tried recently that was 1/2 inch 160 psi, but trying to decide if 1/2 inch is too small to sell... people seem to like the bigger size. anyway, rambling on, thanks again guys!!
I didn't have a problem with the 3/4" 100 psi collapsible hoops. I didn't try to make any smaller than 42" in diameter though. You might run into some issues like the one above with smaller hoops. The other issue might have been the length of the connector used. I use 3" long 3/4" Lasco connectors. The only people I've really seen use the 1/2" tubing are experienced hoopers. Most new hoopers are more comfortable with the 3/4".

Lasco insert couplings (Ace Hardware)-for Figure 8 collapsible hoops
¾” part #1429-007
Willow-- how small were you able to make with the 3/4 in 160 PSI tubing? I'm definitely hoping to make some collapsible that are smaller if possible... right now i hoop with a 32-34 inch hoop so i was hoping to get one this small for myself, but most of the ones I make to sell are around 38 inches.

Everyone else --If the infinity method doesn't work well for smaller hoops, does anyone know if the other method (#2) works better for the smaller hoops? Thanks!!!
When taping collapsible hoops, do you cut around where it will twist? Or just leave the tape whole and it will stretch?
You tape the hoop like normal and then cut the tape at both joints. One thing I do is put an extra band of Gaffer around each side of the joint so the tape doesn't peel up.


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