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Discussion Starter #1
I am in the process of building a spider that is over 8' across and will having moving legs. The body is made of paper mache and the head is plywood covered also. I made the legs out of wooden dowels with wire at the joints to make them flexible. The problem that I have is that the legs need to be sturdier and I don't know what to use to strnegthen them.

Any suggestions??? HELP!!! I'm running out of time!!!:eek: :eek:
 

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Can you describe what you mean by "sturdier"? Wood dowels should be pretty sturdy in an of themselves. Do you mean the joint? Is the problem that they won't "pose" or are you worried about stress on them from something?
I may have a couple suggestions based on what the problem is you're encountering....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I took 1' sections of dowel rods and drilled holes in the ends and epoxyed wire in the holes to make the legs flexible. There are five sections to each leg. I am going to attach the legs by eye hooks to the body of the spider. The problem is that the legs are flimsy and don't want to keep their shape. (I don't have time to start over!!!)
 

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Maybe try pieces of coat hanger wire instead of whatever wire you're using? Get some of the nice thick ones from the dry cleaner.
 

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Coat hanger wire is a good plan. If it works out that you rework the project next year you might look at PVC pipe 1/2 or 3/4 inch dia. ( Plumbing dept.). I like it better then wood in most cases.
 

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Another thing to try if the coat hanger wire isn't strong enough is to try and get some welding wire. That stuff is really sturdy.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Actually the stuff that I used at the joints was welding wire. I just don't trust it. I thought about paper macheing it, but I am soooooooo burnt out on that stuff. I just keep imagining eight, five foot legs........errrrrrrr. I keep thinking that there must be a better way. BTW, isn't that Monster mud pretty heavy stuff???
 

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OK, here's my toss in on this....depending on the length of wire between the joints...I recommend doubling and/or trippling up the wire...do this by folding new wire over on itself two or three times and then using another piece of wire to attach the new wire segments to the existing ones you've epoxied. Put the additional wire next to the existing wire and use wire to wrap-tie the new to the old. This should give you more "rigidity" at the joint but still be flexible. My guess is you don't have to "move" the legs that much, just to get them looking like you want...so the rigidity is more important than the flex?
Hope that helps.
 

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I would shape the legs to the position I like and put heavy wire above and below the joints then go nuts with duct tape. cover the duct tape with electrical tape and call it a night. The wire I like to use is the stuff you get at lowes in the insulation dept. It is pre cut to 16 inches and used to hold rolled insulation in place between floor joists. This stuff is tuff and kind of springy. Heavy duty wire cutters or cut off wheels work well for cutting
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I used the 2 part epoxy to glue the wires into the dowels. Friday night I went crazy paper macheing. They're a lot sturdier. Now I am just waiting on the guys to motorize it. (I must say that I am starting to panic!!) We are also having trouble levitating our corpse!!! We'll have to find heavier test!!!
 
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