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Arm Rods

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by Fozzie Bear, Feb 13, 2003.

  1. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member


    Getting as far away from the velcro around the wrist, wrapping the wire around the wrist stuff.

    The Muppets have inside their hands a little thing that attaches to the rod itself. You insert the rod into the wrist and squeeze the hand and insert the rod into the thing.

    What on earth is this thing that JHC uses and does?!

    Does Angus know? Will he tell??

  2. BlueFrackle

    BlueFrackle Well-Known Member


    I dont know.

    But what i do is make a hand out of Garden Wire (thick Green bendable stuff) then wrap it around the top of the rod.

    Its hard to get it into the already stitched up hand, You leave a little gap and squeeze it in.
    Kinda like a glove.

    Then when you fill it out, you have bendable fingers and a rod that is secure to the hand !

    see ya
  3. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    I've heard of this little gizmo, I don't believe it's custom made or patented but they are apparently very hush-hush about it. Sounds like a question for Toastcrumbs.....(if he'll tell!)

  4. scarylarrywolf

    scarylarrywolf Well-Known Member

    I don't know if you know this or not, and I don't know about the top of the rod, but I did make a discovery about the bottom of it. At Lowe's hardware store you can get this stuff called "backer rod" -- it looks like a long foamy worm. If you cut it into sections and jab a hole in them, they make dandy handgrips (or I imagine they would anyway. My disclaimer is I haven't yet tried this, but one of these days I will).

    I hope that tides you over until Toastcrumbs gets here...

    --"Scary" Larry Wolf
  5. Sam Bald Eagle

    Sam Bald Eagle Active Member

    The way I attach The rods to all my puppets hands is I maake a 3ply palm which sit inside the hand through the cener of this you drill a hole large enough for a short small bolt then youhave a washer each side of the ply and the rod (which is spring steel or Music/piano wire with a loop in the end (you need to super heat it so it will bend)) you then attach the wire armeture for the fingers by any way posible and then sew it into the hand (the bolt and washers alow the hand to pivot)

    If my explanation is is to confuseing for you email me and Ill send you a diagram

    Good luck
    Andrew McDougall
    P.S. I have been building puppets for 13 years now so any questions I could probably answer.
    :D :D :D
  6. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Thanks, gang!! This is true Muppet Fan Spirit...telling all we know about any given topic. :)

    Well, Mr. Toastcrumbs...if you're out there...HELP!!! :eek:

  7. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    One Arm Rod, one Elastic band....
  8. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Beau. I don't like that method too much, though, because it's been known to break (the elastic band). Since then, I've gone with the rod wrapped around the wrist once and then connected below.

    I'm still wanting to know what Henson does. OH TERRY!! Where art thou?!

  9. pdbooch

    pdbooch Active Member

    The methods I've tried is from the "Foam Book," where you put a doll joint into the palm of the hand, but the washer part of the doll joint is only on the the "screw part" a couple of clicks in so that is looks kinda like a dumbbell.

    Then I cover the doll joint with a foam pocket, just to give it some stuffing, since actuall polyfill would continue to pull out each time I insert/withdrawl the wire. The wire end that goes into the palm is bent so it will go around the middle part of the dumbbell shapped doll joint.

    I'm still getting it down though, because is tricky getting the wire on at just the right spot. I think too that the wire needs to be as straight as possible, becuase any inconsistancy makes it that much tougher. Hope this doesn't sound too confussing
  10. scarylarrywolf

    scarylarrywolf Well-Known Member

    Oh! Also at Muppetfest Amy van Gilder told me that they don't attach the rod to the inside of the PALM, but to the inside of the INDEX FINGER. The puppet can gesture and point a lot better that way. So however they attach it, it's not in the palm...

    --"Scary" Larry Wolf
  11. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter Well-Known Member

    That is brilliant!
  12. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    At MFest, there were several MCers that got to go on-stage and do some puppetry stuff with some Muppets; any of you folks out there who can vouch for what you saw, felt...what did you notice about the Muppets at that time?

  13. video567

    video567 Well-Known Member

    hi where can i ifind puppet rods? i have been using wood stick but is there soemthing available that would look more professional?
    thank you
  14. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Currently, I use a wire that's wrapped around the palm of the hand kind of tightly, but that's the problem: if the charactes' hands get too wild, the rods slip right off (so I've sewn them in place) and now the rod is there for photos and can't be removed and re-sewn as quickly as I might need it to be.

    I've seen folks use dowel rods with rubber bands wrapped around those and the wrist of the puppet.
  15. Baby Animal

    Baby Animal Well-Known Member

    I don't know if anyone does it this way but,

    How about putting some kind of nut into the index finger of the puppet? The rod arm can then have some kind of screw stripping that can twist into the nut, making it secure. It would be a little bit of work, tiny and tideous, but well worth it once it's done.

    Just a thought.


    PS. What I have seen is a clear plastic rod arm with one half of a snap button on it and the other end of the snap on the arm. I didn't like it too well because the snap would snap apart too easily. More ideas.
  16. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I tried the snap thing. Yuck.
  17. saucycracka

    saucycracka Member

    what kind of wire are you using and where is it available? I know of people straightining clothes hangers and making rubberized handdles but thats a bit much work for me and i need something that can film well wooden dowels and skewers aren't working for me either:(
  18. sarah_yzma

    sarah_yzma Well-Known Member

    from what i've seen and heard you just need to look out for wire until you see the right type...then stock up!

  19. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    It ain't that difficult to find wire. Just go to a hardware store (Hope Depot or other home improvement centers) and look around. They come coiled up and you do have to straighten them out.

    There's a wire that is galvonized steel (i think) and it's coiled up in a package--not that expensive at all either--BUT! It's very VERY sturdy and hard as heck to straighten out. Thus, you don't have the wires bending while performing the puppet. Coathangers tend to bend depending on the puppet's hands heaviness or the movements you're doing.

    When you find a thin wire that is hard as heck to bend, that's it.

    Then, I cut the length of the wire that I need, wrap it around at one end to fit the hand, and then loop the other end (very narrowly) for my hand to control it. I paint the tip (spray paint) and clear coat it the same color as the material of the hand, then wrap black electrical tape all the way down and around the part that I'll be holding.
  20. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter Well-Known Member

    The wires the Muppet Workshop used to use could be found in places that specialize in plumbing supplies. You need strong, but thin wires.

    In the book Muppets make Puppets it brings out "It's not likely you're going to find any puppet supply house nearby, so, the best thing is just to look around. Use your imagination."

    Something like that.

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