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ursaminor Posts: 52

Hey all - question for you about joints and sizing 'em. If you have your own handcrafted pattern you've made from scratch that perhaps doesn't fall into the category of 15" or 3" or 8" bear exactly, how do you size your joints?

How do you estimate what size of joint you'll need for the arm or leg you've created? How big should a joint be in a limb, or in the head/neck area? Do you measure those and then figure a 1/4" or a 1/2" in, or....?

Especially for bodies and heads, how do you make sure you've gotten the correct size joint? Furthermore, there are different sizes of cotterpins and washers. How do you then pair all the hardware up correctly? A lot of places sell them piecemeal and leave the sizing decisions up to you instead of selling them in a set.

I'd appreciate all the help I can get on this one. I've got at least a few bears that I've assembled that need joints, but since I've made the pattern myself there's no instructions persay on what joints to use!

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 21,151

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

When working with a new design, I wait to decide on joint size until I've sewn up all the pattern pieces.  Then, I try a couple of different disks in the arms, legs, and neck to see which seems to fit or work better.  I think there needs to be a little "play" in the joint area to make allowance for stuffing.  In other words, don't let the disk fill up the whole space all the way to the seams.  Aaaccckkk . . . I think I've said that awkwardly, but does it make any sense at all?  <sigh>

desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399

I do the same thing as SueAnn,  sew the pattern, turn the fabric, and then experiment with the size.  The head I gather at the neck, so it is stuffed.  I have every size joint imaginable so it is easy to do.  If you plan to make lots of different size bears you may want to start collecting joints.  I use a long cotterpin in the neck, and usually nuts and bolts in arms and legs.  I do not make tiny bears, so the length of these doesn't matter as much. They all pretty much use the same size.  My smallest bear is 7", if I was to go smaller I would buy smaller thinner hardware.
Joanne

White Forest White Forest Bears
Southern California
Posts: 556

Sometimes when I'm doing a new design I take the limb with me to the hardware store, and that way I'll get a perfect fit.  I look silly, but that's ok!  That way I don't buy sizes that I don't need.

danceswithteddybears Dances With Teddy Bears
Pacific Northwest
Posts: 697
White Forest wrote:

Sometimes when I'm doing a new design I take the limb with me to the hardware store, and that way I'll get a perfect fit.  I look silly, but that's ok!  That way I don't buy sizes that I don't need.

Erin, Do you buy your discs at hardware stores, or just the nuts, bolts, washers, cotter pins?  I've never found discs anywhere but on-line.
I, too, do like Sue Ann and Joanne.  I have an assortment and use what works.  Also, for a boy bear use a smaller size, so you can bulk up (stuff) his shoulders more, and for a girl bear a slightly larger size, for the opposite effect.  I think.  Do I have that right?
I use the largest cotter pin that works for the bear, and those slightly wider washers (which I really love).  My bears range between 10 and 15 inches, sometimes a wee bit smaller but none larger.
   bear_flower

White Forest White Forest Bears
Southern California
Posts: 556

I buy everything we use from the hardware store.  I don't use hardboard discs or whatever they are called, so I don't know much about purchasing them.  Now that I'm making mini's I need to adjust my "stash" of hardware! lol.

danceswithteddybears Dances With Teddy Bears
Pacific Northwest
Posts: 697

Erin ..If I may ask, how do you joint without using discs?  You've really got me curious. bear_tongue

ursaminor Posts: 52

Thanks everyone! That's all super helpful info - I guess I'll have to start collecting some joints and working from there! It's good to know that the measurements are pretty much 'don't fill up the whole arm with the joint' kind of business.

And I'm curious as well....how DO you joint without discs? If I could cut out that part of the process, I'd be a happy bearmaker. I hate waiting for things to come in the mail! I want to have them now! ;D

White Forest White Forest Bears
Southern California
Posts: 556

Oh no, I use discs, I just don't use hardboard discs.  Sorry for any confusion.

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