The handstick cube

I first came up with this idea in 1996 as I was driving home after my first IJA convention in Rapids City, South Dakota (it was a 14 hour drive :). For anyone who has been to a convention like the IJA for the first time, you have an idea of how much new stuff one sees. So all the new juggling tricks and ideas got my creative thoughts flowing.

I finally got a chance to build it sometime in 1997. Before I built it I had a number of trick ideas and moves which I had invisioned. However, once I had built it and then was able to start using it, reality hit and things were MUCH harder to do than I would have ever anticipated. One thing that quickly became apparent was how difficult it was to do an idle when the handsticks were connected together and rigid. The 3 section handsticks that Seth came up with have some flexibility, but with the handstick cube there is none. I noticed when doing a propeller the amount of give and play that is needed in a handstick, and the handstick is doing a small circle around the center of the devilstick. This was basically impossible with how rigid the handstick cube is.

The size of the cube was a bit surprising as well. So I cut down the original size of the handsticks enough so that it was small as possible, but yet a Dube Trigon devilstick could do a propeller without hitting the handsticks on the opposite sides. So most of the tricks that I was finally able to do with it were static sytle tricks with half flip or full flips between transitions. I have thought that a smaller handstick cube with a smaller devilstick might actually work better, but have not taken the time to put one together. I had hoped to debut this at some convention performance, but never put together enough tricks (with the ability to do them cleanly), and the time to make it happen. So here it is for oher people to try out or come up with alternate ideas. I'll see if I can put up some video with using the handstick cube.

I made the connection pieces out of small wooden cubes and then sanded the corners to make them smooth. This allowed you to spin the cube while holding the corners. I had originally tried using round wooden balls as the corner pieces, but it was REALLY hard to drill the holes at 90 degree offsets with the equipment I had.

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