Custom Ballet Bar - Extendable
Not long before Christmas, Avril contacted me inquiring about an extendable ballet bar for her little girl. The bar would include 2 extendable sections side by side, where a range of exercises could be completed.
Unlike the more traditional fixed option, Avril preferred to have both bars extendable in order to be able to achieve a wider range of exercises and transitions, mimicking the 5 in 1 Tumbl Trak version. Although this version was what she was originally looking for, it was quite expensive and she was wondering if it would be possible to create a cheaper version out of Kee Klamp fittings, while at the same time maintaining the same strength and durablity. Apparently it is quite difficult to find a ballet bar like this in Ireland and many people have to source one from abroad.
We can create the 5 in 1 bar for €270 approximately.
Safe, Strong and Durable
So, although delighted with the challenge of creating a project with a bit of a difference, my main objective was to ensure that my custom Ballet Bar design would be as safe as possible and that the fittings and tube would be able to withstand the force of the exercises being applied. If it were not telescopic, there would certainly be no problem with weight, as the same fittings are used as Pull-Up Bar frames, where fully grown adults perform chin-ups and other exercises on it daily. However, this bespoke ballet bar would surely lose some of it's stability when the bar itself was extended to its tallest position.
So in order to make the bars extendable, I would need to place one tube inside another on the 4 upright sections, allowing the inner tube to be slid up and down to the required positions, giving the required height. For pull-up bars, we would normally use size 6 (33.7mm) tube as this gives the strength needed while also making it simple to grip the bar itself. Ultimately I would keep size 6 as the inner tube and use size 7(42.4mm) as the base, which would provide plenty of strength and restrict movement. When the bar was extended to the desired position, a 75-6 Collar fitting would then be placed where the two tubes meet. With this fitting secured in position by an allen key, the inner tube would be held in place. In this position, the most important aspect was that there was enough overlap between the two tubes as this would provide the required strength.
Assembling the Ballet Bar
When I had the design complete and the necessary components were gathered, I then assembled the ballet bar to ensure that it would be strong enough in its extended position. The result was quite satisfactory, as the bars felt secure when extended, and did not feel like there would be much movement in this position. If the bar did not feel secure, I would have suggested drilling a hole through both tube sizes and inserting a bolt through to secure the tube in place. However, because there was significant overlap within the telescopic section, I did not feel that this was required.