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Topic: Bed of nails
Message: Posted by: wolfsong (Jun 23, 2006 11:41AM)
Just finished my new bed of nails using slims notes. Tryed it out this morning and have a few questions. I am a pretty big guy (about 295) is this an issue. should the points on the nails be dulled at all? When I used it this mornig I had no punctures so I would say I build it correctly and got the nails level. So of the nails still have a small amount of play so I am adding some more screws under it to help stableize them. Any thing else you guy's can shed light on is greatly apperciated.
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Jun 23, 2006 12:14PM)
The most important thing (Apart from getting som real training) is to make sure that all of the nail tips are EXACTLY the same height. If you have one that is even 1/16 of an inch higher, you will definately feel it. I would file that one down. Sounds like you have that under control though.
If you want to dull your tips, it might make it a smidge more comfortable and doesn't ruin the effect much. Just make sure you use a good convincer (Apple dropped onto the bed is usually enough)
Weight should not be an issue. Bigger people have more body in contact with the nails, so the distribution per nail head is about the same.

Best of luck, and as with any trick or stunt, the real secret is presentation!
Message: Posted by: S.W. Archibald (Jun 23, 2006 01:32PM)
All you have to do now is lie on it and get somebody big to stand on top of you or whatever else you may have in mind. As Gwyd says, and I'm sure you already know, it's not what you do but how you do it.
Message: Posted by: jeremysweiss (Jun 24, 2006 06:27PM)
I just completed building a bed also. No one has mentioned this problem before.

I used 8 inch aluminum gutter spikes and I found that it was *VERY* difficult to keep the nails sticking straight up exactly 90 degrees to the board. Becasue I used such long spikes, if there was the tiniest angle in the pre-drilled hole, it was transmitted to a big angle at the nails' pointy end. I ended up with many a nail that was tilted. The ****ing thing looks totally cool and very scary, but it hurts like the dickens. I can't lay on it for more than a minute and I am not a performer who actually likes pain.

Since it took me quite a long time, and I used a design of my own that would keep the audience from seeing nails in a series of straight rows when the bed was viewed from the side or the front, I will likely modify it by: adding more nails, trying to re-angle some and filing some down.

Any other thoughts from people who have built BONs with really long nails?
Message: Posted by: wolfsong (Jun 25, 2006 09:12PM)
When out tonight and spent some time getting to know the ons and ofs of this bed of nails. Had some blocks broken on me and everything went really well will be trying this in my show on tuesday night, will let everyone know how it go's. Thanks for yalls help.
Message: Posted by: Freak Prodigy (Jun 25, 2006 11:20PM)
I have a drill press that attaches to a hand drill that works very well...but mine was given to me and I have had no luck finding another one...but they do exist.

Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Jun 27, 2006 10:36AM)
My bed is 6" spiraled gutter spikes, and yeah...No matter how careful I was with the hand drill (I had no press), there was still some angle. I don't think it affects the comfort of the bed much, just the appearance. I kinda like it all snaggletoothed. The only thing I have found to really affect the comfort is all of the nails being level.
I had done single shows in the past, never more than one or two with the bed a month, and could not get really used to the discomfort.
I just did 26 shows in the last month with it.
I was very glad to see (Well...Feel) that you can get used to it.

Wolfsong...How did it go???
Message: Posted by: jeremysweiss (Jun 27, 2006 02:57PM)
Once you have the nails in place, there are always SOME that won't be level. What is the best way to figure it out? I am thinking of putting chalk (or some other substance) on the tips, lie down (or place a board on it) and see where the marks are/aren't. But it will be difficult to make the correlation from back (or board) to bed.
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Jun 27, 2006 03:06PM)
If the nails are the same length, a little variation in angle should make negligible difference. The size of your grid makes a much larger difference. A one-inch grid is good spacing for a beginner. 2" seems to hurt, no matter who you are.

Spirals nails look much eviler, under stage lights.

After you drill your pilot holes, countersink each hole, through the outermost layer of plywood. Then, turn the board over, put it up on bricks, and begin pounding the nails.

Countersinking the holes will prevent the wood from being completely split by the nails.

Some folks think you should dull the nails, some don't. It's personal preference. For the easiest technique for this, PM me.
Message: Posted by: wolfsong (Jun 27, 2006 10:29PM)
It went very very well. Played it up through out the act and did it at the end out in the parking lot. A Little girl came up at the end of the show and asked me to sign a piece of brick. all in all very enjoyable! thanks to everyone for you help. And Slim where ever you are thanks for your notes. They made all the difference.
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Jun 27, 2006 10:40PM)
Sharpies are good for brick signing, though they get worn out fast.
Message: Posted by: Chance (Jun 28, 2006 04:28AM)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but if a nail is angled won't it become SHORTER at the tip? All of the letters so far have made it sound like an angled nail will be longer, and therefore must be filed down. But I don't see how this can be so.
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Jun 28, 2006 07:42AM)
Yep...An angled nail will be shorter. The longer nail part was about comfort, any longer nails needing to be brought down to the rest. A single shorter nail is much less of a concern as the weight it should be holding is pretty easily distributed to the nails around it.
So really, a slightly angled nail wil not affect the comfort, but one that sticks up will.
Sorry about any confusion.
And Jeremy...
The way I checked the levels of my nail tips was with a 12"ruler. I set it flat on top of a given row of nails, and rocked it end for end. If it moved like a teeter totter, then I simply had to look for the fulcrum it was teetering on and used my dremel to grind it off a bit. If it didn't rock, it was good and I would move it down the row another six inches.
Alternately...take off your shirt and lie down on the bed, that will get you in the general area.
You'll find 'em pretty quick.
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Jun 28, 2006 08:33AM)
I'm reading this thread again. I don't think the real problem is what's being discussed.

The answer's quite simple. But I need to shift gears for a minute, before revealing it.

I'm not Slim. He was a friend, and I'll miss him, but on this we disagreed. He shared stunt information freely, and I don't believe that it should be taught over the internet, or in books.

There are three reasons.

One...safety. This kind of learning is best done in a more martial-arts framework. Teacher-student. One is there, to teach, correct mistakes, and emotionally support the other. This can't happen, without visual, emotional, and tactile contact.

Two...responsibility. If I teach something, I'm responsible for the passage of information. If it's used wrong, I'm still responsible. Since a lot of the "sideshow" material involves risks and dangers, I'd rather be sure that it's used right. This is why I screen my students.

Three...expertise. Hmmm. How to explain this best...

Yesterday I sustained an injury to one of my eyes. While it looks cool, being red all over, I'm concerned that it will have a longer-range effect on my vision (eyeballs being closed systems, and additional fluids causing pressures that shouldn't be there).

So, having decided that I need to go for help, I could go see my friend Phil, whose uncle is a butcher, who talks incessently about what fun it is to slice open eyeballs. OR I could go see my opthamologist. Which one will I do? Hmmm, this is a hard one.

I'll go see the opthamologist, and not just because there are more letters in the word. The guy has studied eyes specifically, what can go wrong, what can be done WHEN something goes wrong. He's an expert.

Now, he didn't get that knowledge by hanging out at Phil's uncle's butcher shop. He went to college, and then medical school. He did an internship and residency, before he got the additional training to become the kind of specialist he is. He invested a lot of time and money in his training and practice. The return on his investment, is that I'll pay him to help me.

I'm not going to say...if you want to know something, you have to pay for it. That goes with formal training, which I strongly advise newbies to get. Go to Todd, or come to my classes, you'll learn what you need to know. There's one other program I've heard of, but I've never heard of the teacher, and his published credentials are, oh, to say shaky, would be complementary.

We're not talking about double lifts here, or how many times we can turn the Hippity Hop Rabbits around and get away with it. We're talking about work that involves potential risks to life and limb.

There tend to be three kinds of posters here. One, is us old-timers. We know each other. We share a body of knowledge and mutual respect. Two, is people who know little about this, who want to learn. Three, is people who pretend they know more than they really do, and spread misinformation as a result. You get to decide who you want to listen to.

And now my rant-of-the-day is done.

If you want the answer to the BON problem, PM me. It's soooo simple. But if I don't know you, you need to tell me who you are, what you do, and why. I'll PM you back.
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Jun 28, 2006 02:42PM)
Sorry if I went outside the boundaries Harley. I figured since we were just discussing construction, it was acceptable. I would never go into technique for how to perform the stunt. I am still too new to the act itself to even consider that.
For those who haven't done it...
I learned how to perform BON from a teacher, not the internet. Someone I had seen perform that I knew had been doing it for a several years. You should too. The more experience the better.
Harley (Above) and Todd are the best.
See them...
It could save you a lot of blood and pain in the long run.
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Jun 28, 2006 02:58PM)
Nobody went over any line, that I know of. But we're right on it. The problem under discussion is not the bed. I can't believe it took me so long to figure it out. Much as I know about this (or anything) I can also be stupid about it.

BTW, by October, I'll be doing one nail, in most of my shows.
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Jun 28, 2006 03:12PM)
One nail is still beyond my comprehension...
I know for a fact I would become a Gwyd-ka-bob.
And you are going to do it regularly?
(Starts counting pennies and wondering exactly how many cans he is going to have to return to get his bum down there...)
You (I'm quoting you here) "Old Timers" never fail to amaze me.
Message: Posted by: Chance (Jun 28, 2006 04:35PM)
One nail's easy if you have the same steel plate Harley's imbedded under the skin! Put a small dent in the right place and you can spin like a plate! ;)
Message: Posted by: jeremysweiss (Jun 30, 2006 11:27AM)
Thanks for all the advice. You are all very SHARPE and these TIPS have been great. However, Harley's POINT is very LEVELheaded--we should move a bit toward more PM and stop INCHING this discussion along.

(Sorry, I just couldn't take anymore of those stupid little people puns on the yahoo group.)