Introduction: Magical No Dip, One-Hand, Tri-String, Continuous Feed, Mega Bubble Wand
I LOVED MAKING THIS PROJECT!
It's so amazing how long and continuous the bubbles can go and how beautiful bubbles this big are. It's really easy to make and really easy to use.
A big shout out to Soap Bubble Wiki for their very informative posts on recipes, wand ideas, and overall knowledge. I became obsessed about reading the details of ingredients and trying out different recipes.
So, I saw this "no-dip" system on there, but there were no instructions on how to make it - mostly just videos of it in use. I really wanted to make one for the summer to spread a little joy - failing that, I'd at least spread a bit of soap to keep the coronavirus away. 😂
I have been going around town like a crazy person blowing bubbles for people and kids - the smiles are amazing. I hope you build one yourself to spread a little rainbow cheer when we most need it.
For "No-Dip" Wand:
- Weed Sprayer
- Extendable/Folding Rod
- Cotton Rope/Yarn
- Optional: Polymorph/Thermoplastic Beads
For Bubble Solution:
- Guar Gum
- Washing Detergent (Yes Original/Dawn)
- Baking Powder
NOTE: I use thermoplastic beads in this Instructable. It's an amazing product because it melts at low temperature, can easily be formed and cooled to a durable hardness, and be reheated to remold. An amazing product for quick projects. You do NOT need it for this project as there are probably better ways of doing it, but I wanted to make it quickly and didn't have access to any tools.
Step 1: The Inspiration
Credit to the idea goes to Keith Johnson on Soap Bubble Wiki. His version is amazing, but for me, it is a bit too big. I wanted something I could walk with in town.
Here is his video on it:
Step 2: Making the Weight
- You can use any weights you want - washers, a rock, or pennies (like I did).
- Attach to a twist tie and make a loop.
NOTE: Make the weight's hanging profile as thin as possible. If you run the ribbon through stacked washers by itself, the cotton loop will not be able to close easily to form a bubble film.
Step 3: Make the Pole and Extension
- Cut a 15 cm (approx) dowel or rod.
- Place the sprayer next to the pole and place the dowel a bit higher and perpendicular.
- Hot glue it temporarily.
- Wrap it in strong thread to secure the bond (I do this with everything just to help the connections - you don't have to).
- Cover in thermoplastic to strengthen the connection.
- Cut a piece of ziptie and make a loop on the end of the dowel and also at the tip of the rod.
- Hot glue it in place, wrap in string, and cover in thermoplastic.
NOTE 1: This extension will help to keep your hands dry(er) when closing the wand to make a film. Without it, you'll have to point the tri-string wand straight up and the bubble solution will run down the yarn, the pole, and your hand. I learned this during the prototyping.
NOTE 2: If you want to make it better, you can easily find better connectors and materials at the hardware store. I would have done that, but I wanted to make it quickly and these were the materials I had on hand. If I had to redo it (which I shouldn't unless I break it), I would've preferred a cleaner build.
NOTE 3: I used a tent pole rather than a fishing pole/extendable pole. I liked this better than the fishing pole because I could easily fold it up when I was done with it. With a fishing pole, it might not collapse down so easily.
Step 4: Make the Tri-string Loop
- Measure the cotton rope/yarn to form a triangle. Add 30-40 cm extra in case you want the loop bigger - the extra will be used in a later step.
- Tie it to the extension, slide the weight on, and then tie to the tip. I like to have both ends ending at the tip.
NOTE: If you use flat cording like I did, make sure to not twist it. It closes better if all the sections lay flat against itself. Round rope may not have this problem.
Step 5: Making the Solution Feeding System
- Bend the tubing into a U shape (I unfortunately only had really stiff tubing, so I had to heat set it).
- Cut a piece of sponge or Wettex and hotglue and tape it to the end of the tube.
- At the other end, take out the included wand from the sprayer.
- Insert the tubing. If your tubing doesn't fit (like mine), use thermoplastic to form a tight connection.
NOTE 1: The sponge/fabric will help disperse the solution rather than have it shoot straight out of the tube. You want the solution to cascade down the cotton loop.
NOTE 2: I would try to match the diameter of the tubing to the sprayer.
Step 6: Putting It All Together
- Ziptie the tubing to the pole.
- Ziptie the sprayer handle to the pole.
- Wrap the sponge end with the excess rope/yarn. This will help it drip down the cotton loop.
NOTE: If you find the spray isn't traveling down the cotton loop, try wrapping it in tape so the solution doesn't shoot out the sides. I wrapped mine firmly with clear packing tape.
YOU ARE DONE!
To use it, just press the sprayer and allow the solution to cascade down the closed loop. Once it's saturated, tilt it to open and continue pressing the sprayer. Adjust the amount of solution so that it doesn't send out too much (it will drip a lot) or too little (it will pop).
It's super easy, so just watch the video.
NOTE: If it's very windy, do not open the tri-string as big. It works best with no-to-slight breeze. Too windy and you'll end up with soap all over you. 😂
Step 7: Extra: Make the Bubble Solution
So, if you just want to play with giant bubbles, you can just use this recipe and not make the No-Dip wand.
There are two major additives you can use - J-Lube or Guar Gum. I have tried both, but for this system, the Guar Gum is the better one. The J-Lube is a bit too thick in my opinion.
You can easily find Guar Gum online or at some health food stores. Guar Gum is very forgiving, so you can add more or less and it won't matter that much. I tend to add a bit more each time and it's fine.
Here's my version, but feel free to look at the Soap Bubble Wiki Guar Recipe:
- 2 dl of Detergent (Yes, Fairy, Dawn)
- 1.5 teaspoons of Guar Gum
- 4 L of water
- 2 heaping teaspoons of baking powder
To mix it, you can follow these two different methods (or use their recipes):
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