Contact equipment

Discussion in 'Agility and Dog Sports' started by AdrianneIsabel, May 7, 2013.

  1. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I know a similar question has been asked before (or several times) but I am looking into buying some of my own agility contacts and I have questions.

    For those who own their own contact equipment where did you buy them? What did you buy first? How are they holding up to the weather? What would you do differently if you could? How you keep them safest in the elements?

    Any other tips?

    Denis is great at building as well but I'm just not sure if it's smartest to buy?
     
  2. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    My husband builds all of my stuff. I tried to make some 2x2 weaves once, ya that was a failure. So he welded me a new set. The only thing I've bought is the tunnel and that was purchased used from a friend.

    You could contact different training schools to see if they have anything they are selling. A lot cheaper that way.
     
  3. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    I built mine with my dad.
    My a-frame is a mini, each side is only 6 foot rather than 9 foot. My teeter we are still working on but it's full size. I have yet to decide if I want to build a full-size dogwalk or if I want to make it a bit shorter (height-wise; the length will be AKC regulation) as well.

    The a-frame is I think four years old and it has been fine so far, but when I got it out this year I noticed it's starting to get soft. I apparently did not completely paint all the edges, so where I didn't paint, water has gotten in and started to rot it. I'm not sure if I can just coat it with a liquid wood hardener or if we will need to build another one. When I pointed it out to my dad, he said he didn't think we used treated for it, but I can't figure out why we wouldn't have - that a-frame was never intended to be anywhere but outside, and has never BEEN anywhere but outside... but anyway.



    With building versus buying you're looking at a handful of things, the first of which is it will be WAY CHEAPER to build than to buy!
    If you build you are basically going to be working with treated lumber. My a-frame, smaller than regulation size though it is, is REALLY HEAVY, big, and awkward. I interacted with one full-size made of treated and holy balls. Two people can move it... but. holy. balls.
    The a-frame is the worst offender though when it comes to size and weight though. The teeter and dog walk (when torn down) basically consist of long planks. They will be awkward to move, but one person could reasonably handle it, and they won't be insanely heavy.

    As far as texture goes when you build it yourself, you're looking at the sand and paint option, buying rubberized skins, or kits like the Contact-a-Coat ones. Obviously sand and paint is way cheaper, but so many clubs now have gone to rubberized skins, and the textures definitely feel differently to dogs. Auggie had an adjustment period of three or four trials after places started using rubberized contacts. I have a travel plank I bought in Louisville for $40 that is rubberized - it's not really useful for much except getting the dogs used to the texture, maybe for some 2o2o proofing? I definitely can't afford rubber skins and even the Contact-a-Coat is just... a bit pricy... so that's pretty much what I have to deal with.


    When you buy you're usually getting aluminum frame with a wood top, better for sitting out in the elements and definitely lighter. If I were buying I would expect to buy rubberized... a bit silly to invest that much and have it NOT be rubberized (especially since I have heard rumblings that the AKC may go to requiring rubberized.)


    For me I just can't afford to buy. If I could, I totally would... it would be lighter and also way faster than trying to build something with my dad LOL. But it's so expensive, and I know we can build stuff ourselves even if it does take a while, so we build instead.
     
  4. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    Ya, I'd really like an a-frame but I move my equipment myself and there's no way I can move an a-frame by myself. Even at work, I need to have someone there to help me move it. The one time I attempted it by myself I almost tipped the whole dang thing over.

    I didn't see the how they hold up to weather comment. We used treated lumber with outdoor paint and it's holds up nicely! The teeter frame is made out of pvc and is light weight and easy to move.
     
  5. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Are you willing to share the specs on the items he built (I'll pay you if they're original)? Denis might be able to make them for me, I just wasn't sure if that is a better choice or not.
     
  6. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I didn't see this when I responded, Thank you! This is helpful.

    I worry this design looks tip-able. What do you guys think? http://www.caninecrib.com/dog/training/teeter-board.asp
     
  7. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    You need one with built-in wheels like mine :)

    Mine has aluminum with sand/paint. It's holding up well. Purchased used from the local club.
     
  8. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    I don't know much about building stuff but I would probably find a way to anchor the base or use sand bags.
     
  9. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    These are the teeter plans we are using:
    http://www.wikihow.com/Build-an-Adjustable-Dog-Agility-Seesaw

    The PVC ones are lovely being that they are lightweight and super easy and all that, but I definitely worry about them not being sturdy enough. I could fill the PVC pipes with sand to make it heavier, use sandbags to hold it down...
    OR I could just build it out of wood and not have to worry about it.


    Here's a nice a-frame plan, and if you scroll down to the bottom you can see a picture of somebody who hinged it better/more safely:
    http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Dog-Agility-A-Frame/
    If Denis is handy he can probably figure out what to do from those photos.
     
  10. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    I would recommend adjustable for all equipment, wood is cheapest but rots for the frame (frame as in the structure not the aframe), steel is cheap and most places use 1 inch with gussets for extra support. Aluminum is by far the lightest but expensive.
    Rubberized is nice but very expensive, if I had to chose to rubberize one it would be the teeter, cheapest to do as well.

    Use primer or marine grade plywood and don't leave it out in snow. My equipment never saw snow or was left out during the winter. My surface lasted for over 10 yrs before going soft and having to be replaced.

    I had an awesome grip on all my contact equipment, even and thick with no sharp edges. I laid the piece flat, primed it, then painted, let dry, painted again with a thicker coat and then put sand blasting sand on it an inch thick to dry for several days. The sand blasting sand can be purchased at any automotive supply store and it is cheap (under $10.00). One bag will easily do all contact equipment and it gives a smooth thick grip over playground or beach sand. Once it has dried, I use a soft brush to remove the excess sand and then paint again for the final coat.

    Finding good used agility equipment is difficult here, I recently sold mine (being replaced with aluminum adjustable rubberized equipment) and it sold within 1 day.
     
  11. Kyllobernese

    Kyllobernese Member

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    My sister and I built most of our own equipment. We did get a dog walk given to us. It is made for small dogs so is a little narrower but has the same slope as the regular ones. I built an A-frame last year. Just made it three feet wide and eight feet long and it is easy to just pull a pin out and carry the two pieces.

    We also have a tire that we got when the people bought a new one. Last fall we bought two tunnels and a chute as they are the hardest to make on your own, especially the tunnels. We also made our own teeter. We used the sand and paint on the contact equipment.

    My sister has been busy repainting it all, I will post some pictures when we are through.
     
  12. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Thank you for all the input and advice, we went ahead and built a teeter yesterday and while we used framing wood we may pull it and re-do it with pressurized wood. We need to texture and paint it but the PVC base & board alone cost less than 70 dollars, not bad considering the bases sold (time and labor) online are 80-100 from what I see.

    I now have the itch for more though and maybe an aframe is next.

    Logically a table is next but that's small potatoes comparatively.

    Want. :p
     
  13. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    I bought all of mine.

    After many attempts at making my own and realizing that in the long run, it was just easier to buy well made, adjustable, lightweight contacts.

    My aframe, dog walk, and teeter were all purchased from the same company. They are all aluminum, and all break down, or are adjustable for training and moving. I can look up the company if interested. I did take out a loan to make the purchase. I needed to build credit and wanted agility equipment, so I took out a small personal loan. I can't remember how much now.

    I've made numerous sets of weaves. My current weaves are a set of 24" channels that a friend (who works in metal fabrication) built for me. I paid for those, as well as a set of 20" channel weaves that I bought maybe 8-9 years ago. I still have those, but the competition specs have changed, so I really don't use them. I made a set of 2x2's with just PVC (meh), I built a set of the Jane Simmons Moake offset spring weaves, I still have those, too. I made a set of stick in the grounds (meh).

    I bought a cheapie chute on ebay a long time ago. My husband built my tire jump and broad jump. I built most of my regular wingless jumps. I just ordered 10 winged jumps, and am still waiting on them to be delivered.

    I have two table bases (16" and 24" PVC) that I built and my husband built a table top to fit over them. Basically just plywood and then a sturdy wooden lip to keep it in place over the table frame.

    Oh, and a purchased tunnel, I'd like to buy another one possibly for my christmas gift. The one I have is old and is starting to show it. The Texas sun isn't very forgiving.
     

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