This page features random tips that may prove of use. Many of these will eventually find their way into articles proper. If you have a helpful tip, please add it to the page or as a comment (and we will incorporate your tip into the article).
With large loops and large handles, it is often better to close the bubble by keeping one pole stationary and moving the other. I am closing a lot more really big bubbles than before now that I have realized this.
When closing a giant, it is often useful to push the poles up so that the bubble slides off the loop when it is together rather than pulling the wand to the side which may cause it to tear.
If the bottom string is very light, and it seems difficult to get the loop all the way closed, add a small amount of weight. Experiment so that you aren't using so much weight that you lose all of the self-closing and/or kiting action.
Different solution/loop/conditions require different closing strategies. Sometimes, with solutions that are highly shear-thinning I find a strategy of "grow slow, close quick" works very well. But sometimes, you need to "grow quick, close slow". Trial-and-error provide the answer.
See also Giant Bubbles: Tips & Tricks.
Spill-proofing buckets. Have you ever had a problem with your buckets of bubble juice getting knocked over during a session? This is especially an issue if you've got buckets of juice and lots of bubblers (possibly excited kids) running around in a bubble frenzy. Get an inexpensive beverage tub and put a brick or two in it to weigh it down and put your bucket or pail in the tub. If a kid bumps into the tub, they are unlikely to knock over the pail of bubble juice. We used it at my son's birthday party recently, and it worked great. And the tubs do double duty for carrying your stuff, too.
Spools for large loops. I have found it a challenge to store my really large loops so that they are easy to unravel in the field without getting tangled. I recently realized that winding the loop around a spool of some sort and securing with a rubber band works nicely. I make spools by wrapping toilet paper rolls with duct tape or by cutting of the end of a smallish plastic bottle. You can cut a notch into the end of the spool to store the ends.
Foam buildup in dipping trays, buckets and moats is a common (and to some degree unavoidable) annoyance. Foam build-up transfers to wands and interferes with performance. The act of dipping and removing a wand naturally causes foam to build up. This is normal -- even if it is annoying.
If you have problems with foam building up in your dipping container, there are a few techniques popular among bubblers for getting rid of foam:
- A spray/misting bottle filled with isopropyl will kill foam.
- A wire strainer is handy for scoopng off foam.
- Scrape off the foam. You can use a piece of plastic or your hand, or even a piece of cardboard to scoop off the foam.
- Blow torch. Some people like to use blow torches. When temperatures approach freezing, this method has the advantage of warming up the mix as well.
Measuring and mixingEdit
Cut-off syringe for measuring. Thommy came up with a great way of measuring and dispensing liquids -- including detergent and polymer concentrates. Just cut off a syringe at the zero line. When you push the plunger, you will quickly dispense the entire contents without losing anything to the container's walls.
If after 10 dips each of two different solutions, you can't decide if there is a difference between them, there isn't.
Don't draw any conclusions from your first or second session with a new juice or loop.
Don't draw any conclusions about a session with a new juice unless you also have a known juice to use in the same session. Every once in a while, conditions may seem propitious but are actually insidious. It doesn't happen often, but you might give up on a great mix when the conditions were to blame.