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spreader bars

Posted by Lj_switch on Mon 2 May 2011 to Do_It_Yourself

A broom-handle and two or three screw-eyelets are all you need for a simple spreader bar.

The eyelet steel needs to be about 3-4mm diameter to be strong enough.

Cut the broom-handle to the required length, save the off-cut as you might want to make a long and a short one :-)

Round off the cut end with sandpaper or a file/rasp.

Use a drill bit the same diameter as the solid part of the threaded end - so when you screw the eyelet in, the threads cut into the wood but the solid part doesn't split the grain of the wood. Drill a hole into each end of the broom-handle, as straight and central as you can.

Screw the eyelets into each end.

Find sub...

You can also screw an eyelet into the centre of the bar, to add to the versatility. Check out some options on my profile pic, modelled by Rocco :-)

be a switch, double your fun :-)

Reply by Rigour on Wed 4 May 2011

I'd advise caution with broom handles, personally I wouldn't want to use something I could break over my knee. If you do use broom handles then it's advisable to wrap them with a couple of layers of electrical tape, this will help to protect against splintering if the wood breaks. Wrap the ends first and then starting at one end wrap diagonally overlapping each time you go round.

I'd also advise against screwing any fixing into the end of the bar, you will be fixing with the grain which is the weakest point of the wood. Fix the eyelets straight through, across the grain or at a 45 degree angle, I'll add a photo showing what I mean as soon as one's approved.

More hedonism NOW

Reply by Lj_switch on Wed 4 May 2011

I'm impressed you can break one over your knee !

You are quite right, end-grain is indeed the weakest part.

In my defence, these are simple to make and for all the play I have used mine for, there has been no indication of failure.

If the screw-eye locations are pilot-drilled then there is little risk of the wood splitting. It has been suggested elsewhere that fitting a short metal ferrule ( a piece of copper water pipe) over the ends would further improve strength of the end-grain, but that might be out of the capability of some DIYers lacking the appropriate tools.

I would certainly not use them as a means of suspension or where the sub was inclined to struggle furiously or apply serious leverage.

Situations in which I have used them generally involve spreading legs or arms of a sub laying flat on the floor/bed etc, or perhaps standing with arms restrained overhead and with legs spread with a bar. These don't allow the easy application of force sufficient to result in failure, in my experience, both as the Dom and sub.

An alternative, though in my view lass satisfactory, alternative is to drill holes right through the ends, the diameter sufficient to accept a loop of cord, and to use this as the anchor point. The knot can be sealed with super-glue.

be a switch, double your fun :-)

Reply by Yourfeet_myface on Wed 4 May 2011

I have several of these and they have never let me down. So yes they do work and I agree with all of the previous messages about strength and improvements etc.

Reply by leopard99 on Wed 4 May 2011

32mm or 1.25" dowel is rather stronger than the average broomstick and would be a good alternative if you are worried about strength. One possibly useful thing about this approach is you can make longer bars that might be used to link collar, wrists and ankles all at uncomfortable angles:)

Alternatively go to your favourite kinky Swedish store, aka IKEA, and follow the instructions given by KinkyRoly. http://www.kinkyplayparty.co.uk/Site/Spreader_Ba... I don't think you're going to break one of these unless you are built like Geoff Capes.

Not quite so easy to do odd lengths or extra eyes but it's possible. I haven't tried these ideas so can't be 100% sure they will work. For extra eyes part way along the bar you will need to drill a hole through the bar, then use an eyebolt and M6 nut. For odd lengths it is possible with some difficulty to extract the tapped insert from the end of the bar. I actually did this once to make a hanging rail for a wardrobe that wasn't standard IKEA width. Then the bar is cut to length, the end nicely smoothed and the insert hammered back in. It wasn't quite as solidly fitted as on the original which didn't matter in a wardrobe but might matter here. I would consider using araldite and/or a couple of grub screws tapped into the edge.

Reply by KinkyRoly on Wed 4 May 2011

leopard99 wrote:
Not quite so easy to do odd lengths or extra eyes but it's possible. I haven't tried these ideas so can't be 100% sure they will work. For extra eyes part way along the bar you will need to drill a hole through the bar, then use an eyebolt and M6 nut. For odd lengths it is possible with some difficulty to extract the tapped insert from the end of the bar. I actually did this once to make a hanging rail for a wardrobe that wasn't standard IKEA width. Then the bar is cut to length, the end nicely smoothed and the insert hammered back in. It wasn't quite as solidly fitted as on the original which didn't matter in a wardrobe but might matter here. I would consider using araldite and/or a couple of grub screws tapped into the edge.

If I were fitting eyes part way along a tube, instead of simply drilling a hole and bolting the eye through, I would drill a hole in one side large enough for some tubing with an internal diameter that would clear the thread ( 6mm in this case ) and a 6mm hole opposite.

A short length of tubing can then be welded / Araldited into place, so that it avoids the tubing being compressed when the thread it tightened ( the tubing would pass through the larger hole and rest against the inner surface of the 6mm hole ).

Reply by leopard99 on Thu 5 May 2011

KinkyRoly wrote:
If I were fitting eyes part way along a tube, instead of simply drilling a hole and bolting the eye through, I would drill a hole in one side large enough for some tubing with an internal diameter that would clear the thread ( 6mm in this case ) and a 6mm hole opposite.

A short length of tubing can then be welded / Araldited into place, so that it avoids the tubing being compressed when the thread it tightened ( the tubing would pass through the larger hole and rest against the inner surface of the 6mm hole ).

Certainly good engineering practice but is it worth the extra work? The Ikea rails have fairly thick walls (to the point where I'd almost tap them and screw the eye into them) and won't compress by much. While compression will weaken the bar a small amount should hardly matter. Whichever method you use, it might be worth an extra locknut. You then also have the option of a swivelling eye.

Reply by KinkyRoly on Thu 5 May 2011

leopard99 wrote:
KinkyRoly wrote:
If I were fitting eyes part way along a tube, instead of simply drilling a hole and bolting the eye through, I would drill a hole in one side large enough for some tubing with an internal diameter that would clear the thread ( 6mm in this case ) and a 6mm hole opposite.

A short length of tubing can then be welded / Araldited into place, so that it avoids the tubing being compressed when the thread it tightened ( the tubing would pass through the larger hole and rest against the inner surface of the 6mm hole ).

Certainly good engineering practice but is it worth the extra work? The Ikea rails have fairly thick walls (to the point where I'd almost tap them and screw the eye into them) and won't compress by much. While compression will weaken the bar a small amount should hardly matter. Whichever method you use, it might be worth an extra locknut. You then also have the option of a swivelling eye.

Actually, my concern was because I felt that the Ikea rails were rather thin walled, but I haven't actually cut one open. However the portion that is visible at the end looks pretty thin.

Reply by leopard99 on Thu 5 May 2011

KinkyRoly wrote:
Actually, my concern was because I felt that the Ikea rails were rather thin walled, but I haven't actually cut one open. However the portion that is visible at the end looks pretty thin.

It's always possible that Ikea changed the wall thickness at some point. Also my "thick" may be your "thin". As always it's a matter for sensible judgement. If you are planning to take heavy loads, especially for suspension or other safety critical applications, then please test for strength at well over the maximum likely load.

Reply by s1aveguy on Wed 11 Jan 2012

Cannot display picture! I've had no trouble with mine.

If god intended us to be vanilla there would be no chocolate chilli mango, now would there?

Reply by You_May_Kiss_My_Ring on Thu 12 Jan 2012

I actually had a fairly long conversation on this a few months back on Fet. Among the ideas we came up with that I've not noticed above are:

using cut-down curtain poles so that it can be adjusted, possibly using bungee-cord fed through to attach the clips/cuffs, thus allowing the legs or arms to be spread a little further for access, should the Dom so wish.

using a collapsible walking stick for the main body - it folds away (and it includes a spring-button catch to allow some expansion/contraction. (If this one appeals, the local branch of The Works here has them for £2.99 in the sale, so might be worth a look if you've a branch nearby.)

forming an "I" out of plumbing pipes, with caps on the end to spread both arms and legs (and possibly create stress positions).

"That hat makes you look like you own slaves! ... only you would go to a Goth club wearing a beige hat, and dressed in purple!"

"Kindness is no virtue; cruelty no vice..."

"A woman who gives any advantage to a man may expect a lover -- but will sooner or later find a tyrant." - Byron.

Reply by pink_arse on Thu 12 Jan 2012

I need a man with a drill! lol dont thinking askign ym dad is appropriate on this one :S lol

Reply by curvysaffy on Mon 23 Jan 2012

If you need to cut down on luggage weight or storage space (or you just happen to have one lying around) use an adjustable metal shower curtain rail, the sort that forms an L shape around a bath and consists of several hollow metal tubes, one of which is designed to slide right inside another (hence 'adjustable') :

outer tube becomes spreader bar : use clamprings to secure rings (something as simple as keyrings is fine, actually) at each end for ankle cuffs

inner tube becomes over-door hanger to provide overhead attachment points on a closed door: you need strong webbing (john lewis haberdashery) sewn to form a loop for the metal tube at one end, plus a bit of slack say six to ten inches, and another loop with an O ring at one end for wrist cuffs.

Magic :)