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Flyball machine: any recommendation


Joey123
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Hi,

I was thinking to import flyball machine to Thailand. There has never been any flyball in this country.

I've looked around the websites provided by several flyball machine manufactures. Can anyone recommend me on how to choose a good/standard flyball machine?

I know only that dog pushes the level/pad, ball jumps off, but there must be some different issues insided (how soft of the pad, how the machine absorbs the dog speed when the dog approaches, etc). Price is also quite different from each company.

My goal is to look for a standard machine which we can use in a competition.

Any idea would be welcome, please...

Thanks,

Taang

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if you look up plans, most clubs actually build their own flyball box. weither you do a flat pedal or a curved one is personal preference, most clubs use flat but a few clubs will insist that curved is better, I have never sen eveidece either way but a flat pedal is easier to build yourself! you also want to make sure that there is not too much space between the face of the box(where the spring loaded holes are) and the pedal..we made that mistake one and my dogs paw got caught in that space at she hit the pedal, badly injuring her paw. the other thing you want to pae attention too is the design of the spring loaded holes, you will want a right and a left hole..a center hole is not needed and may cause a dog to get their paw stuck in it if they turn high. you also want to think about loading the box, those springs are not always easy to push back, and a boxloader needs to be able to do it repeatedly and FAST, so levers on the top of the box that pull back the springs make life a lot easier!

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Anyone who builds flyball boxes for sale will make sure they meet box standards for both U-Fli and NAFA. I'd suggest finding a flyball forum to ask around about buying a box; perhaps someone here could direct you, I've lost track of where the good discussion lists are located. You might want to consider a used box as well. The price will vary for a few different reasons, mainly material used, which affects weight, strength and durability. Some people insist their dogs need a heavier box because they hit so hard, but the lighter boxes work just as well plus save your back from lugging it around.

 

Good luck!

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Here are some equipment resources, including several manufacturers of flyball boxes: Equipment links

 

Another manufacturer not on this list, but who has great boxes (we have two from him and have ordered a third) is Dan Phillips with his Premier Flyball Box

 

Shipping is probably going to be fairly expensive, but I know Dan has shipped several flyball boxes overseas, as have several of the other manufacturers. The problem with building one yourself is that you have to have very good woodworking skills for the box to launch consistently. Mike Freda at the Willoughby Workshop sells plans for building your own flyball box as well as selling flyball boxes.

 

Good luck! : )

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Just an FYI, the Phillips box weighs about 60 pounds, and is one of the heavier boxes. Something to consider since a very heavy box like that will increase the shipping cost considerably. You can always stake the box down if outside, or weigh it down (and/or find a heavy boxloader!) when inside.

 

I hated getting that box in and out of my car when we used those. Right now we use a box just as good and half the weight. Can't recall who makes it though, I'll see if I can find it.

 

Another thing to consider is the best boxmakers usually have a backlog and may take awhile to make yours. One reason to perhaps consider a used box.

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We use the Eric Tindall box and own one as a personal box. I also have a Mike Freda box which I don't use much since the Tindall. We have Premiere boxes for the club and have not used them in a couple years because ours had serious issues that were not resolved. These were built around the time Dan was sick so we figure that has a lot to do with it. We know many who have those boxes but they are really heavy. I prefer the Tindall box as it is much lighter.

 

I would seriously look at finding someone who can make you a box from plans you can buy. A box will cost $500-600 USD plus shipping and some are even more expensive than that to buy. I can imagine shipping to Thailand would be quite expensive. There was a group of folks who helped get flyball started in South Africa I believe. This included them coming over to show some training techniques, etc... you may want to see about joining the flyball email list http://flyballdogs.com/email-list.html and get some suggestions from that on boxes, training, how to get started in Thailand, etc...

 

Good luck

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I would consider building your own if you are at all handy. This was the first box I built and I have to say, it's not too bad. I used a jig saw and basically backwards engineered the design from photos I found online and specs from the NAFA rule book. It took me a while to build, as I had no idea what I was doing and had to figure it out as I went. Not the fastest way, but it's an option if you are determined and want to save money. I spent about $150 for all the materials including a sheet of 3/4" cabinet grade plywood.

 

The club I'm with uses the Premier boxes also. If it were up to me, I would not use these. Personally, I find that they are too heavy, very difficult to load (not everyone in the club can load it!), expensive ($1,100.00 is lame) and hard to trigger by small dogs. They need repairing every couple of years and that's not cheap either.

 

09flyballbox.jpg

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Mike Freda at the Willoughby Workshop sells plans for building your own flyball box as well as selling flyball boxes.

 

Good luck! : )

 

We have one of Mike's boxes, built from the plans with his release triggers. We built it off the back of a tailgate in about an hour, it's a great box and way lighter than the other 2 we have. A lot cheaper to just ship the triggers as well.

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I agree with http://www.flyballequip.com/freeflyballboxplans.html from Willoughby Workshop.

The mechanism is quite simple and feel possible to DIY within a weekend.

Seems like ball mechanism plays a main role in this machine. (how it projects the ball, how it loads, maintenance)

 

I've read thorough the provided free plan and may gather stuff to try.

On the website, he also provides "Ball thrusters" which is quite interesting. Has anyone tried with this?

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In my experience launchers or thrusters provide a much more reliable and consistent launch of the ball, than do the old style latch mechanisms. There are certainly some manufacturers who produce good, consistent boxes with the latch-type mechanisms, but especially if you are building it yourself it can be really tricky. If you can afford it, purchasing thrusters or launchers will likely give you a much better box overall. The thrusters or launchers are also much faster. They allow your dog to do a faster turn on the box.

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  • 1 month later...

I have a question. I am building a box. And have been looking high and low for a design or detail pictures on teh ball thrusters or launchers. I can not find any and everywhere I ask people say to just buy. I don't want to buy when I can build it cheaper.

 

I have looked at all the standard sites including the ones oyu posted in this topic. None can help me. Some show the thursters but not enough of it to build it.

 

If anyone can help me with this., I would be most thank you. You can reply or or send to my email.

 

bbb8372@yahoo.com

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