A basic guide to looking after your shiny new x-pole!
‘HOW TO’… Release a jammed X-Joint (new range X-Poles)
Although the new range X-Poles (which include the new X-Joints instead of the screw threads) are an improved version of the older model and eliminate all the below issues of screw joints seizing shut etc…, they have a problem of their own – sometimes they get jammed – I mean, that they twist around inside the pole so that when it comes to breaking the pole down, the holes are all mis-aligned and you can’t get the hex key back in.
This happens because when you set up, you are SUPPOSED TO screw the bottom one a bit at first, then the top, then the bottom etc…. not screw each one in fully one at a time….it is buried in the instruction manual somewhere but we all miss it!
FIRST make sure you release/loosen both Hex screws of the X-Joint, by turning counter-clockwise. Click on ‘Fig 1’ or refer to the Instruction Manual that came with your X-Pole set – ‘X-Joint Operation’.
NEXT, use any available pole/wooden broom handle that is thinner than the B Pole, making sure that you hold on
to the X-Joint with one hand, and the B Pole with the other. Click on Fig 2 to enlarge.
Carefully insert the B Pole over broom handle till its resting on the base of the X-Joint, now gently tap the B
Pole Up & Down onto the broom, this will slowly push the X-Joint up and out of the B Pole.
Remember you have to hold onto the X-Joint while doing this, otherwise the X-Joint will pop out and drop
to the floor, damaging the floor surface and the X-Joint or worse landing on your feet!
‘HOW TO’…Care for the connective threads (Original model X-Pole)
This is important as it will stop the main A and B poles especially sticking together and seizing! Sometimes they can get so tightly screwed that you can’t actually undo them! So they seize shut, and it usually takes several strong blokes to prize it apart, you will probably end up snapping the stix that come with the kit in the process!
So, to stop this from happening, we need to show the pole a bit of basic care and maintenance – as you would with any piece of engineering.
Follow the below ‘HOW TO’ guide AS SOON AS you open your new pole, BEFORE you use it for the first time. Then, repeat the process every few months to keep it in good order.
- Break the pole apart fully and get a bucket of HOT water with fairy in it (liquid, not mythical beast).
- Dip the threads (at the top and bottom of each tube piece) in the soapy water for a few minutes.
- Grab a toothbrush (not the one you currently use!) and scrub all of the debris off the threads properly – removing dirt, grease, chrome filings etc…..Dry properly.
- Get a dry rag and wrap your finger in it, dollop some COPPER GREASE onto your finger and smear it into the threads (You’ll find this in any good hardware store, B&Q, Mr Bevan’s….whatever).
DO NOT USE WD40!!! Although it’s a lubricant, it magically manages to make the situation worse somehow ??? Copper Grease is the best thing for is as it is an anti-seizing compound, commonly used by mechanics to stop metal car components sticking! Here’s what it looks like:
DEFINITELY grease the A and B main poles, but also do the extension pieces as well.
‘HOW TO’…Break the A and B poles apart, if you’re having trouble (Original model X-Pole)
X-Pole is supplied with release rods (stix). With the base in ‘static’ mode (not spinning) insert the rod and turn anticlockwise. If tubes joints still will not release place the tubes on a flat surface, insert the rods and with one rod against the surface give the other rod sharp tap. It is not force that releases the tubes it is the shock. If the tube still will not release place something solid under the release rod so it is parallel to the surface the poles are on and try again. This so that the shock goes into the solid object and is not absorbed by the rod itself.
There are some special release tools available to buy from X-Pole for about £13 (plus delivery) – ASK ME to order you some if you want them. They are to be used instead of the stix. They’re super thick and really mean business when it comes to pulling stubborn poles apart.
‘HOW TO’…Find joists – About joist finders
As you know, you need to set up the pole between two joists, BUT the dome needs to rest ON the edge of these joists. Meaning you need to find where your ceiling joists are.
Having X-Ray vision would be handy here but as we are only mere mortals, we can only GUESS. Unless of course, you buy a joist finder tool! Yes, you can pick them up from B&Q from about £10 to £30, depending on the brand.
Sounds good…..BUT, in my opinion, they are all a bit rubbish. They beep when they shouldn’t and find joists where there actually isn’t one and are just generally inaccurate, I tried a posh one and a cheap one and they were both useless. I have asked other dancers about this, and they all say the same too.
You’re best bet is to tap your knuckles on the ceiling and listen. If you hear a hollow sound – there’s no joist, but every once in a while the sound will change to something more solid – there it is!
Although, it can be quite hard to tell, so for confirmation, it would also be handy to send a bloke up into the loft to gauge where the joists are.
‘HOW TO’…Assemble the pole – A cheaty tip!
So if you can find the joists and all is well then great – but what if you’re struggling? I have to be honest, I have been using x-poles for years and I still have trouble with THAT bit! So, here’s an idea that protects the ceiling through even pressure distribution.
- You’ll need a sheet of medium thickness wood – plywood, chipboard – that sort of thing! It needs to be cut larger than the base of the the pole’s dome. Since the dome’s edges just about reach the width of the gap in between each joist, the piece of wood only really needs to be a few inches bigger really.
- Glue a sheet of anti-slip rubber mesh to both sides to form an anti-slip surface, so the pole won’t slip off the piece of wood! WAIT FOR THE GLUE TO DRY!
- Position the rubberised piece of wood between the ceiling and the dome piece just before tightening up the pole.
‘HOW TO’…Clean your X-Pole
There are various random products that good for cleaning pole. I find that microfibre cloths are best for pole, you can get a pack of 2 for about a quid at Tesco or ASDA at the moment.
DON’T EVER get a scouring pad on your pole! You’ll KILL it! I wouldn’t use bleach or anything harsh like that either.
- ALCOHOL – For extreme greb removal, a lot of dancers swear by a cloth soaked in cheap GIN, followed by a dry wipe will remove dirt n grime but it’s especially good if your pole gets greasy as the alcohol cuts straight through the grease better than a baby wipe would. Vodka doesn’t seem to work as well, so you can drink that later!
- BABY WIPES – As you know from class I usually just use a baby wipe (one WITHOUT a lotion or Aloe Vera on it, the cheaper the better!) and a dry cloth. Make sure the wipes you choose do not have any moisturisers, oils or lotions in it or your pole may end up being more slippery than it did to start with!
- GLASS CLEANER – This is actually recommended by X-Pole as safe for you to use, and very effective! Many pole dancers swear by it.
‘HOW TO’…Fix peeling chrome
The poles are hard wearing and designed to take a few knocks and bangs but if you really CLANG it and you have a dent, sometimes a patch of chrome will peel off where the dent is.
Of course, X-Pole do replacement parts so if you battered a B pole, you can just replace that bit for around £30 – ASK ME if you want to order any replacement bits.
BUT if it’s only a little patch, there is a trick you can use to ‘patch it up’.
Lightly dabb a thin layer of clear nail polish onto the affected area, allow to dry and build up to 3 layers.