Jay Linn Circus Arts 

Plans for a portable free standing tight wire rig.

These pages now further updated, 11th September 2003.

This page is intended to be of assistance to anyone wishing to build themselves a practice tight wire rig. I have put this information on the net in somewhat of a hurry, because I have been putting it off for so long that I thought I'd better get something - anything - up on the web.

I therefore ask you to forgive me if you find that these pages a bit rough and ready, or that they don't look too clever on browsers other than IE6. Moreover, I haven't properly reviewed what I have posted here, so there may be missing or redundant files. Hopefully, if you are keen enough, you will find what you are looking for.

To view the CAD files, you will need suitable software. You can download TurboCAD LE here. You will also find other variants of TurboCAD, but the LE edition is not time limited. You should also be able to open .DXF files with AutoCAD and other proprietary formats.

I would be grateful for any kind of feedback regarding the information presented here. Please feel free to mail me if you feel you have any useful input whatsoever. I would be particularly interested to hear from anybody who actually builds one of the damn things - I have sent out a few CD-ROMs over the last few years to people who have sounded very enthusiatic, but have yet to hear of one actually materialising.

Also, anyone who feels like converting the pamphlet into HTML should do so straight away, and then mail me ;-)

You may also be interested in my main website, which tells you all about myself and my company.

There is no Plan D.

Walking on a hand

Thanks to Sweavo for the image. See some more here.

Jay Linn, 11th September, 2003.


Important - read this first!!

Safety message

Tight wires - particularly low ones, are not especially dangerous if they are used sensibly ... BUT THERE IS A KNOWN RISK.

By far the most common injury that I have witnessed when people are walking tight wires are those caused by falling onto the walking wire.

Generally, when you lose your balance on a tight wire, you fall to one side or the other, normally resulting in landing on the feet, or occasionally by rolling away from the wire. This is not a significant risk to anyone fit enough to be on the wire in the first place.

Collisions with the wire are much more serious, since they can and do result in serious abrasions. The risks are somewhat increased for men managing to fall either side of the wire. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should trainee wire walkers EVER allow their ankle to roll whilst walking the wire. The foot must ALWAYS face the wire horizontally. Slipping from the wire, by allowing the sole of the foot to roll and slide off, will very frequently result in injury, and happens so quickly that even a very alert and adjacent spotter will have little chance of preventing a collision.

If in ANY doubt, USE A LUNGE or other device for preventing a fall of more than a very few inches.

Pardon me for all the SHOUTING, but it's a serious point. I don't have any photographic evidence of the kinds of bruises and scabs you can get, and I hope to Hell I never get the opportunity to. Look after yourselves, people.

About the files

The files and links presented here represent my original designs for my tight wire rig. My rig has now been in use for around four years, so I now know it's good and bad points, but I have not as yet much updated the construction manual (the pamphlet) to reflect my experiences. In particular, there is a small design weakness at the centre of the main beam. Please mail me for further details regarding this, as the design needs a little modification to ensure that the finished rig is strong enough for the fattest of fatties bouncing on the wire.

Photo gallery

If you wish to see some pictures of my tight wire, visit the gallery. It is a collection of photographs, in no particular order, which I hope will help you to understand how the thing is constructed and assembled.

Of necessity, these image files have been compressed quite a bit, and reduced in resolution, too. If you would like to see any of the pictures at higher resolution and in better quality, then mail me with the relevant details, and I will put larger files up temporarily. I can't put everything up permanently because I don't have the hosting space.


Original Lotus and TurboCAD files

The following suite of files are what I originally created at about the time that I was designing, building, and first using my rig. There is a conspicuous absence of Micro$hite formats, which is good, but instead I have used less common proprietary fromats, which is not so good.

I have presented these files because you can be sure to get the output formatted exactly as I intended, if you have the software to read them. I would not particularly advise you to import these formats into other software, since no import operation can be expected to be 100% faithful.

You should be able to simply left click on the links, and elect to save the file wherever you wish. Failing that, right click on the links and "save as...". If you are a Mac user, I can suggest two courses of action : i) get a mouse with two buttons; ii) get a proper PC ;-)

Files saved in portable formats

You will probably need to right click and "save as..." to get the .DXF files!

The files below are saved in commonplace formats, but may lack some of the formatting intended to be in them. I guess they will still be readable, though. I have exported the WP documents in MS Word format (.doc), and the CAD drawings in Document Exchange Format (.dxf) which should be reasable by most CAD software.

If you encounter any problems downloading or viewing any of the files, or find broken links, I would be grateful if you would mail me and let me know.