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How to Use the Fusion Pressure-Fit Connectors

Momo Bonobo

threeworlds fusion contact LED staff collapsed

One of the most common issues people have with the Threeworlds products they get from us is regarding the pressure fit connectors that Threeworlds Fusion products use. This is the best collapsible and modular system available for contact and dragon staffs so hopefully this article sheds some light on how to correctly use the system so you can enjoy your prop for years and years!

The following products use Fusion Pressure-Fit Connectors:

  • Fusion Collapsible Staff Handle / Middle Piece
  • Ultra Hubs for Dragons (and the discontinued F3 Hubs)
  • Fusion 16 Double Staffs (and the discontinued F16 Contact Staffs)
  • Fusion Double Adapters
  • Fusion Quick Release End Cap

Table of Contents:

General Maintenance

Before we get into step-by-step instructions on how to use the pressure-fit connectors, there are some basic maintenance notes that are important to keep in mind.

The pressure fit connectors must be clean in order to work properly. Dust, oils, and moisture can affect whether or not the pressure fit connectors work and how easy they are to put together. The same applies for the staff tubing that the connectors are inserted to. The best way to clean them would be a rag and some rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol also evaporates pretty quickly, so you don’t have to worry about drying the parts afterwards. A damp rag with a pinch of dish soap can also work, but be sure to dry the parts afterwards or give them a sufficient amount of time to air dry. You can also just use a wet towel or napkin without any soap in a pinch if you really don’t have anything available to you in the moment.

Note: I like to have rubbing alcohol (or isopropyl alcohol) in my prop bag to keep all my props clean. I use it on my connectors, staff tubing, silicone grip, poi leashes and handles, rope dart tethers, and even the wicks of my fire props to clean them before I pack them for plane travel. It sanitizes props and works very well to remove soot as well.

In conclusion:

  • Keep pressure-fit connectors and inside of staff tubing clean.
  • Ideally use rubbing alcohol and a rag
  • Make sure parts are dry before re-assembly

Step 1: Line It Up

To make your life a lot easier, be sure to line up the parts of the pressure-fit connector before inserting it into the tubing. In the picture on the left, you can also see that some of the bolt is showing. Be sure to tighten this until it is flush with the rest of the connector by twisting it to the right. Your connector should look like the picture on the right before you move to step two and connect it to the staff ends.

Step 2: Mind the Gap

Now that your connector is lined up, you can insert it into the staff end. As you can see on the picture on the left, there is a gap in the staff tubing (I am not referring to the gap in the silicone grip which can be adjusted by tugging on the grip). Make sure the staff is fully inserted and the tubing is flush BEFORE you start tightening the connectors. This part can take a little bit of extra force to push the staff parts together to ensure the parts are completely flush.

It might be easier to tell if the EPDM version of the collapsible system is flush compared to the silicone because the silicone grip can be moved around a little by tugging or pushing at it. Whatever grip your staff has, you need to make sure the staff parts are pushed all the way in before tightening.

Step 3: Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey

This last step is the easiest to explain. Once you’ve lined up the connector and fully inserted it into the staff end, all you have to do is twist it clockwise (to the right) to tighten.

The most important note I have to make here from troubleshooting so many of these staffs is that you only have to tighten it until it stops turning. Once it stops turning, give the staff a tug and make sure its secure. DO NOT forcibly tighten the connectors more than what feels natural. If you keep tightening it past the point where it stops and feels secure, the rubber bushes can be damaged and it can make it feel almost impossible to dismantle the prop.

If you tighten the prop without properly following step 2 and ensuring there is no gap in the tubing, it can also cause unnecessary stress to the Fusion connectors which can lead to damage. There could also potentially be a wobble in the staff if you set it up this way. Again, make sure the staff is fully flush and connected before tightening.

To remove the pressure fit connector, you just have to twist it counter-clockwise (to the left) about 5 or 6 times and pull it out. Do not loosen it an excessive amount before pulling it out otherwise too much of the bolt will be showing once it’s removed. It will make it more tiresome to put back together.

When Replacement Parts Might Be Necessary

If you take care of your prop and use it in the way I have outlined, you shouldn’t run into issues for years to come. I would venture to say that 99% of issues with pressure fit connectors have to do with user error and not with hardware related problems. That being said, if you’ve owned a product for many years there is a point where the rubber bushes or nylon washers might need to be replaced. This is not a very difficult process, but if you believe your staff might need some replacement parts then we do offer everything you’d need (other than the metric allen key).

Conclusion

After selling hundreds of the Fusion pressure-fit products and having to troubleshoot dozens for customers and friends, I can confidently say that almost every issue I’ve seen was from not properly using the prop. It might seem confusing at first, but once you understand how it works then it is the most convenient option as far as collapsible staffs on the market hands down.

So just remember:

  • Step 1: Line It Up – Make sure the connector is fully lined up.
  • Step 2: Mind the Gap – Make sure the staff parts are fully flush with each other after inserting the connector into the staff end.
  • Step 3: Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey – Twist the connector to the right to tighten until it stops turning and it feels secure. Twist the connector to the left 5 or 6 times and pull the connector out to remove it.
  • Make sure you keep the connectors and inner staff tubing clean and dry so everything functions properly.