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Topic: Making fire eating torches
Message: Posted by: hocuspocusjay23 (Mar 30, 2010 02:58PM)
Recently my wife got into fire eating. Can someone recommend the easiest torches to make. I have noticed on some videos using t shirt material. We have used adhesive wick to make torches.Itseems that sometimes the glue does not hold properly. Is it best to let the wick sit over night for better adhesion? Sometimes the lighter fluid, keeps the adhesive from sticking well. What is the best way?
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Mar 30, 2010 03:12PM)
What glue are you using?
The best is good old fashioned elmers glue. The heat actually cures it harder and it is immune to the fluids used.
And you don't need to let it sit for long at all. The heat speeds up the process.
G
Message: Posted by: hocuspocusjay23 (Mar 30, 2010 03:26PM)
I am using the adhesive wicks from Fire Mecca. What type of material are you using?
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Mar 30, 2010 03:51PM)
Depends on the purpose.
Most of my wicks are made from cotton belt webbing.
Emphasis on COTTON. No blends. They make your mouth all melty.

G
Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Mar 30, 2010 04:07PM)
Jay, PM me for details on the no-glue wicking I put on my torches that I make.
Message: Posted by: Michael K (Mar 30, 2010 07:33PM)
I'm going to say what everyone usually says when someone asks about fire eating.

FIND A QUALIFIED TEACHER.

And if you want to kill yourself watch how-to fire stunts on Youtube.
Message: Posted by: Martin_Ling (Mar 31, 2010 12:18PM)
Seems to me we aren't discussing LEARNING how to do fire play, but more how to put a piece of clothe, on a stick, that will stay. So here are my two cents.

I like Kevlar, sewn with a lock stitch, using Kevlar thread. What makes it even easier is the ingenious design, which I wont divulge, by Mr. Nippulini! Buy yourself a set and see why!
Message: Posted by: EVILDAN (Mar 31, 2010 02:23PM)
I acquired a set of homemade torches that were made by wrapping a long strip of cotton material and then sewing it. The stitching got burned away. But I do like the size and workability of the strip of cotton material. How does one go about using Elmer's Glue to glue this down? And does the glue get all "melty" when lit?
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Mar 31, 2010 03:22PM)
To glue a wick is pretty simple. Hook one end to your torch base, wrap it around putting a drop or two every couple of revolutions. When you get to the end put a line of glue across it (Covering any frayed ends) and then clamp it with a clothespin or similar not terribly strong spring clamp. Leave it that way for an hour and you are set.
Elmers glue does not get melty when it gets hot, it gets harder. I usually do a burn right after taking the clamps off to "set" the glue well.

Not a big fan of kevlar- I don't feel it holds enough fuel for long burns. Which I suppose is fine for fire eating as you don't let it burn all that long. I do a lot of wicking on poi, fire fans, flaming bat'leth (Yes...I have a set of two. Nothing like a geek fire performer!) fire claws and such where you need a longer burn. I just can't get that from kevlar. Cotton works well as long as you extinguish before your run out of fuel. The glued wicks are pretty strong considering how fast they are being spun. Never had one give out on me, but if they come loose at al, you just reglue.
Message: Posted by: Freak Prodigy (Mar 31, 2010 07:41PM)
My preference for wicking is a cotton interior with a wrapped Kevlar exterior.
Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Apr 1, 2010 07:06AM)
Slim Price gave me one his last torches. When I started my interest in fabricating torches I dissected his. The core was glued to the rod with HOT GLUE. I was floored. How could that NOT get all melty and slide off? That's why I invented my reverse barb-hook design. When properly wrapped, a wick secured to the ceiling of my shop was able to hold my body weight.
Message: Posted by: FacadeTheStiltBoy (Apr 1, 2010 05:34PM)
Is it just me or does anybody else notice the difference in taste when it comes to natural fiber wicking and Kevlar?
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Apr 1, 2010 06:02PM)
T.G.N., It's cool you have Slim's Torches. "The Red Headed Sluts" as I believe he called them. I always meant to buy a set, but then it was too late. Are yours red? I always wondered what he used for a red wick but never saw one.

I use white virgin cotton I bought from a medical supply store. It comes in a big roll and is much like a sheet of cotton balls. I cut off a five inch length, two + inch wide strip and wind it around the tip of my torch. The tip is folded over for a hook so the first few wraps go under it then over making sure to cover the tip so it won't become exposed and hot at a later time. After I have it wrapped to the tightness I want I put the head in my mouth and roll it around to make it smooth and not so fluffy.

Then I sew it up with black cotton thread. I used to use 100% cotton thread but can't find it now so I am using mercerized thread. I know I shouldn't but amazingly it doesn't burn. I keep my torches pretty wet and don't let them burn for long. Thread is so much nicer than wire IMO, because it doesn't get hot. With thread wrapped around the base of the head I get fewer burns on the lips. I still get the occasional white lip but only when the A/C is blowing the flame around or if I'm paying attention to something else.
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Apr 1, 2010 06:09PM)
I use cotton core, with a kevlar outer layer. It doesn't hold fluid as much as simply cotton, but it lasts a looooong time.
Message: Posted by: Freak Prodigy (Apr 1, 2010 07:13PM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-01 19:09, Harley Newman wrote:
I use cotton core, with a kevlar outer layer. It doesn't hold fluid as much as simply cotton, but it lasts a looooong time.
[/quote]

Yes yes!
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Apr 2, 2010 07:34AM)
I never considered making hybrid wicks! I'll have to try it!
Thanks Brett/Harley!
Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Apr 2, 2010 07:41AM)
Slims's torch heads had cotton wicking hot glued to a brass rod. The head were then covered with a tiny red (Kevlar?) sock. The base of the sock was secured with thin copper wire. In the process of taking it apart I realized I'd never be able to put it back.

Brett.... I have an idea for you..... make a glass torch handle.
Message: Posted by: erikkloeker (Apr 2, 2010 09:13AM)
I think I remember him saying the red part was terry cloth, (cotton.)
Message: Posted by: Stephon (Apr 2, 2010 05:23PM)
The wick was cotton dish towel, and the sleeve was:

"a product called 'Surgitube', a bandage made for extremities such as fingers. It comes in a roll a few yards long. I dye the whole package red (all at once) with RIT dye and use it as needed. Apply as neeeded acccording to the provided directions. It makes a perfect snug cover that can be used in just a few moments. I always have new looking torches, although the cores are many years old. Recently, I found out that Surgitube uses two different materials. One is a synthetic that will melt in seconds! Not the one to use. The other is the old standby cotton that will last for several shows."
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Apr 2, 2010 07:59PM)
Thanks Stephon. You have answered a question I thought was never going to be answered for me! I never thought of asking you guys after Slim passed. I'm guessing "Surgitube" is flesh colored at the start? I'll have to look for some of it. That sound's much easier than what I have to do every 5-6 months. Just changing a sock and leaving the core in place. Love it!

Regards,
Ted
Message: Posted by: EVILDAN (Apr 2, 2010 09:27PM)
Thanks for the advice. I should have some snappy looking torches in a few days.

EVILDAN.
Message: Posted by: Martin_Ling (Apr 3, 2010 01:15PM)
As far as taste the only difference Ive noticed is that cotton torches when they run out of fuel and start to burn, become ashy and get small embers. Much like eating paper that's on fire. Kevlar gets ruined when burned without fuel but doesn't ever "break down".

Also, I think I have a set of Slim's Torches, but they aren't the ones you are describing the are long with a small ball on the handle, they have a copper guard just before the wick, and the wick is basically a sewn cube of canvas, I'm guessing stuffed with cotton.
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Apr 3, 2010 02:57PM)
With Kevlar, when there's a lot of carbon on it, you can gently wipe a lot of it off. Or wash them.
Message: Posted by: Danny Borneo (Apr 3, 2010 06:44PM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-03 14:15, Martin_Ling wrote:
As far as taste the only difference Ive noticed is that cotton torches when they run out of fuel and start to burn, become ashy and get small embers. Much like eating paper that's on fire. Kevlar gets ruined when burned without fuel but doesn't ever "break down".

Also, I think I have a set of Slim's Torches, but they aren't the ones you are describing the are long with a small ball on the handle, they have a copper guard just before the wick, and the wick is basically a sewn cube of canvas, I'm guessing stuffed with cotton.
[/quote]

Those aren't Slim's torches
Message: Posted by: Martin_Ling (Apr 4, 2010 11:05AM)
Dan, yes you are right. They are contact torches from Bearclaw Fire Arts.

http://www.bearclawmfg.com/catalog/contact-fire-torches-p-143.html?osCsid=d89bbb2816fe2910f64bd2a71537bfcd
Message: Posted by: jeremysweiss (Apr 4, 2010 11:27PM)
You can see a pick of Slim's torches here:

http://www.theshockdocshow.com/gallery/?p=2

http://www.theshockdocshow.com/gallery/?p=4

and here:

http://www.theshockdocshow.com/gallery/?v=2

(don't make fun, it was early in my performance career)
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Apr 7, 2010 01:12AM)
Harley, what kind of Kevlar are you using? Like the juggling torches from Dube wicks? They have wire in them so I wouldn't think that.

I'm just tired of rebuilding torches but I must have the same performance.

I like the sock idea. Surgitube. Where do you find that? CVS? Walgreens? Or a medical supply store?
Message: Posted by: Freak Prodigy (Apr 7, 2010 02:03AM)
Dube sells a fire "cord" it's like a kevlar yarn, this is what is generally used in fire eating torches.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Apr 7, 2010 05:10AM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-01 20:13, Freak Prodigy wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-04-01 19:09, Harley Newman wrote:
I use cotton core, with a kevlar outer layer. It doesn't hold fluid as much as simply cotton, but it lasts a looooong time.
[/quote]

Yes yes!
[/quote]

Suddenly I am reminded of the film "When Harry met Sally"! I've never seen Brett so excited!
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Apr 7, 2010 05:20AM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-07 03:03, Freak Prodigy wrote:
Dube sells a fire "cord" it's like a kevlar yarn, this is what is generally used in fire eating torches.
[/quote]

I use a "fire rope" which in the UK you can get from either a stove shop (wood burning etc) or other hardware stores. It is basically used to lag the door of wood burning stoves - or you can get some from me! I have a 50 foot roll! Itís a lot wider than I wanted but it has a core that can be stripped out (just like magicians rope). It is made of "glass" and does not burn. Good at holding fuel and last good season or two before needing to be re-wicked. (Thanks Ken!).

Any one in the UK reading this thread - the tube stuff for fingers that was mentioned - is generally known as tubi-grip in the UK. I have a LARGE supply of this as well ..... but you may not want any off me as it has been around my lower legs! EW! :arg:

Shock Doc ... do you use your eating rods as your blow out rods as well?
Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Apr 7, 2010 06:56AM)
Dave, I don't know what that means in your country, but over here we generally shy away from saying things like "eating" and "blowing" rods.
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Apr 7, 2010 06:56AM)
Get the cord from Dube, and unravel it into smaller groupings of two threads each.

A couple of cotton balls form the core. Tie one end of a thread group at the base of the core, and wrap. At a certain point, I add a carpet needle (big eye) to the thread, and begin to weave, under, over, under, over, until the torch head has the size and shape I want.

As a final step, I take the thread through the core a couple of times, and trim off the end.

I had my first set of kevlar heads for about 7 years. My current set (hybrid) is several years old, and still works very nicely.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Apr 7, 2010 11:58AM)
I'm so used to cotton wadding I don't know if I would be as proficient with cord? I have ordered some of the surgitubing from an online store so I don't have to drive around trying to find it. It comes in White or Flesh colored. I went with the white and don't think I'll mess with dying it red. White is fine and I look forward to just changing socks so the outside of my torches look nice.

After 24 years of eating fire I am now changing how I make my torches?? I guess I'm not set in my ways.
Message: Posted by: carisahendrix (Jul 4, 2010 04:35PM)
This video might help.

It teaches you how to build a strong simple torch. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VR0qrjNV5TI
Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Jul 5, 2010 06:37AM)
Looks nice, but that's not something someone would use on stage is it? More like "practice torches" really. Part of stage work and prop making is to add a little bit of flair! Something with a nice visual display rather than something that looks like it was made in the performers kitchen. Please don't take this wrong (usually people respond poorly to this type of post), I am not saying your torches suck, it's just a bit too plain for some of the folks who wear bright red sequinned pants with black flame print jacket and leather top hat. Check out my torches at the bottom of the page http://greatnippulini.com/sideshow.html and you'll notice immediately that the visual effect of hand forged irons simply cannot be beat. Also, my patened wick barbing REALLY keeps the head from falling out. I've hung my 186 pound frame from the wicking on my torches without a stitch loose, you just can't get that effect without a good metalworking knowledge and/or a well equipped workshop.
Message: Posted by: FacadeTheStiltBoy (Jul 5, 2010 11:42AM)
That and they just look cool as well.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Jul 5, 2010 02:40PM)
[quote]
On 2010-07-05 07:37, thegreatnippulini wrote:
you just can't get that effect without a good metalworking knowledge and/or a well equipped workshop.
[/quote]

I am fairly sure Nipps is wrong here!

I have virtually no "metalworking knowledge" - OK I can use a drill and make a holey mess of several types of metla - and with different sizes of hole as well!

But this is where he is wrong. If I had his "well equiped workshop" I would not be able to prodice the amazing stuff he makes.

His statement really should have said "and" and not "and / or".

Nipps Stuff is "da bom" - I have no idea what it means but some of the kids say it so it must be good! (Nipps still wiating for the advertising fee from the last time I said your stuff was great!).

PS how is hte beached whale? Erm I mean Wife and unborn baby? When is she due to ... whats the term .... DROP?
Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Jul 5, 2010 03:20PM)
Dave, I was being specific to the barbed edges in the tips. Otherwise you are correct.... I think. No... maybe not... Yeah, the skills and tools required to put the barbs into the edges of the steel make my comment correct. No wait.. you were talking about the whole and/or thing. Disregard the above.

We're due November 18th
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Jul 5, 2010 05:07PM)
Well buckle my braces and call me BOB you sure cleared that one up!

Welcom Carisa. Any relation to Robert?

So quick question:-

How long you been performing fire stunts? Are you in to any other magic related skills? Side show, sword swallowing (of lets not be itemist ... any long falic item can be swallowed - I happen to know Brett has a shoe horn ...... although I fear there may be a possible problem with language here as you americans always get the wrong idea! - Blowing rods, getting a horn from a shoe ... you alwys get it mixed up! - Absolutly no hint of a sexual pun and you all go and get mixed up and before you know it Im usuing the word Sword where any long item will do!)

Just in case you ahvent come across me (Behave Mr Nipps!) I tend to spout gibberish and generaly "sit in a corner and go wibble" - Any one .... any one .... any one .... Buler.... any one... (name the show that "sit in a corner and go wibble" is from .... Ill give you a clue ..... "its cold outside, there is no king of atmosphere .... Im all alone more or less"). And if you cant get it from that well shame on you for not being British enough!
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Jul 9, 2010 03:08PM)
Dave, who is your question being directed towards? The one before the gibberish.
Message: Posted by: MagiciennesUnlimited (Jul 10, 2010 01:14PM)
I think Dave directed it at Carisa. She's not around here much, so I'll help ya Dave. She does scissor blockhead, glasswalk, BON, and fire. I'm sure I'm forgetting something. I don't know how long she's been performing, but she's in her early 20's, I believe.

Her fire eating style is very elegant, and she rocks that at conventions for the suits. She teaches fire, has produced a fire eating dvd (yeah, yeah, shhh, I know), and has a cute 'firebug' podcast with great, useful info.

AND she's a canuck.

http://www.sideshowdarling.com

;)
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Jul 10, 2010 03:03PM)
Tell her to get back here and chat!

Would she all her self a canuck? Are you being rude or nice?

I have to be hinest I was wondering why somone was dropping in with one post and advertising a video vast for making fire munching sticks. I didn't want to get all don't come round here encouraging the buggers with her if it was not warranted.

Teller I say hi (even though shes a bleeding french speaker)



Oh and I meant any relation to Jimmy not Robert! You know they look so similar. I once had a Hendrix guitar and painting but jimmy coulnt paint and Robert couldn't play guitar! (hey why not steal jokes off Tommy hes dead you know!)
Message: Posted by: MagiciennesUnlimited (Jul 10, 2010 04:34PM)
We call ourselves Canucks in Canada. She's a busy girl, but I'll 'teller' you want her back here again ;p
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Jul 10, 2010 05:14PM)
SO why do you call yourselves Canucks in Canada?

And how come you have as much time to spend on here as me? I thought you were a busy one too???

I have just been packing the car for the morning. Off to a local show..... mmm not sur4e I want to go but the zib needs and airing and I want to drum up some business for next year .....

wish me luck .... just don't say break a leg .... not now that I am back in the house that I broke my leg in when I was 2 years old. (earliest memory clear as day) Funy how you try adn move away and end up back in the same hose let alone the same village.
Message: Posted by: MagiciennesUnlimited (Jul 10, 2010 07:17PM)
Ummm...honestly, I don't know...

The greenboard's usually on my 'facebook, email, twitter, itricks circuit' lol...

Leaving for Vegas on Monday for 10 days...so things are getting busier :) Yessssssssssssssssssss

and don't break a leg...stain an uvula.
Message: Posted by: MagiciennesUnlimited (Jul 10, 2010 10:27PM)
Wtf, I meant SPRAIN an uvula...

lol
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Jul 11, 2010 03:39AM)
Well as a Dyslexic Dyslexia tutor can I just say that when there are dyslexics around ......




Donít use words like uvula

We miss read it!
Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Jul 11, 2010 11:45AM)
I'll stain your vulva anytime...
Message: Posted by: MagiciennesUnlimited (Jul 11, 2010 05:56PM)
*falls off couch choking on dinner laughing!!!*
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Jul 12, 2010 02:24AM)
Nipps do you mean Strain?

Or are you thinking giving her INK?
Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Jul 12, 2010 06:22AM)
I was referring to Clintonesque type stains. I would never strain a womans vulva, that's just not gentleman-like a thing to do.