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Topic: Hands On Fire
Message: Posted by: giggalo183 (Aug 21, 2002 02:56AM)
Anyone know of an effect or trick or book or method of igniting my whole hand on fire for like 5 seconds without hurting myself, or anything else like to stab myself.
Message: Posted by: Peelz (Aug 21, 2002 10:17PM)
Rubbing alchohol won't hurt if it's only for 5 seconds or so, but try it at your own risk, I stopped doing it because I got burned....
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Aug 23, 2002 10:48PM)
Uh, am I the only one scared about sticking my hand in a flame while it is doused in rubbing alchohol?
Message: Posted by: Missing_Link (Aug 24, 2002 03:31AM)
You'd probably be interested in the technique fire artists call "trailing". There is some dispute as to which fuel is best. I use "white gas" like Coleman brand.

Visit the discussion board at
There are plenty of threads there on fire art that will interest you. Or PM me if you like.


Message: Posted by: Michael J. Douglas (Aug 29, 2002 04:17AM)
You can use 'white gas' like ML said, which is Coleman fluid, or you can use Zippo lighter fluid. They're the same thing.
I use it to do 'trailing' and to transfer a flame from one torch to another.
Check out~
Message: Posted by: Patrick Redford (Oct 15, 2002 09:25AM)
Rubbing Alcohol works well for this as well.

Use it in a small amount. DO NOT DOUSE THE HAND.

Once the alcohol burns away, the flame goes out.

Please though be sure to have a fire resistant blanket nearby that you can put your hand in if it burns too long.

If it starts to feel too hot, PUT THE FLAME OUT.

Also simply blowing the flame out - bad idea.

One it might not go out
and two you might hurt yourself even more.

oh... try to stay away from hairspray, fans and any form of wind.

Happy Burning,

George Tait
Message: Posted by: MrHonesty (Oct 16, 2002 05:09PM)
Okay I did it, under no persuasion from the Café but I lit my hand on fire. A lot! I was trying to get a good photo with the left hand while I'm setting the right on fire. Tricky business. I finally got it though and I'm glad there is someplace to share it.

My method was to soak my hand in icewater for a bit until cold and then place my hand palm down in a shallow dish of 91% alcohol. It does get hot but after about 15 tries I still wasn't burned.


Here's the link to view the picture. [url=http://groups.msn.com/MrHonestyHimself/photoalbum1.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=33]Look Here![/url]
Message: Posted by: Giuseppe (Nov 5, 2002 09:19AM)
You can pretty much use anything with alcohol. I have had success just using a lighter. All you need to do is make a fist but let your first finger go out leaving an indentation then putting the gas on and lighting it. It looks very cool. Word of advice --if it hurts, it's not your imagination, trust me. I found out the hard way. :firedevil:
Message: Posted by: tim_mantis (Dec 12, 2002 06:26PM)
Say goodbye to any hairs on your hand!

Message: Posted by: Brent Allan (Dec 22, 2002 05:35PM)

That is a very cool picture!! Now the question is:

What do you plan to use it for??
Message: Posted by: 6th Sense (Dec 28, 2002 05:49AM)
That is a neat picture!
Well done for giving it a try.
I agree, dip your hand in ice cold water, dry it off, then apply the alcohol to light. That way, the skin is resistant towards intense heat.

But be careful, you can burn yourself without knowing with this one, as your skin is almost numb.

Take care.
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Dec 29, 2002 06:59AM)
Wow, I am always amused by the information you can find here....

Awesome pick, congratulations!
Message: Posted by: lhughes (Dec 30, 2002 04:41PM)
Look, I know this isn't nearly as cool as lighting your bare hand but has anyone tried lighting their hands with a glove on? I saw a magician who seemed to use white magicians gloves. Anyone know?
Message: Posted by: Slim Price (Dec 30, 2002 06:43PM)
It might have been me! I used to open my act by dipping a white gloved finger in my soaking pan, lighting it from a candle and putting it out in my mouth, and then taking the gloves off, lighting my fire-eating torches with the finger, and then back into the mouth, and putting the finger out. All, of course, with expressions of pleasure... I used Ronsonol Fluid at the time. Just a note, I found that a small glass of wine after the act did wonders for killing the taste....
Slim Price :firedevil:

I have to add this. Never, never use the new Poly fabrics, around a fire act, just cotton. I had an edge, at the time I worked in a graveyard, and had bags of used pall-bearers gloves I rescued. <G>
Message: Posted by: The Village Idiots (Jan 4, 2003 06:24PM)
Stevens Magic used to sell a product called Fire Gloves to Dove.

It came with cotten gloves a special gimick for the dove and a bottle of something called cold fire.

I have a bottle of it somewhere?

You would wet the glove with water then with the fuel.

Great effect. I don't know if they still market it or not?

Sillily, Will
Message: Posted by: lhughes (Jan 6, 2003 12:37PM)
Thanks for the replies. I don't think it was you Slim, but the lighting of the gloves was an opening effect. Will, do you need to wet them with water first?

Sleightly yours, Lorne
Message: Posted by: debaser (Jan 12, 2003 09:37PM)
If you want to see some irresponsible use
of fire on various body parts check out the

Steve-o tour movie (of Jack***)

Message: Posted by: drwilson (Jan 21, 2003 06:44AM)
"Cold fire" is a 2:1 mixture of carbon disulfide to carbon tetrachloride. It burns "cold" and you could burn it on cotton gloves or your bare skin. So why has this effect not swept the fire world?

Carbon tetrachloride is now known to be a carcinogen, a nasty one too, not just like smoking. Carbon disulfide smells pretty bad too. I am just telling you this so that you will know why a seeming great effect from a bygone era has vanished. It is a really bad, dumb idea.

Stay healthy and embrace life in your performances!


Message: Posted by: jugglingeagle (Jul 28, 2004 12:58PM)
Mr. Honesty,

How long did that flame burn? I am very interested in this effect and have been working on it for a while. I notice that the higher the level of alcohol, the hotter it burns and the longer it lasts, but it seems to get too hot too fast for me. I find that using rubbing alcohol on my fingertips lasts the longest.

Can you guys give me some hints please as to how I might be able to make the flame last longer?

Ancora Imparo
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Jul 28, 2004 01:45PM)
OK, guys this is bordering on irresponsible.

Fire burns. Cloth burns, alcohol burns and skin burns. Fire gags are not something you want to “experiment” with at home (heck, homes burn!).

Believing that cold fire does not burn is totally wrong. Granted that it burns with a lower surface temperature and usually burns-off before it can ignite cotton or skin. However to think that it cannot set a room on fire or catch your clothing on fire, or burn your face off is simply wrong thinking. Fire is fire is fire. Combustion can and does disfigure, maim and even kill.

It is not cool to burn yourself to death!
Message: Posted by: ns (Jul 29, 2004 11:34AM)
If I may I recently had the chance to see the Steve-O show live, and they did a stunt where they actually set Steve-O's hair on fire, then had another person blow a fireball over his head. He does this every show - night after night - and doesn't lose his hair. He sprayed on hair spray really thick and lit it up.

Any idea how this could be accomplished? It totally amazed me.

Also it was said that the Steve-o show video shows immature use of fire. I disagree. These guys are pros and use fire every day. They sell videos of their escapades and as such. When the fire stunts go wrong it makes good video. Plus it shows people that accidents do happen. In my eyes it is often worse to attempt a claim that everything goes right all the time---aka no danger.
Message: Posted by: Slim Price (Jul 29, 2004 11:15PM)
You guys are bordering on dangerous behavior. Any true fireworker shuns alcohol as too risky with little benefit. Numbing your hands with anything just lowers your control, skin will still burn at 130 degrees F whether you can feel it or not! There are ways to do what you want, but wet gloves and numbing hands is not the answer... Weigh the moment of excitement against the weeks of recovery from burns before you do these stunts. Get a teacher if you want to be a pro. If you just want to impress somebody for a moment do a card trick, otherwise a burn is guaranteed. Trust me some on this, I started eating fire professionally before the middle of the last century...
Slim Price