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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Up in smoke! » » Flash paper safety, any tips? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Justin McWilliams
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1983 - 2005
New Jersey
157 Posts

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I just got a hold of some flash paper, never used it. Before I light it, what's the safest way? How do I store it? etc. etc.
Hey I'm a magician, i've never told a lie.....oops:o/
Mark Martinez
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Inner circle
Wisconsin
1280 Posts

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Normally it is shipped and stored wet in a ziplock bag ... and then you only take out what you need and let it dry for 24 hours. At least that’s what I was told and do...
Magically,
Mark

Success comes before work only in the dictionary. - Anonymous
Dragona
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Regular user
New Jersey
159 Posts

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Justin, flash paper takes quick reflexes. You have to pretty much light and throw simultaneously. Smile
I have the breath of dragons and the soul of a human.
kaytracy
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Inner circle
Central California
1793 Posts

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I tend to NOT throw it, but rather, open the fingers holding it as I pass over the source of ignition, candle, etc. If I hold it so that I can drop my hand as it ignites, it gives a nice effect of climbing up from the hand.

The main key I try to use is keep away from the face, do tight balls or wads, and no tight grip— you want it to be able to do it's thing, it wants to burn, and quickly. Holding tight will get you burned.

While it seems to go too fast to ignite anything else, remember, it is still flame, and it IS a spark source. Be sure there are no flammable vapors or other ignitable things about when using this!
Safety first! Smile
Kay and Tory
www.Bizarremagick.com
Dragona
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Regular user
New Jersey
159 Posts

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That sounds like a very good idea. I've only seen people throw it in the air as they light it. But I like the effect where it climbs from the hands. Oh, and are there any ways to use it with live animals without hurting them? This is one you can answer Dave Scribner. Smile
I have the breath of dragons and the soul of a human.
David_Libertine
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Regular user
Lake Charles, LA
142 Posts

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Justin,

If you're going to use fire effects I recommend purchasing a small metal toolbox or something similar.

I keep all my fire materials, chemicals, etc. in a metal Craftsman toolbox that is well marked as containing flammable materials.

Thank the gods, I've never had an accident but if anything ever did happen at least the house wouldn't burn down.

As a matter of a disclaimer, let me add that if the materials are explosive, not simply flammable, the box idea wouldn't help and you would need something on the order of a small powder magazine.

Just use common sense and be aware that you CAN get burned if you play with fire.
Boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Boy: There is no spoon.
Neo: There is no spoon?
Boy: Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.
Justin McWilliams
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1983 - 2005
New Jersey
157 Posts

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Would one of those fire proof file boxes work just as well?

Mr. Libertine, thank you for the warning in your last sentence. I know the dangers as to getting burned playing with fire, as I am a chef/baker. I get burned all the time. It is a great thing to remind people of that at all times.
Hey I'm a magician, i've never told a lie.....oops:o/
CardFan
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& Special Guest
406 Posts

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Keep the stuff wet when not using it and begin with small quantities. Do not forget that repetitive amount of flash using can also be harmful to your eyes' retinas.
Bye!
Simplest of the schoolboys now knows truths for which Archimedes would have given his life...
Reg Rozee
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Vancouver, Canada
592 Posts

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I've had some that burns a little slower than other batches. If you are using a method of igniting it that keeps it in contact with metal (like a finger *****er), this can heat up fast and give you a good burn. I would recommend testing any new flash paper you get to see how it responds. For this reason I prefer cotton when possible as it seems to burn faster.

Also like David, when I have any on hand I keep it wet in a sealed metal tool box. I have also discovered that property insurance will not cover a fire if it was caused by something like this you were storing on the premises. Just having it may invalidate your insurance completely, you should check if you are concerned about such things.

Oh yeah, and despite the temptation, you really should try not to look right at it when it ignites as CardFan pointed out.

-Reg {*}
Reality is what doesn't go away when you stop believing in it. -Phillip K. Dick



Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes? -Chico Marx
kaytracy
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Inner circle
Central California
1793 Posts

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As a person who crews on the 4th of July with some big stuff (as well a being a safety person by day), just really follow the manufacturer's instructions when dealing with ANY of this stuff. Some things will require storage in wood (kaboom stuff), and others in metal, or grounded vented containers— like flammable cabinets seen in safety catalogs, though if you are buying that much of the stuff, I would be getting nervous.

This may sound funny, but if you have a house with a fireplace, and are NOT lighting fires, it is actually a good place to store said metal box!

For more safety information, remember the MSDS, or Material Safety sheet. The supplier by law must make them available to you. Be sure to ask for them.
Also try http://www.hazard.com
kay Smile
Kay and Tory
www.Bizarremagick.com
M-Illusion
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549 Posts

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One of the things I would suggest is to always have a fire extinguisher on-hand when you use it in a performance.

Any time we use pyrotechnics in a show, we have several actually on stage (hidden), and more off-stage.

For a smaller affair, having a home-use one (about $15-$20) in your table or whatever would be just as effective.
WVMAGIC
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I would recommend getting a hand flasher. I like the electronic versions. This is harder to burn yourself with. Also know that if you ball the paper, the tighter the ball, the longer it takes to burn out when lit. In other words, practice thoroughly before doing anything around other people. I once accidentally set my mom's hair on fire during my teen years— true story.
Docc Spurlock
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Chicago & Arizona
174 Posts

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I use fire in my act all the time. A great effect using flash paper is use it with a flash wand. I use it in conjuction with my sound activated dove tray. I put one small expended cap in a piece of flash paper along with some flash powder, twist it into a small packet and put it in the flash wand. Use a dowel rod to push it down the barrel.

When I fire it at the dove tray from about 12 to 15 feet away, the packet flys across the stage just in front of the dove tray and there is a large puff of smoke and a flash and a dove appearance.

Try it, it works great.

Spurlock
"CREATOR OF THE FLOATING FLAME TO DOVE"


.


If you are always looking back you can't see what's in front of you so when you bump your head again you have no one to blame but yourself!
Shadow Dancer
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Melbourne, Australia
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I use fire in my act. But the way I've found out what's safest, (and more effective) is to try a bit at a time. Use a bit of F/P then use a slightly bigger piece... Once you know flash paper, you can use more and more. Oh, this reply is probably a bit late. But anyway, Cheers
Shadow Dancer
'The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.'
<br> AlbertEinstein
Fantasy Knight
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Loyal user
Toronto,Ontario,Canada
244 Posts

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Well I have to take this opportunity to post my feelings about playing with fire and proper care of materials.

My stage name today is Fantasy Knight, but back when I was 20, I went by the name Fire Dragon.

My whole entire routine was with Doves and Fire effects and of course card manipulation. One day I set myself a blaze in front of a viewing audience and lucky for me, I was equipped for such a show. So I suggest before any show with fire you carry a fire extinguisher and fire blanket also wouldn't hurt.

Now today, a dealer myself, I can be held accountable if someone gets burned by improper use of fire products. So 18 or older and dealers are told we must supply a saftey sheet which you heard kaytracy mention in her post.

Now proper care for the flash paper; I must spray each flash sheet with a squirt bottle of distilled water that keeps it in safe storage. For whoever mentioned about the paper burning slow, that can be caused from spraying with tap water from what I learned in my years as a fire performer. Too many chemicals in straight out tap water. Now there's other reasons as to why it can burn slow, but it's from age of the paper or when making of the paper itself.

Now there was a book in print that teaches you how to make your own flash paper and flash bills to suit your countries money. Maybe someone here may know of the book and offer that to you as I don't recall. It has been too many years for me.

Well that's about all, hope that helps out some.
Grew up near one of the greatest minds in magic the late Stewart James, in a town called Wallaceburg just 15 mins from Courtright where James could be found, time and time again he would inspire me to always be creative and just love all magic.
David Todd
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Inner circle
1486 Posts

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I have to admit that in all my years in and around the magic world I have not used flash paper.

Recently, I've been working on an effect that requires it for production of a bottle.

I am storing mine in a metal box but wondered from reading this thread if I should also be keeping it wet (in a plastic bag) while stored in the metal box.

When I remove it before a show, how long does it take to dry out?

How should it be transported to a show?

I did notice with some concern the warning printed on the back of the packet I purchased:

"Not to be stored in any residence".

I didn't notice the warning on the package until I got home from the magic shop.

Have I really invalidated my insurance policy by having it stored in a cool, dry place (my basement magic room) inside a metal box?

Yikes. Smile

Maybe I don't want to do that trick after all.

How does one go about safely disposing of unused flash paper (besides burning it one sheet at a time out in the back yard?)
morpheus
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15 Posts

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I keep all of my flash paper, cotton, etc. in a "safe box" you can buy them at stores like Kmart and Walmart they are made of thick steel and will hopefully prevent an explosion
-morpheus
riberts
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New user
Yorkshire, UK
53 Posts

Profile of riberts
As I recently learnt to my great surprise, despite the speed at which Flashpaper burns, it still really, REALLY hurts if you try to light it on your palm for pyro effects.

A word for the wise...
...it's not big and it's not clever.

This was a public service announcement.
jmm1303
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New user
Tennessee
49 Posts

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I think when I get my order of flash paper I will buy a tool box as well
jlotto
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New user
60 Posts

Profile of jlotto
Whenever i use flash paper, it leaves that yellow residue behind on cards, the table, whatever. What would you suggest for getting it off. Smile
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