Making Your Own Torches

Basic design by Tim King, with modifications by Tim Earp; any questions and comments should be addressed to either of them.

I used wooden dowels 7/8 of an inch in diameter for the main body (20" long). In the plumbing department of the same hardware store, I discovered copper pipe fittings that just fit over the dowel and did not easily slide off. These were marked as in-line couplers for 3/4 inch copper tubing. They are just copper tubes about 2 inches long and just bigger than the dowel I had in my other hand. By trial and error I discovered that one of these per torch was not sufficient to stop the dowel from catching on fire, but three certainly were. Two might be, but I didn't want to take any chances. The extra metal did tend to add a bit of weight to the torches, and they may be a bit heavier than what you want, but they spin better (IMHO) with the extra weight. You can also get an end piece that will cover the exposed wood on the tip of the dowel. The copper pieces have little dimples in them and if you take an awl and drive it into the dimples it holds the copper onto the dowel. For added safety, I took some silvery muffler tape and covered the seams between the copper segments.

Now, as for the wicks, I am using old army belts that I got at an army surplus store. I wrapped the belt around the copper tip four or five times and drove a nail through the belt/wick into the dowel to hold it momentarily. Then I drilled two holes through the wicks and into the dowel. I used 1 1/4' wood screws with washers to attach the wicks.

Wrap one end in electricians tape, or bicycle handlebar tape, or tennis racket handle tape to make a (slightly) padded grip. Before you wrap the handle you should consider adding a couple of those copper tubes to balance the clubs more to your liking and then wrap those up under the tape. Also, you should consider getting those little rubber tips, that are put on furniture legs to protect the floor, and screw those (with a washer) into the end of the handles.

Making Your Own Torches / Juggling Information Service /
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