I promised some time ago that I'd show you how to make a fire staff - and here it is.
This method works for fire staffs and poi used for fire twirling/ fire dancing
Using a hacksaw, cut the curtain rod to length.
Using a saw (or the hacksaw) cut the wooden dowel pieces to length.
The dowels may need sanding down to thickness so they are a tight fit in the ends of the curtain rods. Using the hammer or mallet, GENTLY tap the dowels into the ends of the curtain rod.
Mark and centre punch the curtain rod at 1 cm (half inch) and 4 cm (two and a half inches) from each end.
Drill holes sized to the brass screws, through the curtain
rod and into the wooden dowel.
Cut the wick to length with the scissors -
Then wind the kevlar around the end of the curtain rod, making sure you fold the last centimetre (half inch) under to act as a seam, as shown here:
Now screw the brass screws through the kevlar into the holes you drilled earlier (tip: make a card template so you know where the holes are). I've used brass because it doesn't rust - you can use steel ones if you prefer.
Repeat the process at the other end. Now, find the balance point
of the staff and apply a few drops of superglue and wrap the centre of the
staff with craft foam/wet suit fabric or string so you have a comfortable
centre grip which also provides a visual and tactile reference point to locate
the centre of balance of the staff.
Your finished staff or staffs should look like this:
If you want to make poi (fireball on a string) use the same method, but cut the curtain rod to 10cm (four inch) lengths. When you have attached the kevlar, drill a pilot hole in the end of the dowel away from the wick and screw in an eye-bolt to which you can attach a 50cm (18 inch) length of light chain. The finished poi will look like this (without the chain attached).
Now attach the chain - dog leash chain works well, as you can see on this pair of poi
To condition the wicks and ensure that they don't burn smokily,
soak the wicks in kerosene overnight (that's paraffin if you are in the UK)
then light and blow them out at least five times. This conditions the wick
and helps to maintain capillary action so they will last longer and burn with
less smoke. The dowel ends serve three purposes: firstly, they provide 'bite'
for the screws so the wicks won't come off at embarrassing (and potentially
dangerous) moments; secondly, they provide a little weight at the ends to
give the staff momentum when twirling; and thirdly they prevent heat from
traveling up the tube and making the staff too hot to twirl comfortably.
Remember - BE SAFETY CONSCIOUS AT ALL TIMES - and enjoy!
FIRE TWIRLING IS DANGEROUS - I take no
responsibility (or liability) for your construction or use of these fire toys
- I have no control over how you make or use them so I can't be responsible
for any injuries arising from poor construction or use. This is simply how
I made them - and they work for me. And please use fire safely - they are
for outdoor use only and ensure you have an extinguisher and/or fire blanket
to hand, and preferably a trained fire safety officer - Cyberfire has people
trained in fire safety and first aid at all of their performances. Use them
only under trained adult supervision.
Always check your equipment before each use - and enjoy! Fire twirling is spectacular and fun.