How to make a fire sword...
Ok, to get the disclaimers out of the way, playing with fire is dangerous.
You should not try any fire stunt without a spotter, safety equipment, instruction and training.
Equipment could fail if you build it improperly, and could injure yourself or your audience.
This is how I make my fire tools, but it is not to be taken as any kind of guidline or instruction manual.
I am simply sharing my personal experiences, in the hopes that it will help others make safe and effective fire tools.
But even with proper tools, even profesionals can get burned. So be careful! (And have fun)
Ok, on to the instructions.
First, you will need the following items:
1. A sword.
2. A cotton t-shirt
4. Drill bits
5. Needle Nose Pliers
7. Elmer's Glue
8. Thin Aluminum Wire
9. Two Inch Wide Fiberglass Tape
10. One Inch Wide Kevlar Tape
I get my kevlar and fiberglass tape from Jamestown Distributors.
The first step is to drill a hole near the base of the blade, near the hilt.
Make the hole the same size as your wire.
Then drill a hole near the tip of the blade.
Grind down the tip of the blade, so it is not sharp.
Same with the edges of the blade, if they are sharp.
You don't want them to slowly cut through your material over time.
Cut your old t-shirt into one inch strips. Wrap them around the sword in an overlapping pattern.
This is your fuel reservoir. I did two layers, but you can do more if you want a longer burn time.
But the more material you use, the bulkier and heavier the sword will be.
Next I use a layer of fiberglass tape. It is cheaper than kevlar, but is still fairly heat resistant,
since it's made of woven glass.
Like the cotton, I use two layers of the fiberglass tape. You can use more if you prefer.
Next I start wrapping the kevlar. Being sure to ovelap the layers.
Unlike the other materials, you really do need at least two layers of the kevlar.
Not to wick the fuel, but to protect the sword and the other wick materials from the heat.
Now I seal the bottom of the kevlar with the Elmer's glue.
Why Elmer's, you may ask? Because Elmer's glue cures with heat.
Then insert the wire into the hole you drilled, and tie a little knot.
Make sure it's a strong knot. You don't want it coming undone,
and having your fire wick fly off the end of your sword.
I then wrap the sword in a spiral pattern.
When I get to the end, I pull the wire through the other hole, and tie another knot.
It should look something like this when it's wrapped from top to bottom.
You can double wrap it if you want, and go back down in a criss-cross pattern.
I then put liberal amounts of white glue on the tip. The tip will get the most abuse,
both from the heat, and from being set down on the tip.
This is what it will look like when it's done. I added some aluminum
tape on the base of my sword for some extra support and coverage,
but that's an optional step. Make sure to let your glue dry overnight
before trying it out. I know it's tempting to try it right away, but
let it dry first!
4. Success! Now you have a nice new fire toy...
Please keep in mind that heat will eventually destroy the wire, the kevlar,
and may even start cracks in the metal of the sword over time.
You need to always inspect your tools before using them.
Eventually you will need to take it apart, inspect it,
and repeat this process. Don't just keep using it until
it falls apart and hurts someone.