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Ever make a torch?
#1
Somebody mentioned torches the other day (not on the forum).  I realized I'd never actually made a torch so...

I had about two pounds of pine pitch I had harvested so I decided that would be my fuel.  I melted some down in a tin can and mixed in dry plant matter as a thickener.  I caked the rest of the pitch onto a stick.  I wrapped the pine pitch in long blades of green grass and then spread the thickened pitch over that.  Last, I wrapped the whole thing in some spruce bark to hold it all together tightly.

The torch threw a ton of light and burned for at least 20 minutes.  Better construction and using a 3'4" - 1" diameter green stick of hardwood would probably double that.  The head eventually burned through the stick and fell off into the fire pit.  Also, I would wrap it more completely next time because flaming gobs of pine pitch dripped off like napalm now and then.


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#2
Just the thing for rioting.
You could make money selling these at the next demonstration against situation in Karkistan.

Just the thing for rioting.
You could make money selling these at the next demonstration against the situation in Karkistan.
"You can't hit the ball unless you take a swing."
Martin Crane

"As God once said - and I think rightly . . ."
Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery

“Steady Monty. you cant speak to me like that. I'm you boss."
Dwight D. Eisenhower


"Remember gentlemen it is not just France we are fighting for, it's champagne."
Churchill 




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#3
I never made one the did not drip.

Best was 70% pitch 20% paraffin (the idea was beeswax, but beeswax is to valuable to me) and 10% powdered clinker charcoal, you use a metal cup and a lip and attaches to a hardwood handle the same way a hoe fits, (socket)
the cup has a nail in the center that comes up through the center of the cup with the head outside of the cup 16 penny common works just fine for a four to six inch tall head and a sixty penny nail for a 12 inch tall head

Take what ever natural fiber cloth that is available to you, cut into strips what ever width you want your torch head to be tall, lay out your strips of cloth, pour the melted pitch mixture onto the cloth totally saturating the cloth, wear PVC or some other chemically resistant cloth gloves, roll the saturated cloth tightly while still hot to your desired diameter, wrap at least a few winds of wire around the head so as to hold the general shape while burning.

Torch head four to twelve inches long two to six inches diameter, handle three feet to ten feet or so long.

Burn time varies with size, and wind and wire wrap and cup depth, but hours to a day or so is pretty easy to get.

The cup and lip are very important to avoid the fire running down the stick.

Heating and straining the pitch is also important to avoid Popping and spattering.

The pitch/cloth combination keeps burning in wind and rain, the wax contributes to make the mixture more controllable during manufacture and the powdered charcoal helps lower volume of drips and keeping the torch lighted in wind and rain.

While the torch head is still hot and malleable during manufacture poke a hole for the nail into one end.
Andre Dumouchel





Having My Name and Living in Texas, it is simply assumed that I will Eat Anything and have Primitive Skills.

(Some Women like a Fella that has Primitive Skills!)

(Some Men Too, and That's Ok!)

Stupidity can be painful, and fun to watch from time to time.
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#4
(10-16-2017, 10:48 PM)Andre DuMouchel Wrote: I never made one the did not drip.

Best was 70% pitch 20% paraffin (the idea was beeswax, but beeswax is to valuable to me) and 10% powdered clinker charcoal, you use a metal cup and a lip and attaches to a hardwood handle the same way a hoe fits, (socket)
the cup has a nail in the center that comes up through the center of the cup with the head outside of the cup 16 penny common works just fine for a four to six inch tall head and a sixty penny nail for a 12 inch tall head

Take what ever natural fiber cloth that is available to you, cut into strips what ever width you want your torch head to be tall, lay out your strips of cloth, pour the melted pitch mixture onto the cloth totally saturating the cloth, wear PVC or some other chemically resistant cloth gloves, roll the saturated cloth tightly while still hot to your desired diameter, wrap  at least a few winds of wire around the head so as to hold the general shape while burning.

Torch head four to twelve inches long two to six inches diameter, handle three feet to ten feet or so long.

Burn time varies with size, and wind and wire wrap and cup depth, but hours to a day or so is pretty easy to get.

The cup and lip are very important to avoid the fire running down the stick.

Heating and straining  the pitch is also important to avoid Popping and spattering.

The pitch/cloth combination keeps burning in wind and rain, the wax contributes to make the mixture more controllable during manufacture and the powdered charcoal helps lower volume of drips and keeping the torch lighted in wind and rain.

While the torch head is still hot and malleable during manufacture poke a hole for the nail into one end.

That's a lot of great info right there.  Thanks for posting it.
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#5
Yes and thank you Dashing!!!!

This was a wicked post--I have never made a torch nor used one--I have always wondered how it would turn out--you have inspired me to try my own--since yours worked out so well!! Cool  very cool post

AOC
"When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."--Thomas Jefferson

"Buy land- they are not making it anymore"- Mark Twain

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile €”hoping it will eat him last." -Winston Churchill

"Wilderness is in our hearts first and always. All of us can't have a cabin in the mountains. It's the wilderness within we must strive for first."- R. Sullivan
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#6
Thanks for the photo and both the explanations

Would a green wood stick/pole or a dry wood stick/pole be a better choice???
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#7
I will make one for our next protest march against the demise of the Natterjack toad. lol
"You can't hit the ball unless you take a swing."
Martin Crane

"As God once said - and I think rightly . . ."
Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery

“Steady Monty. you cant speak to me like that. I'm you boss."
Dwight D. Eisenhower


"Remember gentlemen it is not just France we are fighting for, it's champagne."
Churchill 




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#8
(10-18-2017, 12:30 AM)mjh Wrote: Thanks for the photo and both the explanations

Would a green wood stick/pole or a dry wood stick/pole be a better choice???

A green stick would definitely be better, and a hardwood like maple.
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#9
(10-18-2017, 10:03 AM)Limey Pete Wrote: I will make one for our next protest march against the demise of the Natterjack toad. lol

hahahahah Big Grin Big Grin

does your protest include and angry mob with pitchforks and torches...as long as they are not trying to take my privilege I'm ok with that Cool


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AOC
"When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."--Thomas Jefferson

"Buy land- they are not making it anymore"- Mark Twain

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile €”hoping it will eat him last." -Winston Churchill

"Wilderness is in our hearts first and always. All of us can't have a cabin in the mountains. It's the wilderness within we must strive for first."- R. Sullivan
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#10
Better watch that knife, laddie... You are fixing to get a smile like The Joker...

On one of our Black Belt training classes, we were practicing building entries. One of the guys had my Pilot's Survival knife in his mouth. As we stacked up, one of the other guys whispered something, the guy with the knife turned his head, and cut the other guy right below the eye. Yikes! Damn near a tragedy....

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#11
(10-18-2017, 10:58 PM)Bill Hay Wrote: Better watch that knife, laddie...  You are fixing to get a smile like The Joker...

On one of our Black Belt training classes, we were practicing building entries.  One of the guys had my Pilot's Survival knife in his mouth.  As we stacked up, one of the other guys whispered something, the guy with the knife turned his head, and cut the other guy right below the eye.  Yikes!  Damn near a tragedy....

It was strictly for photographic ridiculousness.
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#12
Nice work! Now that you mentioned it i realize i haven't done a torch either. I will try next weekend using similar materials that you used
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