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Old 10-14-03, 01:56 AM   #1
jonnyflash
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Default whats up with those torches?

Theres a brand of torches I wont name here that I worked with recently. After dipping, shaking off and lighting,the wick AND the body of the torch start burning. The body is made of plastic. The plastic is not protected at all. so the body burns and twists up, looks like crap. Thinking these couldnt be disposeable torches, I asked around and those who use them have a rack of some sort on their case, and they hang them after dipping for a bit to ensure no stray fuel drips will light up the body of the torch.
the performer wheo has no such rack, he put some sort of heat absorbing gel/substance on the body of his torches, which changes the weighting dramatically, but hes used to it.
I love the shape of these torches, and their lightness...anyone have a better way to overcome this design flaw?
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Old 10-14-03, 02:12 AM   #2
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Johnny,

Why are you trying to protect this manufacturer if his products are flawed? Do you want to insure that other jugglers purchase crap products?

personally I use renagades, and occasionally the rubber which protects the body catches fire. This only happens when you hold the torches downward and it goes out once you start juggling. I've used the same torches for two years now and the wicks are getting a little spent, but as far as the rubber part burning-- it's not a big deal.

Oh, and you said the melted plastic makes the torch look like crap-- well when you're juggling fire, no one is looking at the handle, they're watching the flame, so who cares?


étienne
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Old 10-14-03, 09:42 AM   #3
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I agree, if you're going to bag on a product then let us know who it is so we can watch out for it and/or give our input.
I've got Infinite Illusion torches that I'm not real satisfied with. They're to light and the plastic decoration melts easily. Much the way you describe. Plus they don't seem very well constructed. They do have a SS shaft and protector between the wicks and plastic but the plastic still melts and disfigures very easily. I showed the melted clubs to a Infinite Illusions rep at a juggling fest and she said she had never seen that happen before. I asked if she had ever juggled your own torches. She said yes but I question that cause all mine disfigured pretty quickly and I am carefull to hold them up and not face the wind. Still the effect is the same and the audience never see's the melted plastic but I'll switch to Renegade once these are worn out.
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Old 10-14-03, 10:00 AM   #4
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my experience with torches:

dube "standanrd"- wooden handles hurt the hands after a while, odd weight / feel. Makes an excellent swinging torch, however.

dube "deluxe" - too friggin heavy!

infinate illusions - too flimsy

Henry's - beautiful torches, excellent weight, highly recommended.

Beard - cheaper than Henry's and a bit flimsier, but not a bad product

Renagade - Great weight, nice feel. The rubber thing catches on fire, and the wicking is stapled on so it's more difficult to re-wick.


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Old 10-14-03, 11:53 AM   #5
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I like these:

torch construction

No plastic, and a nice solid handle for good control. But if you like a soft handle torch, take a look at:

torch construction 2

They are very easy to build, and you can adopt the design to your style and needs. More to the point, if they melt, you simply change the design and make new ones. I use double wicks on my juggling torches for the super-big flame, so I like a slightly longer handle to save the arm hair a bit.

Each torch costs about five or six bucks each in materials.

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Old 10-14-03, 12:31 PM   #6
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[quote]Originally posted by Steven Ragatz:
<strong>Each torch costs about five or six bucks each in materials.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Plus a lathe... and a lot of patience! [img]wink.gif[/img]

Seriously, those look great Steven. I don't juggle fire, but if I did, that self lighting torch is GOLD. Such a simple idea, but I've never seen it used before. I can think of several ideas for that effect in a show situation. Excellent job.

Jim

P.S. I never understood why torch manufacturers made torches with plastic or rubber within flame range. Duh. Why hasn't anyone designed a solid, one piece, aluminum body torch with no flamable parts? Sure they would be more expensive, but you'd only have to buy them once.
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Old 10-14-03, 01:11 PM   #7
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[quote] Plus a lathe... and a lot of patience! <hr></blockquote>

Lathe yes, patience no. Wood turning is fun because it is so fast. The chips fly about and you can turn a torch handle in about twenty minutes.

You don't need a lathe for the soft handle model. I haven't posted it to my site, but you can build devil sticks and torch handles using an additive approach, rather than the subtractive one with a lathe. By cutting paper, gluing it, and wrapping it up around a wooden or aluminum core, you can build up the taper for the handle. If the paper is saturated with a diluted white glue solution, once dry, you can sand it to shape and paint it.

Still, if one does lots of juggling, investing in the tool my be a good option. A medium sized lathe costs a couple hundred dollars, and can produce an unlimited number of handle and stick type props to your custom specs. At ~$30/ea. for torches, a set of six will cost about as much as the lathe in the first place. Of course, you do have to have somewhere to set it up, and don't expect to travel with one in you carry-on luggage!

I like building things, so it's as much about being able to make my own props as it is to actually have them. If you don't want to be bothered, then by all means, order from one of the many vendors world-wide. Most of the builders will do minor customizations if you request them.

As for an all aluminum torch, I suspect it might offer some problems. Unless you wanted it to just be a piece of aluminum tubing with a wick on the end, you would probably have to spin it to get a tapered shape. Welding aluminum requires tig welding, and a great deal of practice. (As I understand it, the metal melts at a temperature that is very close to the welding temp.) A solid piece could be turned, but it would be really heavy, and take a long time to mill.

I don't like the torches with Mylar, and don't really see the point. The fire is the part that everyone sees, and if the Mylar doesn't melt, it gets black the first time you light 'em up. The wood torches can be cleaned up before important shows with a can of Rustoleum heat resistant enamel paint.

OK - I'm done now...

Steven Ragatz

[ 10-14-2003: Message edited by: Steven Ragatz ]</p>
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Old 10-14-03, 03:05 PM   #8
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[quote]Originally posted by Jim:
<strong>Sure they would be more expensive, but you'd only have to buy them once.</strong><hr></blockquote>

The key to being successful is repeat business!!! Torches are designed with "planned obsolesence."

étienne
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Old 10-14-03, 04:05 PM   #9
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Steven -

What do you use to cover the end of the tube near the wick so the end of the wood doesn't burn inside the tube?

I have a lathe, and haven't had the need to make my own props yet... I have been extremely lucky to find excellent deals on props from friends in need of cash.
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Old 10-14-03, 04:08 PM   #10
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The goal of the original post was not to "bag on the prop." His intentions were to find a way around the problems. He likes the torch besides the fact that it's completely combustable.

TIG Welding
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Old 10-14-03, 11:26 PM   #11
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[quote]What do you use to cover the end of the tube near the wick so the end of the wood doesn't burn inside the tube? <hr></blockquote>

Nothin' Eventually the wood burns, but I've got sets of torches that are ten years old, and even though the wood at the top is charred, the aluminum tube provides structural support with no worries.

When they cost only a few bucks and an hour in the shop, why worry? Heck, all I have to do is drop one and ding the handle and I don't want to use it anymore. "Oh prop boy! Get me a new torch! This one is soiled..."

Steven Ragatz

PS. I did a quick I-check, and I think that Scot is correct - it's more likely to be tig welding with aluminum than mig as I originally posted...

[ 10-15-2003: Message edited by: Steven Ragatz ]

[ 10-15-2003: Message edited by: Steven Ragatz ]</p>
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Old 12-02-03, 02:03 AM   #12
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Unuseless facts about aluminum / torch musings. (Caution; disjointed musiungs ahead.)

Somebody mentioned an all-aluminum torch, and got me thinking. I think the way to do it, if doing it at all, would be to mould the whole thing in one piece. This would lead to some interesting size/weight issues - aluminum is light for a metal, but not really really light. You might build something really wacky looking with a sleek hole going through the bell, i.e, the torch forks off, and then joins up again. Hmm. Also, aluminum absorbs and conducts heat really fast, Do you think that the handles would get warm/hot after a whie? Perhaps if building the torch body out of aluminum, you'd still want a wood handle? I dunno.

Aluminum can be MIG or TIG welded. It can even be welded with stick-arc or oxy-acetylene welders. All of these methods are hard as heck to do because all aluminum is always covered in a fine coat of aluminum oxide - the moment you cut into a piece of aluminum, the outside oxidizes again. The problem is that aluminum oxide's melting point is way higher than that of aluminum, so whenever you heat up aluminum, the actual thing you're working on has melted away by the time you break through the outer crust. It's an EXTREME pain in the but with any welding process, but easiest with TIG, or MIG if your welder is set up right.

Yikes, that's more than I'm sure anybody was interested in.

Good luck, happy alumination.
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Old 12-03-03, 05:26 PM   #13
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I was testing the water a bit, not naming the company because I don't know whos tied into what or even if the torches I bought from the distributor in Osaka were standard models(I thought maybe he receives parts and peices them together himself; the handles were not mylared and he advised me that torches should not be epected to last more than a year, "real" performers don't rewick their torches, etc. etc.)
I got the sense he was trying to reduce my expectations so this product could meet them.

The staple-on wicks, and lack of a welded cap on the end of the aluminum tube(actually sheeting stapled to a dowel, this is the most glaring design flaw and guarantees a shorter lifespan) as well as the flammable body have helped me conclude that my Renegade torches are meant to be quite disposeable if I use them in the regular way, but can last if I take special care and precautions. props needing TLC arent really my favorite for the street, cuz I want the ability to just soak and light, repeatedly if neccessary,Who wants to have to make allowances for a crap product in their show.
I love the weighting and shape of these torches though, so I will use em until the fuel that seeps into the layers of the aluminum sheeting wrapped n stapled on the dowel(which Ive seen burning already) weakens the dowel to the point where it breaks at the next impact with something hard.Then I will make my own bloody torches, though I will use lightweight wood and shoot for Renegade feel and shape.
Thanks guys for the cool torchmaking pages.


I'll retreive my Todd Smith torches from Canada next week and use them for shows where I need to dip and relight on the stage.
Aluminum torches: I have seen prototype handles that could have club, torch, or knife ends screwed on the threaded end opposite from the knob, and they were heavy enough that I suspect at least the midsection was aluminum.
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Old 12-03-03, 06:02 PM   #14
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I absolutely love renegade torches! I have a set I have used thousands of times over the past 5 or six years on the street. The rubber piece that melts, I have replaced once, and have redecorated once a couple of years ago. I put electrical tape over the handle for more grip, cause i like it that way. The end of the torch is a bit burned down, but there has been no structural damage due to the fire or drops. I think you will be surprised at how durable they are. nothing else handles like them. This is, of course, my opinion based on personal experience.

My torches have never burned like yours seem to have done, you said you shake them, but how much do you soak them? [img]confused.gif[/img]

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Old 12-04-03, 12:13 AM   #15
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I've been using the same set of renegade torches VERY often for three years now. I'm extraordinarily lazy, so I've never re-wicked them, redecorated them or re-rubbered them. They still work great but I'll probably replace them next year. I give most props a 2-4 year lifespan.

Let's face it, a juggling torch is something you set on fire and throw around. You can't expect it to last forever.

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Old 03-23-05, 08:17 PM   #16
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Thumbs Up Still usin em

Spring 2005 and Im still using them.
I take it all back. As a tooly fixy guy by nature, I saw the non-fixable nature of these units as a flaw. Through all those shows, my Renegades held up much better than my last set, which mostly broke at the middle of the dowel where the metal sleeve ends. I will buy these again.
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Old 03-31-05, 10:43 AM   #17
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Default

Fyrefli do an "all" aluminium club. I havn't tried it and not sure what the spin is like, but just to let you know its there: -




and thier sites here: -

http://www.fyrefli.com/fyretorches.htm

there you are.
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Old 03-31-05, 11:38 AM   #18
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Default my choice

That one looks more suitable for twirling than juggling.
I like Henrys torches. Never had a problem with them, very easy to maintain. You can't beat German engineering and quality control !!
When I was working on doing five, I made some all aluminium torches in the hope that they would be lighter and I could practise longer. They were lighter, but were too easily wind effected. The most trouble I've had with torches is that the mylar decoration closest to the fire tends to melt eventually. I managed to find an aluminium tape that is fire proof to solve this problem. Normally it's used in ventillation piping.
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Old 08-26-07, 04:33 PM   #19
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Default Ivan's Torch

I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned here yet, as it's been on the market for over a year now. Ivan's torch has a burn time of 25 minutes(!) and a titanium head that means you never (or so they claim) have to change the wicks.

http://www.supremefire.com/ivanstorch.html

That's the plus sides, the big downside is the price, about $200 per torch.

I've juggled with them once. My reaction was that the torches are a bit long and quite heavy when fully filled with oil. It might be something I could get used to though. If I ever get $600 to blow on juggling equipment, I suspect I'll be spending it on other things though...

/Been lurking here for a while, finally registered an account.

EDIT: Doh, I finally make a post here and I do it in a thread that's been dead since 2003? Ok, that explains why they hadn't been mentioned here anyhow...
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Old 09-06-07, 05:16 PM   #20
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Well, while we're at it, what is spin supposed to be like on a torch? I'd prefer to make my own first set to get the feel of torches before commiting money to them, but I would have no idea if they were spinning correctly. That could really defeat the point.

It would all be a lot easier if I could TRY some, I know, but sadly the opportunity just hasn't come up.
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