i8beefy2
i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA
Member Since: 24th Mar 2003
Total posts: 674
Posted:I'm lookin at making a pair of Samoan fire knives. Not traditional design, but more like a staff, made out of aluminum tube. I need a little info though:

How long should they be? I was thinking like 24".
How should the weight be distributed?
Do they look cooler with a ball of wick on the bottom, or just the "blade"? I think they look a little like a staff if they have the ball on the bottom... But without it, how do you counterweight it?


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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Why not check out some of those Dube juggling knives for inspiration. They have knobs on the end like swinging clubs that would let u do all sorts of moves. I seem to remember Flash (?) posting something about the Samoan's just dipping the blades in shellite (white gas) and spinning, which would be pretty dangerous

If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Maelstrom
Maelstrom

member
Location: Akron, Ohio
Member Since: 12th Sep 2001
Total posts: 135
Posted:I don't know? Never heard of such a thing.

Nothing good ever comes from hanging out with normal people.

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Wot, Samoan knives?

I’ve seen em telly, and mate they’re awesome.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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TeeJay
TeeJay

member
Location: Malaeimi, Am. Samoa
Member Since: 23rd Oct 2003
Total posts: 75
Posted:Hi,

I guess I'll introduce myself.........
I'm Teejay and I'm a member of the Flaming Sword of Samoa, we organize the annual World Fireknife Championship here. All three of my sons fireknife dance and are members of the Nifo Oti Club.
Any info you want to know about the Fireknife Dance, the knives, etc can be found at our website:
www.sivaafi.org

We have lots of pics too.

Regards,
Teejay


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musashii
musashii

starring Skippy the green llama
Location: Seattle, WA
Member Since: 14th Dec 2002
Total posts: 1148
Posted:ey Teejay, welcome to HOP

Nice site, I haven't seen fire knife dancing evah, definitely have to grab the vid. On the FAQ page, you show wicking only one side of the knife, leaving the blade exposed. Is this the normal wicking for competitions? And can you possibly give me an idea of the weight distribution you use in your design/style? Until now I've only heard of fire knife dancing, I'd love to build a practice set since I don't have the money to get a pair of those you have on your site


First intention, then enlightenment..
Ars Pyronomica

" Life is programmed. Whether death is programmed or not is yet to be determined."

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TeeJay
TeeJay

member
Location: Malaeimi, Am. Samoa
Member Since: 23rd Oct 2003
Total posts: 75
Posted:Hi,

The photo only shows the wicking on one side 'cause the instructions go into more detail.....
Anyway, the wicking is on both sides, and is equal. For competition single knives the wicking must be 10 inches by 2 inches...specs are also on the site. The weight of the knife is up to the dancer, but since the knives are made of wood and metal, then wicking, they are fairly heavy, and it does take good upper body strength to do an entire single and then double routine.

I got Kevlar wicking for my sons because they kept burning up all the towels in the house, but they don't like the Kevlar because it doesn't last very long and because it's hard to transfer the fire from one end of the knife to the other.
I would recommend Kevlar for beginners because it doesn't soak up as much gas and is, in my opinion, safer.


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musashii
musashii

starring Skippy the green llama
Location: Seattle, WA
Member Since: 14th Dec 2002
Total posts: 1148
Posted:One thing I couldn't find on the instructions is the typical weight for just the blade, and possibly what kind of metal is used(tho I had to go back, reread the wicking instructions again to see where it described wicking both sides, I'm horrible at comprehending written instructions )

Just out of curiousity, can you do burn offs on fire knives? Or does the blade or weight distribution too weird to do this? Also, we use a parrafin/white gas mixture(70:30) to get longer burn times out of our kevlar, just a thought.


First intention, then enlightenment..
Ars Pyronomica

" Life is programmed. Whether death is programmed or not is yet to be determined."

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TeeJay
TeeJay

member
Location: Malaeimi, Am. Samoa
Member Since: 23rd Oct 2003
Total posts: 75
Posted:Hi,

The blades are actually just plain machete blades...carbonized steel. None of the guys ever actually "balance" the knives....it really is a rather primitive art form.
Sorry for my ignorance, but you'll have to explain to me what a burn off is
I'm not sure if we could get parafin here...we're pretty limited, but I'll check 'cause the kevlar, though expensive, is still cheaper and lasts longer than towels

TeeJay


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musashii
musashii

starring Skippy the green llama
Location: Seattle, WA
Member Since: 14th Dec 2002
Total posts: 1148
Posted:Ahh, ok, Thanks for clearing that up on the blades..I'd guess that you still have to make the blades yourselves to add that nice little hook at the tip of the blade. Bet that makes for some wicked moves connecting the two blades. I was just askin the weight distribution to possibly get a little closer to the true weight and feel of the blades that you guys use. Seems to me that your art form has pretty deep roots in the fire scene, I'd just want to recreate it as accurately as possible until say, I could get my hands on the real thing Might save me a limb or two, who knows?

A burnoff is when say you have a fire staff, fully soaked, then(both ends) lit without shaking the excess fuel off. Then you roll the middle of the staff between your palms(very quickly) into a horizontal throw, where the staff is spinning parallel to the ground, but the lit ends of the staff are rolling over each other. When it's doin this, the excess fuel spins/burns off, creating a vertical pillar of flame on each end.

Here's a link to a movie demonstrating this, this is a movie by one of our board members Mot. Hope he doesn't mind, but it's the smallest vid link that I could find to help.

For the parrafin, we buy lamp oil(just another form of kerosene) here in the states, it's easier to find lamp oil than it is looking for parrafin eh. You can also find it readily online, if you want to try it out.


First intention, then enlightenment..
Ars Pyronomica

" Life is programmed. Whether death is programmed or not is yet to be determined."

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TeeJay
TeeJay

member
Location: Malaeimi, Am. Samoa
Member Since: 23rd Oct 2003
Total posts: 75
Posted:Hi again,

Okay - I get it.
I've never seen anyone try it, and I'd be concerned because the wick on the blad end is 10 inches long, so you'd be looking at a pretty large pillar.....might be something for me to bring up and our more experienced guys could try.

They do something similar. You see, when they go onstage only one end of the knife is lit, the blade end. They light the other end usually with a hand transfer, but sometimes with their mouths, etc.
Sometimes they will squeeze or propel off the fuel in a line, then drop to one knee and light it as they spin.....they call it the wall of fire.

The problem with this is that if you get gas on yourself, you go up in a wall of flame also

BTW - just to ask, when the boys light it with their mouths, they are simply doing a transfer with their lips - they don't take any gas into their mouths. Do fire eaters actually take gas into their mouths ?
I'm always concerned with safety, which is kind of hard to drum into the heads of 8 to 22 year old boys.

Soifua,
TeeJay


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BurningByron
member
Location: Australia
Member Since: 10th May 2002
Total posts: 340
Posted:I used to live in American Samoa back in the late 80s. What a beautiful place it is!!!!

HOW TO FLY 101:
step 1. Throw your self at the ground.
step 2. Miss.

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musashii
musashii

starring Skippy the green llama
Location: Seattle, WA
Member Since: 14th Dec 2002
Total posts: 1148
Posted:lips on fire sounds painful, you use any sort of salve to prepare for that? RE: fire eaters holding gas in their mouths, it's actually the vapors that are being used when you do a transfer or a hold using the mouth. To explain simply, a fire eater would be puffing out his cheeks(keeping his throat or trachea closed) to draw the flame/vapors into his mouth while exstinguishing one torch, then blowing out to release the fire that he's holding in his mouth, say to light another torch. I'm definitely not an expert on the subject tho



First intention, then enlightenment..
Ars Pyronomica

" Life is programmed. Whether death is programmed or not is yet to be determined."

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JBlaze
JBlaze

member
Location: Canada
Member Since: 20th May 2003
Total posts: 7
Posted:When I do a fire transfer, I use my tongue, which would be safer than your lips as your tongue tends to be more moist. Keys to watch for is your breathing, definately do not inhale. Be sure the wick itslef is not hot, otherwise, lick away.

stay lit

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