SlingingFire
SILVER Member since Oct 2003

member
Location: Houston Texas, USA

Total posts: 10
Posted:Howdy Ya'll!

Cool ideas you folks have on the variations of equipment being developed. My equipment is not being developed for sparing or choreographed contact (maybe later); but simply for presenting the ability to produce a large flaming wick on an instrument that can be manipulated as a 4' staff, jo, Katanta, Chinese Dow or Tia Chi sword. The size and balance is lightweight so it can be moved quickly and not exhaust the performer (approximately 5lbs in weight). I have a design that; in essence is a 39" over all length appearing like a Tia Chi sword with a double length grip balanced to spin like a staff with center of balance centered to the handle. It has 25" of blade wrapped with Kevlar wicking. Should be a fun pyro-toy. However the reading I'm doing and design points being considered leave me asking you folks:

Question1: Has anybody measured how hot the flame reaches? This will help determining if plate aluminum can be used. (much lighter than steel - duh!)

Question2: Is anybody having success using aluminum plate as a blade? No molten aluminum splattered on spectators?

Question3: Has anybody any metallurgy data pertaining to tensile strength, heat sink properties, melting points and weight (per cc or squ inch) of materials such as aluminum plate, steel plate & stainless steel?

I have a book from a plate vendor; but it fails to include melting point and heat sink properties.


Fire to have, to play with and to eat

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FireMecca
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

member
Location: Tucson, USA

Total posts: 69
Posted:Response to 1:
the weight of the material does not correspond to how much heat it will take, directly. Take titanium over steel, for instance. Titanium has about 45% of the weight of your "average" steel alloy, and melts at 3020 degrees F. Your "average" steel alloy melts at about 2500 degrees F. Alumin(i)um weighs less than titanium and melts at 1220 degrees F, but that is pure alumin(i)um. Alloyed alumin(i)um will presumably have a higher melting point, but not as high as titanium, which is about 60% heavier than pure alumin(i)um.

Response to 2:
We have used alumin(i)um plate in a "broadsword" style of firesword. I believe it is 1/8" thick by 2.5-4.0" wide. It flops some, and actually bends slightly if you jerk it around (less than 2 degrees), though it is easily bent back. Be aware that a lot of bending will mess up alumin(i)um handily.
As far as molten alumin(i)um, you would have try pretty hard to melt industrial alumin(i)um with the temperatures firedancers typically operate at.

Response to 3:
Might be good to have if you love math, but I don't think you need to be so concerned. One of the vague interests I have is that "alumin(i)um vapor" is toxic. Do not go about purposefully melting aluminum without the proper gear. Temperatures we operate at are probably reasonable, insofar as inhalation of alumin(i)um or alumin(i)um compounds.

MJ
Flamma Aeterna

[ 23. October 2003, 12:24: Message edited by: Flamma Aeterna ]


That which does not kill me, only makes me stranger.

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tiamat_22580


tiamat_22580

I will kill all mods
Location: mods suck

Total posts: 210
Posted:well said, i couldn't have put it better

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SlingingFire
SILVER Member since Oct 2003

member
Location: Houston Texas, USA

Total posts: 10
Posted:Thank you for the reply. It had occurred to me that Titanium would be preferential for this construction for the reasons you mentioned. Aluminum is just an easy solution when considering price, workability and availability. Hadnt thought about the Aluminum Oxide toxicity factor. Was thinking along the thickness of 1/4" for a total blade mass of 15 cubic inches. Then add the same weight for a hollow pipe handle, which is wrapped for traction and insulation and counter balanced against the weight of the blade. Was thinking about its heat dissipation index for analysis of, would it stay cool enough not to oxidize or even melt. Hmmm...Must look into a source for titanium or lay out a blade pattern from plate steel, perhaps 3/16" thick with punch-outs to lighten the blade to about 2lbs and maintain structural integrity. Steel would allow for more physical abuse. Thanks for the feedback.

Fire to have, to play with and to eat

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FireMecca
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

member
Location: Tucson, USA

Total posts: 69
Posted:tiamat, thanks

SlingingFire,

Stainless steel and Titanium are my favorite metals to work with. However, they require tools and money and skill that are not always available. If you have money, tools, and skill available (whether or not they are your own), go for it.

I am not suggesting you forsake alumin(i)um; it is, indeed, cheap, easy to work, and therefore valuable for making prototypes. Yesterday I carved up a piece of sheet (3/32" thick) for a prototype fire-fan with just some tin snips and a dremel.

Made well, there is also no reason not to use alumin(i)um as the primary material for a production piece. You are doing well to become more educated on the metal, and I was not trying to dissuade you from using it. If you are going to weld, just be safe

Best of Luck,
MJ
Flamma Aeterna


That which does not kill me, only makes me stranger.

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SlingingFire
SILVER Member since Oct 2003

member
Location: Houston Texas, USA

Total posts: 10
Posted:Flamma, Thanks for the feedback.

Really I 1st began thinking cold rolled 3/16" plate and then was discussing the parameters of the construction with a buddy when we agreed that aluminum would be the easiest material to use. Titanium would be better than that structurally; but before I go that way I think, the more I think about it, that steel is the more practical choice. My measurements put the blade at 4.2lbs without wet wick or counterbalanced handle. My target weight for the entire sword is 5lbs. 10lb would still work but more speed and less exhaustion is the concept. This leaves me cutting holes in the blade. Can do and have a layout. I have a fiend with welding equipment and plasma cutter so I'm thinking shaping the blade, reducing the weight and fixing it to the handle is in the bag. Still winging it on how I'm going to fix the hilt and pommel to the handle and maintain balance as planed. Likely weld them; but have very specific balance in mind, so will have to work with that part when I have a better idea of exactly what the weight of the wet wick will be. Should have the wick next week.


Fire to have, to play with and to eat

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Evil twin


member
Location: Reno NV (BRC resedint)

Total posts: 10
Posted:Hey guys!Im a long time builder but new to this site.I built great fire swards about 3 years ago and they are still in great shape. I used a "shinie" (probably spelled terrably wrong) witch is the 4 pc. bambo sword used in Kendo. They handel impact verry well and they are lite. All that they need is 3 layers of metal tape and a re-built guard, I used 16GA. sheet steal and 1\4" leather. Then I wired about 4' of 2" kevlar, starting at the midel of the 4' kevlar, to the tip of the sword. The wire easily slides between the slats of bamboo so there is no week point along the blade. Then gradualy wind the two ends down the blade twards the guard and wire it where ever you like. In my experience the boaken fire swords break quickly with the kevlar added but the shinie bend (slightly) with every strike. beerchug biggrin

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musashii


musashii

starring Skippy the green llama
Location: Seattle, WA

Total posts: 1148
Posted:Shinai work?? brilliant!! Will have to try that eh..thnx for the tip biggrin

what did you use at the tip where the leather holds each piece of bamboo together??


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Evil twin


member
Location: Reno NV (BRC resedint)

Total posts: 10
Posted:With the leather, 3 layers of metal tape and the kevlar, there has bin no problim with the tip un less you are planing on draging it on the ground for some strangre ground efect! ubbloco

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musashii


musashii

starring Skippy the green llama
Location: Seattle, WA

Total posts: 1148
Posted:so you put the leather tip back on after wicking say one of the actual bamboo spines? How do you keep it from falling off without the cord that runs from the tip to the handle?

beerchug


First intention, then enlightenment..
Ars Pyronomica

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

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Evil twin


member
Location: Reno NV (BRC resedint)

Total posts: 10
Posted:No it's easier than that, you buy the shinie, Remove the plastic wraper, Remove the plastic gard, tape it up(leather, string and all) and you are ready to apply the kevlar!!! biggrin beerchug

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musashii


musashii

starring Skippy the green llama
Location: Seattle, WA

Total posts: 1148
Posted:ahhh, ok..will have to try that..you use these for sparring lit too?

First intention, then enlightenment..
Ars Pyronomica

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

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Evil twin


member
Location: Reno NV (BRC resedint)

Total posts: 10
Posted:Ya, with kevlare all the way down to the guard and white gas, they will eat you alive if you stop moving!! Me and a frend worked out a performance routine but it quickly evolved into a slapstick conady act(wacking eachother in the but, chasing eachother around like the 3 stooges!). As long as you pull your blows(mostely) the shinie hold up better than any thing else I have seen!! wink beerchug

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darkpoet
BRONZE Member since May 2003

darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish, USA

Total posts: 525
Posted:just a few things to day ill keep it brief



for the sword.....titanium is one of the best conductors of heat around, thats why they use it in cookware, and anybody thats ever cooked w\titanium youd know that it gets soo hot so fast that you end up burning your food...etc etc

but.....just an idea but if you drilled holes through the blade, without damaging structural integrity it would work as an air coolant...., or if you made a carbon\ceramic composite (ceramics dont transmit heat), it would get hot at all, but becaues ceramics are so hard they arent very strong, so it would break if hit against anything, but the carbon would help reinforce the ceramic....i have no idea how youd go about making the blade, but i think it would work..........

just me thoughts on the idea...feel free to knock em im just rambling them out


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Cody
SILVER Member since Sep 2003

Cody

That guy from Reno
Location: Reno, Nevada USA

Total posts: 556
Posted:Kudos Darkpoet for thinking outside of the box. I challenge you to find a way to use your ideas for a practical and cost effective fire prop. wink In my experience, wood does well as a prop medium especially when wrapped in metal tape. Ash wood seems to be the best because it has some flex to it. We tried Oak for a while because it's known for it's strength, but those props broke, too brittle. I suggest a good ol ash broom handle over tiatnium any day. smile
EDITED_BY: Cody (1073938559)


Cody Canon
Controlled Burn, Reno Nevada

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darkpoet
BRONZE Member since May 2003

darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish, USA

Total posts: 525
Posted:why not a really heavy hardwood??
like black walnut, elm, hickory, maple, something that a walking stick would be made of?? ive got a wooden sword at home that is about 5-10lbs (give or take) made of some hardwood but i dunno what it is....theres a warranty on the sword that if it ever breaks against another wooden weapon i get another one...lifetime warranty and whatnot.......only problem w\ wood is that it burns, esp on the ends where there isnt any wick....if youve ever used a fire staff the wood at the tip isnt what burns, its whats right below the wick that gets burnt, whats underneath all that wicking is completely unharmed...but....on the issue of ceramics..custom made ceramics are MAD EXPENSIVE like.....just a random guess of 10k in us dollars....waaay to much for a fire prop.......why not try one of those wooden practice swords they use for bushido..........*trys to think*
ideas will come later....just gimme some time and ill see if i can make a good sword...


Jesus saves sinners and redeems them for cash and
prizes

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Educate yourself about the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Cody
SILVER Member since Sep 2003

Cody

That guy from Reno
Location: Reno, Nevada USA

Total posts: 556
Posted:Generaly hard=brittle. If you want a 20lb boat anchor staff by all means go for it you'll probrably never break it. I have observed about 4 oak fire staffs break when they were being spun really fast and dropped. The ash ones bounce just enough not to break. So I guess depending on your style, use what you want. smile
Dark poet I'll repeat for everyone's benefit what I PMed you about. Metal tape is a god send. Cap the end and wrap down about 4" from the wick. It seals the wood and protects it. You can buy metal tape at any hardware store.


Cody Canon
Controlled Burn, Reno Nevada

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darkpoet
BRONZE Member since May 2003

darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish, USA

Total posts: 525
Posted:you ever tried to split black walnut?? it doenst happen.....but your right about the weight thing itd way at least 10lbs before you add your wicks.....but for the fire sword....why not wrap a peice of wood in metal tape then attatch wicking to it?
make some sort of guard for your hand...carve to wood to shape....just an idea...only get 12 ft of tape per roll so i dunno....


Jesus saves sinners and redeems them for cash and
prizes

Co-Founder of Keepers of Light

Educate yourself about the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Cody
SILVER Member since Sep 2003

Cody

That guy from Reno
Location: Reno, Nevada USA

Total posts: 556
Posted:I bet that would work for a while, but I don't think it could take very many hits before it broke. The meatal idea you had could work too. It would be heavy though. With the shani, you can hit each other. smile

Cody Canon
Controlled Burn, Reno Nevada

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darkpoet
BRONZE Member since May 2003

darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish, USA

Total posts: 525
Posted:a bokken wrapped in metal tape and wicking would work as well
.....and you can beat the hell out of it and it will still keep goin just fine...methinks im going to make a double fire naganita but i gotta get some supplies first
ubbloco


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Educate yourself about the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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musashii


musashii

starring Skippy the green llama
Location: Seattle, WA

Total posts: 1148
Posted:only problems I've had with bokken is the wood is too hard to nail into, so for full contact stuff you can only go for a few minutes before your wick starts coming off - have yet to try wood screws. Also, the aluminum tapes comes off during lit sparring! I wrap a layer of copper netting to keep the alu tape on, it also serves well as kind of like a heat sink, so your wood underneath lasts longer, because underneath the alu tape it still scorches..

First intention, then enlightenment..
Ars Pyronomica

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

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Cody
SILVER Member since Sep 2003

Cody

That guy from Reno
Location: Reno, Nevada USA

Total posts: 556
Posted:I'd suggest using wood screws and drill a pilot hole. Do the Bokken come smooth and or finished? If so I suggest sanding it down before applying the metal tape. The copper wire wrap thing works great too. If you use the wood screws it should not come apart from sparring and the kevlar will keep the metal tape in place. smile

Cody Canon
Controlled Burn, Reno Nevada

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Frederick the Reckless
BRONZE Member since Aug 2004

Frederick the Reckless

Troupe Leader and founder, Fire and Steel
Location: Oregon, USA

Total posts: 241
Posted:with the aluminum tape, try beginning at the middle, wrapping down to the base, then back up to the tip, then back down to the middle. this way, you'll have two layers of aluminum, with the ends buried under and subsequently held down by the kevlar.

Frederick the Reckless,
Troupe Leader,
Fire and Steel

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Jeunau
BRONZE Member since Nov 2004

newbie
Location: england, devon, exeter

Total posts: 14
Posted:hiya. i recently built a fire sword. you may think me an idoit if i said it was made out of hardened oak. well my sword is and i was wondering how i could protect the actual sword fromm turning into charcoal.

and od you think putting wick loops at the top of the sword and sides would be a goos idea, if ive got the wick wrapped form top to bottom??


the time has come to talk of many things of shoes and ships and sealing wax, cabbages and kings.

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pineapple pete
SILVER Member since Sep 2004

pineapple pete

water based
Location: melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 5125
Posted:japanese white oak bokken, supposedly the best.
wrapped in metal tape, for the pro or people with more time, dont wrap the bit that would be sharp.
wick down back, secured by metal 'O' rings is what im workin on.
cheers, pete biggrin


"you know there are no trophys for doing silly things in real life yeah pete?" said ant "you wont get a 'listened to ride of the valkyries all the way to vietnam' trophy"

*proud owner of the very cute fire_spinning_angel, birgit and neon shaolin*

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darkpoet
BRONZE Member since May 2003

darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish, USA

Total posts: 525
Posted:just for reference...some metal tapes suck for doing this sort of thing...put some on my old fire staff and the adhesive actually burst into flames after my wicks were out.....and its not the most fun to put out this gooey sticky mess that burns no matter how hard you try to put it out....

test your materials before using them.....dont make my mistake


Jesus saves sinners and redeems them for cash and
prizes

Co-Founder of Keepers of Light

Educate yourself about the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Frederick the Reckless
BRONZE Member since Aug 2004

Frederick the Reckless

Troupe Leader and founder, Fire and Steel
Location: Oregon, USA

Total posts: 241
Posted:the fire sword i use is built from an actual sword... an el-cheapo, mind, but i started by filing the edge down to blunt, and driled 11 holes the length of the blade. i took kevlar tape and folded it lengthwise, and put two layers of it down the spine of the blade, held in place by wires through the holes. (i had to widen the scabbard to accomodate it, but i think the result is worth it.) this sword is used for dance only, but i'm working on a combat firesword that is made from EMT conduit with a strike edge for the metallic sound... i'll post the results of my Dr. Frankenstein-style experiment when i get it made.

Frederick the Reckless,
Troupe Leader,
Fire and Steel

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