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Posted:I was wondering if I wrap a wooden staff with aluminum tape, would that be sufficient to prevent the wood from lighting on fire. I'm aware that eventually, the wood probably will still start to lose integrity under the heat, but I just wanted to know if aluminum tape would prevent that.
For that matter, what's the real difference between aluminum tape and metallic tape?
Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Total posts: 3989
Posted:You may need to post up the brand and model number of the aluminium tape before we can say the exact differences.
As for a wooden staff lighting on fire, that's very unlikely to happend unless the staff looks more like a log than a broomstick. Most dry wood takes a lot of effort to burn on it's own.
A few noteworthy exceptions are very small pieces of wood, such as kindling or matchsticks, and long vertcial pieces of wood, such as the side of a house or a tree.
Both types have a high wood to oxygen ratio, which enables the fire to keep spreading to new wood, or burning away the old wood to new wood underneath.
As mentioned this is a bit of amoot point, as while it's unlikely to burn on it's own, a bit of fuel added ot it will keep it burning until the fuel is gone, and long exposure to heat will turn charr and blacken, making it weak and likely to snap or splinter later on.
I would use a close fitting length of alumunium to slide onto the wood before attaching the wicks, and seal both ends with heat sealent like they use with engine repairs.
It's not much more effort and is a lot more likely to last.
Of course, I haven't used this aluminium tape before, so someone else may have different ideas...
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Posted:If you're talking about the aluminum tape that is often used on ventilation ducts, it really doesn't hold up very well, which is too bad, because it is so easy to work with. I haven't used it myself, but I've seen staffs made with it. It gets chewed up and worn away pretty quickly.
If you're on a budget, you can take tinsnips to old beer cans to create insulating sleeves; I use copper foil on my staffs.
Posted:normally I don't disagree with Adamrice, but my use of aluminum duct tape on an oak staff (under the wicks of course, extending about 10 cm from the wicks) has proved to be very succesful and efffective over several years and hundereds of burns (I beleive spritie is just now retiring the wodden staff I made for her 3+ years ago, and only because the wicks are shot - and she uses it a lot).
wood will not burn if there is no way for oxygen to get to it. It can withstand very high temperatures if it is not directly in contact with air and flame since it isn't prone to melting.
Posted:Yup. The staff is 4 year old, and the aluminum taping has held up very well - it's all still intact except for one small area that got mushed up due to it getting scrapped off (not fire related at all). The ends are exposed wood, and honestly they don't look bad at all considering this staff has received 4 years of use. The edge of the wicking goes right up to the edge up top. The wicking is the only thing that really needs replacement at the moment.
Posted:Hmm, perhaps vanize and I are talking about different kinds of aluminum tape. I've got a set of prototype staffs that I made with aluminum tape insulation. I've never burned these (and won't, until I remake the ends), but the tape is torn up just from fooling around with them dry.
Posted:Sounds like different stuff then. I practice with my staff all the time as it's the only I have. The tape on it hasn't gotten easily torn at all. He did wrap it several times around the pole though. Vanize, do you remember what the stuff was called? I'll have to go looking for some of it at Home Depot sometime soon.
I know this stuff comes on a roll just like tape and is about 3-4 inches wide.
Posted:U know- i have a wooden staff that i have beenusing for about a year now & all i used to insulate the wicks from the wood is a strip of steel flashing wrapped around the wood. I would like to say it works pretty well. I would liek to find out more about the aluminum tape. That sounds alot easier to work with than metal flashing.
fire is the light that shines in all of us. Be sure your light shines brightly wherever you go.
Posted:actually, by the time the staff has been used for half a year or so - the unsealed end (which spritie mentioned) does look quite a bit like charcoal! But only for the first inch or so - the rest of the 8 inches or so covered bt the alu-tape still looks like normal wood even after years of use and hundreds and hundreds of burns...
Posted:FYI - I recommend oak dowels for making staffs - they are harder, more durable, and more burn resistant than pine dowels, but a bit heavier. Still pretty easy to find - at least in the staes anyway. Other woods may be superior, but good luck finding anything fancier than oak in round stock.
Posted:Definitely use some kind of hardwood. Staffs do break, especially longer ones. Pine is a softwood, and more prone to breakage. I've been using ash for my staffs. It's hard to find dowels longer than 4' -- in fact, it's pretty hard to find dowels longer than 3'. I get mine in bulk from Atlas Dowels.