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i8beefy2
i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA
Member Since: 24th Mar 2003
Total posts: 674
Posted:Ok, so everyone knows about steel wool and all that stuff... and the inherrent dangers and such.

Well it's not good enough for small areas, or wraps, or other cool things we could be doing with it.

So I've been talking to some pyrotechniques guys about different alternative options. I thought about using some sort of fireworks, but have been told this might not be a good idea without significant;y more protective equipment than I was thinking.

Then someone suggested "Pine Charcoal". Rather easy to make: you take scraps of pine 2x4 or something and put it in a paintcan with some holes punched in the lid, and slap it on a grill until smoke stops coming out the holes. Ta-da, pine charcoal.

Which is used in making black powder and some stuff like that when combined in powder form and such... anyone want to get into pyrotechniques? smile

But we aren't doing that... Just using these lumps of charcoal in some kind of mesh cage as say poi, or on the ends of a staff, would create floating sparks that would be quite cool and wouldn't present NEARLY the damaging ability that steel wool does, and would allow for wraps, exploding spark showers from sudden impacts, etc. that would still be relatively safe. It is also self burning from what I can gather thus far (we're in the baby-stages of development here). Though I suppose you might be able to add on some fuel if your really looking for some kind of flame... don't know...

I just thought I'd share.

I'm going to make some here very soon and try it. The one thing that I am NOT exactly sure of what to do is the fabrication of the mesh cage. You almost want a sack or bag with holes just big enough to allow for the charcoal to filter out, but isn't pointy or hard so you can do wraps, etc. I'm thinking of a steel mesh of some sort. I'll ask how big of holes would be necessary for this, but does anyone have any good ideas? Steel wool type contraptions might be able to be modified for this, but for the propper effect I'm looking for I don't think any kind of steel wool contraptions I have SEEN will work as is...


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i8beefy2
i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA
Member Since: 24th Mar 2003
Total posts: 674
Posted:The guy I'm working with tried it and sent me a video. Put the pine charcoal in a 1/4" steel mesh improvised bag on the end of a rope. The effect was quite a bit less extravegant than steel wool, however still gives a similar effect. When it hits something (say a wrap) it sprays out an explosion of sparks.

I believe it is self burning. I will clear that up in my next correspondance with him. If the structure of the charcoal can be made to break up easier, it should give an effect closer to steel wool, but things wont be shooting 50 feet. Maybe 10-20, and they are quite safe, meaning this stuff is great for areas that are more crowded than steel wool will allow.

In ADDITION and I can't stress this enough, cause it's awsome, the danger of being burned is very much lower than steel wool. You can wrap them. He sent me a video, where he tested it hitting his bare foot (bare skin). It seemed to be hot, but he said it was NOT that bad, probably very similar to our regular wraps. Combine that with some kind of clothing for basic skin protection, and these are bound to be real fun...


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Elemental666
member
Location: Bville, OK
Member Since: 22nd Feb 2005
Total posts: 45
Posted:Concerning your cage...

How about modify the tube in a tube core poi head to be a cage...

Where the tube is normally open on the ends just insert some mesh material to keep it inside the tube. possible way to keep the mesh from flying off would be to join the mesh on either end of the tube with a length of wire. This wire would be under the kevlar of the poi head and could be hooked and unhooked from the mesh to allow refilling.

make sence?


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i8beefy2
i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA
Member Since: 24th Mar 2003
Total posts: 674
Posted:Mmm... I see two problems...

1. there are screws going through there, and they screw into wood in the middle... or at least there are screws going through there

2. The charcoal itself burns, like a ball of fire. I believe this is necessary to spit out the sparks, as there is no excellerant (fuel) to do so otherwise.

I think I definitly need some kind of bag for this. Gonna try making some simple ones out of steel mesh. I am looking around right now for prefab mesh balls. Tea strainers, sort of, but with larger mesh, around 1/4" holes or so, should do...


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Groovy_Dream
Groovy_Dream

addict

Member Since: 26th May 2005
Total posts: 449
Posted:----<Apologies for the edit, lets keep all ideas as safe as possible people... smile >---



---<edited by Charles>--- the safety equipment you need is: a gas mask (not very expensive), safety glasses or sunnies, and a beanie. It's best to not have much skin showing because the sparks can sting, but they won't kill you. You won't be able to do very technical moves though. Just tape the <edited> to the end of your staff.



Anyways your cage idea sounds interesting, let me know how it goes. I was thinking, it always look good after someone has finished twirling and just after the fire goes out they're twirling smoke for a few seconds. maybe you could make something that emits smoke?



The way i see it, if you're twirling in close proximity to others, fire does the trick just fine. If not, go all out with <edited>. There isn't really a need for anything in between.


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[noodles]
[noodles]

*Property of Pigeon Wigeon*
Location: Locked In Pigeons Chimney
Member Since: 31st Jul 2005
Total posts: 893
Posted:Smoke grenades?

Could somebody stop the room please... I'd like to get off

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i8beefy2
i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA
Member Since: 24th Mar 2003
Total posts: 674
Posted:It's an effect though. How man I put this...



Have you ever lit both ends of a stick, a wooden stick, on fire and spun it? It gives off red hot embers that kind of float around you. It would be similar to this but more intense. No need for a gas mask, or even much protective clothing. I wouldn't even want to do steel wool without protective clothing... and no nasty metal shavings in everything (the reason I wont do SW anymore).



The <edited> still sound cool though, and I was looking at something like that before this. I still want to play with it, too, but one thing at a time... smile

EDITED_BY: Charles (1128962788)


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Fine_Rabid_Dog
Internet Hate Machine
Location: They seek him here, they seek ...
Member Since: 26th May 2004
Total posts: 10530
Posted:The <edited> method looks the bomb! biggrin



But this pine charcol souund awesome. Get some pics of it next chance you get smile

EDITED_BY: Charles (1128962817)


The existance of flamethrowers says that someone, somewhere, at sometime said "I need to set that thing on fire, but it's too far away."

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pricklyleaf
pricklyleaf

with added berries
Location: Manchester
Member Since: 7th Mar 2005
Total posts: 1365
Posted:Written by: PsyRush

Fireworks are a good option, for a staff anyway. Pretty much any fountain firework will work, because they are slow release. The safety equipment you need is: a gas mask (not very expensive), safety glasses or sunnies, and a beanie. It's best to not have much skin showing because the sparks can sting, but they won't kill you. You won't be able to do very technical moves though. Just tape the fireworks to the end of your staff.




Fireworks= VERY DANGEROUS! DON'T DO THIS!

fireworks are dangerous as it is, they are not designed for spinning, it's all very well taking saftey precautions as you put it, but this doesn't change the fact you are wearing flamable clothing, and taping them to your staff, the tape could easily be melted whilst spinning, lots of things could catch fire, fireworks generally burn a lot hotter than parrfin/kero, so if you hit yorself, you're in a lot of trouble, fireworks are very unpridictable, need I go on?


Live like there is no tomorrow,
dance like nobody is watching
and hula hoop like wiggling will save the world.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Fine_Rabid_Dog
Internet Hate Machine
Location: They seek him here, they seek ...
Member Since: 26th May 2004
Total posts: 10530
Posted:While it is dangerous, it has been done to awesome effect. See it here.

One of the comments in that gallery mentions that imakokode was the one who brought them. Before you do anything, I recomend PMing him for details and suchlike.


The existance of flamethrowers says that someone, somewhere, at sometime said "I need to set that thing on fire, but it's too far away."

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i8beefy2
i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA
Member Since: 24th Mar 2003
Total posts: 674
Posted:Actually, there was someone out of Seatle that I had contacted about fireworks for this... I forget who, but I have their message in my old PM list. They actually donned full fire protective suits (and jumping stilts!) and did it, which was pretty cool. But too much for me really.

I don't think anyone in my group would be stupid enough to do it without the gas mask, but they might do it without other protective clothing... but either way, that is not the effect we're going for right now. Maybe for 4th of July next year or something we'll monkey with that.

I will try and get pictures up once I do a test burn. I need to make some pine charcoal first. However, if you want to know what the effect looks like, go watch the Pa-li-tchi videos. I believe they are using the same stuff, as it looks identical in all respects to our tests thus far...

==

On a side note I made a few prototypes of containment cages. I used 1/4" steel mesh, which I bent into a tube, and sealed one end by cutting and bending the sides inward, and secured the whole thing together with some steel wire. I bent everything inward so that there are no sharp parts. They are pretty wicked actually, and I think would work for steel wool, though once of my partners thinks otherwise... Another thing to test perhaps, and then Ill send along explicite directions with pictures of the basket construction.


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MikeIcon
MikeIcon

Pooh-Bah
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA
Member Since: 27th Mar 2003
Total posts: 2109
Posted:Good to know. Ive been trying to figure out what Pa-li-tchi was using and I had a feeling it was some sort of charcoal but Im glad you got it pinned. Im gonna try to make some eventually.

Let's turn those old bridges we crossed into ashes.
We'll blaze a new trail,
and torch the rough patches.

-Me

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Elemental666
member
Location: Bville, OK
Member Since: 22nd Feb 2005
Total posts: 45
Posted:I think if you made a tube cage out of some sturdy chicken wire type stuff you could make what I was talking about.

make a cylindrical cage 1-1.5" in diameter with a flap on the bottom that is secured by wire or something. Begin making the tube/core type poi but stitch one end to the cage itself, roll it up and stich the loose end back to the poi. use kevlar thread. Now you have normal poi with a cage in the middle. You can fill the cage with your pinecoal and any mild contact should send embers out the cage...


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i8beefy2
i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA
Member Since: 24th Mar 2003
Total posts: 674
Posted:That might work, but is too complicated for the effect Im personally looking for. The burning charcoal gives off it's own flame that shouldn't require a regular poi head (I think... still gotta try this...). I know it flames up, just don't know how much / how bright, etc. I gotta get together some scrap wood and make some charcoal now...

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i8beefy2
i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA
Member Since: 24th Mar 2003
Total posts: 674
Posted:Oh, a note too... don't use pressure treated pine for making charcoal. Nasty arsinic fuems and all that. It will stay on fire and give off flame itself without fuel.

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BAS231187
BAS231187

Member
Location: Leeds
Member Since: 8th Nov 2006
Total posts: 20
Posted:whatever happend to this train of thought??? did it work?

I refuse to tip toe threw live only to arrive safely at death

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BAS231187
BAS231187

Member
Location: Leeds
Member Since: 8th Nov 2006
Total posts: 20
Posted:wow it does work. made some chicken wire cages and filled em with quick lighting sheesha coals. as long as u give them time to light properly before "bashing" them that they work brilliantly. altho it does need to be pretty dark to get the full effect.

SWEEEET.

I'm now trying to find somewhere that sells BBQ coal in the middle of winter, or a large amount of sheesha coal.

im gona be taking them to a fire walking night to do a bit or informal performance. so will get some pics of what iv got.


I refuse to tip toe threw live only to arrive safely at death

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Wooktastic
Wooktastic

the kicker of elves
Location: Dublin
Member Since: 10th Jan 2007
Total posts: 371
Posted: Written by: i8beefy2

Tea strainers, sort of, but with larger mesh, around 1/4" holes or so, should do...



FOR THE LOVE OF GOD NOT TEA STRAINERS!
I tried this with my rope dart a month or two back, the steel wire in tea strainers is too thin and melts.

The kevlar flew clear out. I don't want to know what'd happen if it were a block of wood . . .


Man is no more than a conduit for excrement to pass through.- daVinci

Jointly owned by BurdA and Tinypixie

Wielder of the voice of Patrick Stewart

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BAS231187
BAS231187

Member
Location: Leeds
Member Since: 8th Nov 2006
Total posts: 20
Posted:SWEEEEEEET!!!!!!!!!!


chack that out. the first half is just coal and the second half is coal and fire wicks witch looks a lot nicer.

only did 3btweve and butterfly turns cos i was scared of hitting my self. but as ull see i hit the back of my leg anyway (lol) and my trousers are fine, not even black.

biggrin biggrin biggrin biggrin biggrin


I refuse to tip toe threw live only to arrive safely at death

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Rellizate
Rellizate

old hand
Location: Cambridge, UK
Member Since: 10th Feb 2007
Total posts: 719
Posted:That looks amazing! So much nicer than steel wool... Got any pictures of the heads?

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BAS231187
BAS231187

Member
Location: Leeds
Member Since: 8th Nov 2006
Total posts: 20
Posted:http://photos-c.ak.facebook.com/photos-ak-sctm/v173/173/62/197814923/n197814923_38318206_7.jpg

i think following that link should work. if not just say and ill upload it to photobucket or this site.

its a long thin cage that goes over the wicks with some extra room at the bottem to place the coal. they are held on using some wire and keyrings so they are easy to put on and take off.

in that picture im using sheesha coals as they are small and have a quick light coating. with a dunk in parafin they are ready to use after 30 seconds standing and 10 seconds of quick spinning.

normal BBQ briquets work aswell and last longer than the sheesha coals but they need 45mins in a fire befor they are ready to use. pretty much when they are ready to cook over u can use them for spinning.

if u "bash" the coals befor they are fully lit u knock off all the burning embers so u only get one nice cload of sparks.

in the video i was wearing a short sleeve shirt and once or twice felt a small sting where a spark must have landed on me. almost unoticable but i think it would hurt if u hit ur bare skin with the cage and was hit by lots of them. my jeans arnt damaged in the slightest so the answer is just some loose clothing.


I refuse to tip toe threw live only to arrive safely at death

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Fire_Moose
Fire_Moose

Elusive and Bearded
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Member Since: 2nd May 2007
Total posts: 3597
Posted:wow that is cool. Looks so....magical. thanks for the picture of the heads.

O.B.E.S.E.

Owned by Mynci!

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Mynci
Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...
Member Since: 27th Apr 2005
Total posts: 8737
Posted:best saftey equipment for anything sparkley is a flash hood and goggles. Flash hood is completely fire retardant (used by firemen and racing drivers) just leaves the eyes exposed hence the goggles. and they keep your head nice and warm when playing in the cold like a balaclava biggrin

A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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DarkFyre
DarkFyre

HoP mage and keeper of the fireballs
Location: Palmerston North
Member Since: 4th Nov 2005
Total posts: 1965
Posted:that is very well done BAS beerchug

May my balls of fire set your balls on fire devil

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Wooktastic
Wooktastic

the kicker of elves
Location: Dublin
Member Since: 10th Jan 2007
Total posts: 371
Posted:Nice work man.

Man is no more than a conduit for excrement to pass through.- daVinci

Jointly owned by BurdA and Tinypixie

Wielder of the voice of Patrick Stewart

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BAS231187
BAS231187

Member
Location: Leeds
Member Since: 8th Nov 2006
Total posts: 20
Posted:beerchug cheers biggrin biggrin biggrin
the weather is finally looking good for fire spinning again so hopefully by monday/tuesday ill have a new video of these in action, with a slightly more impressive set of moves.


I refuse to tip toe threw live only to arrive safely at death

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Rellizate
Rellizate

old hand
Location: Cambridge, UK
Member Since: 10th Feb 2007
Total posts: 719
Posted:Excellent, got the video then yet?

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laurierobitaille
stranger

Member Since: 12th Nov 2010
Total posts: 1
Posted:Hello There!
I have 2 questions!
First, is there a difference between pine charcoal and regular charcol (made with hardwood) when you spin??
And second, I can see the pic of your head BAS231187

Thank!!!


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Jason_Paino
Jason_Paino

stranger
Location: Australia
Member Since: 17th Sep 2009
Total posts: 1
Posted:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4OIIXx-rWk
br>
I think they have it perfected, now if only they put up a tutorial


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Mark Husted
Mark Husted

member
Location: Fresno, CA USA
Member Since: 18th Mar 2006
Total posts: 177
Posted:I've come across the same problem with the information sharing. So I decided to take it into my own hands. I have been experimenting with charcoal effects the past 6 months or so and am putting out a tutorial soon about what I have researched and learned. My hopes are that it enlightens the world to the amazing new effect in the flow community and that everyone will experiment with it more to make the effect safer and just plain more awesome. You can check out my latest vid on my youtube channel "TamedFire" to give you an idea of the effect I am going to share.

Keep it Lit....

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:PS. Be aware that charcoal or any item like this which 'floats' while still hot means your fuel dump must be completely covered at all times.

Also, please use a full cage with tightly woven material, chicken wire sized holes can allow pieces of burnign wood with some weight ebhind them to fly off in any direction. Not good for peoples eyes, landing in gutters in houses etc etc...

Play safe everyone...


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