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I span my new monkey fist fire poi for the first time last night. I had a couple of spins using parafin (kero) on the 3rd i noticed a little ember still alight on the wick. I spat on it to put it out. The next spin the ember got bigger, I noticed the wick was missing a chunk. I had another spin after this, but decided to end it after about 20 seconds (someone wanted a light) and I noticed the ember was even bigger (noticed orange glow rather than fire yellow) as i put it out by spinning fast a small spark/bit of wick came off.
Either side of the loop to connect to the wires, there are 3 strands of kevlar wick. On one side, all 3 are burned through.
the wick is wrapped around a ball inside, and the metal connector loop is wrapped into the wick. (I have been told it is best connected to the ball?)
I know the area in question was definately soaked well enough, as the were completely submerged, and the metal meant that the area in question was at the bottom of the bucket anyway. The poi were soaking for up to 24 hours before their first use, and about 10/15 mins at a time between each spin.
The burned wick wasnt absolutely tight, there was a little give in it. Plus it may have been made looser when spinning as the wick would have had a lot of tension on it.
I did a quick search on google but couldnt find anything.
I will be taking them back when I can, however I would like to know what has gone wrong!? I have never used my own fire poi before, but I still had the rest of the club overseeing me, so I dont think I did anything majorly wrong.
Sounds like hybrid cotton wicking to me, see the thread 'Hop / other kevlar rope' in technical discussion for more details on this thorny subject, just to repeat though, the failure pattern you've descibed is typical of hybrid wicking, as the internal cotton core has a tendency to smoulder and burn through.