Forums > Technical Discussion > Poi are black and don't last long.

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ChimneyBRONZE Member
member
85 posts
Location: Scotland (UK)


Posted:
I got my cathedral poi from HoP and they lasted ages for 3 spins and now they are black and don't last long. What have I done wrong?

GeezaGOLD Member
addict
694 posts
Location: Leeds, United Kingdom


Posted:
i thought you could only use fire poi like once then the wicks need replacing? (they the burn up and go black)

Wheeemember
33 posts

Posted:
PMSL

No. The wicks are to hold fuel (generally parafin) and are mostly non-flamable. The fuel burns, the wick doesn't. Yes they go black through being covered in soot and maybe a tad singed, but they last a lot more than one burn.

ChimneyBRONZE Member
member
85 posts
Location: Scotland (UK)


Posted:
Should I rub off as much of the black stuff as possible as a one minute burn time is very annoying.

*HyperLightBRONZE Member
old hand
1,174 posts
Location: Great Malvern [UK]


Posted:
It will make no difference whether they're covered in soot or not.

Just to check, you are dipping them in fuel aren't you? Most people use paraffin or something similar. What fuel are you using?

Cake or Death?


Invader XanSILVER Member
Your friendly neighbourhood mad scientist
479 posts
Location: Over the hills and far away, United Kingdom


Posted:
I think you just need to take better care of them. Fire wicks are like plants. They need to be loved. ubblove

You did break them in properly, didn't you?

A fresh set of wicks needs a good soak in fuel before use. Some people recommend anywhere up to an hour. This fills your wicks with fuel, and makes it all much easier later on. The same is true if you don't use your wicks for a while. If you let them go dry, give them a good soaking before you spark up. For later burns, give them a good soak every time you're planning on a spin.

As fuels go, using kerosene (paraffin) or lamp oil will give you at least 5 minutes from the smallest fire head HoP sell.

If you take good care of your wicks, then can easily last a full year of regular use, or a few months of intensive use.

And don't bother trying to rub the soot off. You might as well try vacuuming all the sand off a beach. Actually, the soot itself also acts as a wick.

"Love the art in yourself and not yourself in the art."
--Konstantin Stanislavisky


GeezaGOLD Member
addict
694 posts
Location: Leeds, United Kingdom


Posted:
thanks, this will be usefull when i get a bit better and start spinning fire. Can you do things like hand wraps with fire poi or should i not bother unless i want de-skinned hands? frown

spudmonkeyGOLD Member
Member
55 posts
Location: kildare, Ireland


Posted:
hand wraps are grand with fire but wear a hoodie of something for arm wraps

ChimneyBRONZE Member
member
85 posts
Location: Scotland (UK)


Posted:
I did soak them and break them in. I am also using paraffin and they have never been lit without paraffin. I guess I'll give them another big soak just to see what happens.

Cheers, Chimney

havocangelmember
53 posts

Posted:
Here are a couple of things I do to extend the life of my wicks.

1. Check to see where the wicks are accually falling apart. You can usually extend the life of your wics by unfolding them and taking a few inches off of them and refolding them.

2. The black stuff on your wicks is a carbon bulidup. There are solvents that can remove this buildup. Getting a solvent and soaking wicks in it can remove carbon buildup from them.

What you want to look for is accual ware. If kevlar is accually being burnt away striping layers off your wicking can extend the life of wicks. Of, course this is going to slightly decrease your burn time depending on how much wicking you have on each of side, but overall it should help.

Invader XanSILVER Member
Your friendly neighbourhood mad scientist
479 posts
Location: Over the hills and far away, United Kingdom


Posted:
 Written by: Chimney


I did soak them and break them in. I am also using paraffin and they have never been lit without paraffin. I guess I'll give them another big soak just to see what happens.




Hmmm... Kinda strange. Sorry bro, I'm not sure where you're going wrong... Any chance they might've got damp somehow...?

 Written by: geeza


thanks, this will be usefull when i get a bit better and start spinning fire. Can you do things like hand wraps with fire poi or should i not bother unless i want de-skinned hands? frown



If you're brave, I'm told you can do bare skin wraps. Make sure you only do this with a cooler fuel like kerosene or lamp oil tho. Never with a hot one like Coleman.
It takes a few seconds before you start to feel the heat, so the only thing that will burn (provided you're quick) is a few hairs.

"Love the art in yourself and not yourself in the art."
--Konstantin Stanislavisky


GeezaGOLD Member
addict
694 posts
Location: Leeds, United Kingdom


Posted:
i think before i try with fire id buy some and use them unlit for a good while. i dont fancy doing a hand wrap that actually got wrapped around my hands and then tangelled. same goes for a double neck wrap! frown

ChimneyBRONZE Member
member
85 posts
Location: Scotland (UK)


Posted:
There is every chance they have gotten damp, I use a damp blanket to put them out and my friend sprayed me with a hose when I was spinning once(arse) and they got wet then.

squarefishSILVER Member
(...trusty steed of the rodeo midget...)
403 posts
Location: the state of flux, Ireland


Posted:
thats probably it then,
if its' sunny where you are try hanging them out on a washing linefor a few days, making sure to bring them in when it begins to get dark.

alternatively you can try to get the water out by soaking your wicks in a flamable polar solvent which the water will become diluted into. (sciencey bit)

container large enough for wicks and one hand
watery wicks
Isopropyl alcohol
rubber gloves

Put on the gloves
1. Put your wicks in the tin can
2. cover wick with Isopropyl alcohol
3. squeeze and massage wicks under Isopropyl alcohol
4. leave for 1 hour in alcohol
5. remove wicks from alcohol, discard alcohol, spin off wicks, leave to dry in sun,
6. repeat once

This should extract nearly all of the water from the wicks
DO NOT GET THEM WET AGAIN!

Fun with science has been brought to you today by the Squarefish foundation ubbidea

ChimneyBRONZE Member
member
85 posts
Location: Scotland (UK)


Posted:
I do love my science. THough my advanced higher at school taught me little, it is good for understanding stuff such as polar solvents and how water is polar and amphoteric and blah blah blah. Cheers, I'll do the drying on the washing line. It is really nice today.

sketchGOLD Member
Empirically random...
431 posts
Location: Lincoln, United Kingdom


Posted:
on the off topic subject of hand wraps, they are all good BUT dont do it straight from stop.
when your not spinning your chains heat up, and when you spin they cool down.

if you wrap with hot chains you end up like this

"This dark place planet Earth, orbits one star,
Come from afar, far away state of mind,
open up your third eye, black helicopters in the sky"


squarefishSILVER Member
(...trusty steed of the rodeo midget...)
403 posts
Location: the state of flux, Ireland


Posted:
amazingly off topic in fact umm

animatEdBRONZE Member
1 + 1 = 3
3,540 posts
Location: Bristol UK


Posted:
Yeah, wet wicks and paraffin don't mix. this happened to my friend, and he couldn' work out why his devilstick was lasting 30 seconds...

Oil and water don't mix, they repel one another. Or one repels the other, I can't remember... Anyway, the ater inside the wick is preventing it from taking in paraffin (oil based).

Let it dry out, and it'll be good as new. smile

Empty your mind. Be formless, Shapeless, like Water.
Put Water into a cup, it becomes the cup, put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can flow, or it can Crash.
Be Water My Friend.


Frederick the RecklessBRONZE Member
Troupe Leader and founder, Fire and Steel
241 posts
Location: Oregon, USA


Posted:
It could also be mildew. Did you have them put out with a wet towel or (shudder) dunk them in a bucket of water and perhaps put them away still wet/damp/dripping?

Frederick the Reckless,
Troupe Leader,
Fire and Steel


squarefishSILVER Member
(...trusty steed of the rodeo midget...)
403 posts
Location: the state of flux, Ireland


Posted:
the horror.......the horrrrorrr

ChimneyBRONZE Member
member
85 posts
Location: Scotland (UK)


Posted:
I never dunked them in water
I have actually had them hanging in a hot garage for a week and they were very very dry and now they are submerged in a pan of paraffin.

entheogenGOLD Member
member
173 posts
Location: Berlin, Germany


Posted:
Probably they just got wet, but another possibility could have been that the poi were still smouldering with red embers long after the fire had actually gone out. When this happens it means that the kevlar itself is actually burning which means afterwards they no longer look black but are then ash gray at parts, and this is irrepairable damage I.e. the only solution is to buy new kevlar. This is why most people recommend to smother out the poi; it makes the life of the poi last much longer.

Just in case you didnt know, I had to learn the hard way.

'There are two mantras in life, yum and yuk. I choose yum.'


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