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Forums > Technical Discussion > how to make lamp oil a quicker burn?

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Member Since: 23rd May 2007
Total posts: 2
Posted:Basically I am a teacher (with fire experience) at a school and we are performing A Midsummer Night's Dream in our outdoor amphitheater. I am living in Istanbul and getting white gas is next to impossible. So I have bought some lamp oil but when I tested it, I had a burn time that was over 4 minutes in length. Usually with the same set of poi using white gas the burn time would be 2 min maximum. I want to shorten the burn time so that one student can use poi within the play. Anything over 2 minutes brings up some staging difficulties.... How can I cut the burn time in half? Is there anything I can add to thin out the oil?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.



old hand
Location: Cambridge, UK
Member Since: 10th Feb 2007
Total posts: 719


Elusive and Bearded
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Member Since: 2nd May 2007
Total posts: 3597
Posted:a littel off topic, but i hear that istanbul was constantanople.....


Owned by Mynci!


Now with extra strawberries
Location: Canberra
Member Since: 11th Feb 2002
Total posts: 810
Posted:hurm i can't think of any thing you could add to the full.
But have you though about not dipping them for as long / spinning them of harder / dipping them early.
It might take a bit of experimentation to work out the right times and stuff. But i think you could get there.

You could also think about a creative way to put the poi out rather than letting them die out.
Mabey a tin with a lid to put them out or some thing?

I {Heart} hand me downs and spinning in the snow.<br /><br />


Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...
Member Since: 27th Apr 2005
Total posts: 8735
Posted:a bucket of dry ice will extinguish poi as it cuts off oxygen wink very stagey way to put them out 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.


Carpal \'Tunnel

Member Since: 17th Apr 2002
Total posts: 15414
Posted:umm.. use a fire blanket? ubblol

Which scene is the fire poi in?


Location: Wisconsin
Member Since: 9th Jul 2006
Total posts: 73
Posted:dont soak the poi in the fuel, just dump it on with some control and test different amounts, then there will not be as much fuel to burn..

"Runs with Scissors"


Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA
Member Since: 27th Mar 2003
Total posts: 2109
Posted:How about lighter fluid, like, for grills and stuff.

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



what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali
Member Since: 3rd Mar 2005
Total posts: 4030
Posted:Just put them out with a damp towel by the stage. The dry ice is a good idea too, very cool. Dunking lit poi in a cloud of dry ice steam would be great. Though perhaps getting dry ice there is not so easy either... and yes, simply pouring less fuel over the poi instead of dunking is the usual way.

.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....


That guy from Reno
Location: Reno, Nevada USA
Member Since: 3rd Sep 2003
Total posts: 556
Posted:Experiment with alcohol. See what types of alcohol you can get oveer there. Denatured alcohol would be best of 90 percent isopropel. Granted the flame size isn;t as big, but it should bring the burn tiem down. You may be able to use it to dilute or cut the lamp oil too.

But I like what others have suggested the best. Try to use less fuel somehow and put them out quick. A wet towel will help keep them from smoking. smile

Cody Canon
Controlled Burn, Reno Nevada


Member Since: 23rd May 2007
Total posts: 2
Posted:Thanks so much. I will start experimenting. I am quite sure that we have isopropel in the chemistry lab too. Cheers.