Forums > Social Chat > How to construct towel wicks

Login/Join to Participate

Heph
Heph

member
Location: Chicago, IL
Member Since: 13th Dec 2000
Total posts: 79
Posted:alright, people. so many of you have recommended towel wicks versus Kevlar, so i figured i'd give it a go. But how do you make them?Heph

Delete Topic

Peregrine
member
Location: Mystic, Ct. USA
Member Since: 12th Jan 2001
Total posts: 428
Posted:take a 100% cotton towel and cut it into strips longwise about how wide you want the wick to be...maybe3 inches or so.wrap the strip around the chain end as tight as possible, leaving a couple of links sticking out the end. you can wrap more than one strip depending on how long the towel was and how mega huge you want the ball to be. cut two pieces of relatively thin guage wire which are long enough to thread through the links at the bottom of the chain, bend in half, twist once, come up around the towel on two sides opposite each other and wrap around the chain at the top of the wick. with two wires, you should have 4 wire ends around the towel holding it together in a sort of cage thing. one should be pretty close to the loose end of the towel which you can tuck under so its not flapping around. you could use more wires if you wanted but you dont really need to and they are what burn you anyway so less metal surface area the better. once you have threaded the wires through the bottom link you can pull the rest of the chain back through the towel so its not sticking out. this way the chain and wick are all one tight piece, less things to fly off and break. for steel wire poi you would make a loop at the wre end to thread the cage wires through. just so you know, towel is more likely to come apart as you burn it and let flaming bits fly off when its been burnt for a while so its probably not thebest thing to use in front of big audiences...better bet would be that cotton belt webbing from army navy which i havnt actually used because i have a big bag of towels im working through but if i did i would make them the same way. or kevlar, but hey, im a ghetto twirler
Non-Https Image Link
Pere[This message has been edited by Peregrine (edited 20 March 2001).]


Delete

adamrice
adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA
Member Since: 19th Dec 2000
Total posts: 1015
Posted:There's a pretty good description over at http://www.geocities.com/firepoi/which
is similar to my technique, which follows (I've made *a lot* of these, and think this is just about the most efficient technique).Cut a strip of towel widthwise, double the intended height of the wick. Fold in half.Get about 5' (1.5 m) of baling wire. Fold it in half; at the bend, slip a pen underneath and then twist a couple turns under that to make an attachment ring.Slide one of the short edges of the towel strip between the two legs of the baling wire (I like to have the frayed side up). Roll the towel around the baling wire. Bend the baling wire up towards the top, poke the tips underneath the attachment ring, pull through, bend 90° and bring back down to the bottom. Twist down, snip off, and tuck away the tail.You'll need pliers and a wirecutter for this. You can get a little fancier with the way you wrap the wire around the towel, but this'll work fine.


Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

Delete

gάrbǿ
gάrbǿ

addict
Location: Bristol / London / Norwich / C...
Member Since: 9th Jan 2001
Total posts: 521
Posted:They are wicked apart from the fact that you can only use them like three - four times.peace outgarbo
Non-Https Image Link


be excellent to each other: safe:

Delete

Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:I use pretty much the same technique as Adam described except I use two pieces of wire that are two feet long each...it gives a four sided cage to the wick. Bend the wire around a pen, twist to loop. Wrap your towel around the wire, just under where you made the loop. Once it is in a ball/wick shape I use 100% cotton embrodery floss to sew the loose edge down. Then I coat the entire thing, especially the ends and the seem, with Elmers White School Glue. Once that dries I fold the wires hanging out the bottom up over the sides, clipping off any extra and tucking at the top. I use one of those sets of pliers with the wire cutters built in so I only need one real tool. Also the wire I use is the (I believe #10) electricians copper wire available at most Value/Home Depot stores. I know here it sells for 8 cents per foot. When I am done spinning I can actually touch the copper loop on my wick so I don't worry about branding myself at all. Cotton towels you can pick up cheaply from Dollar Stores...they don't need to be the Martha Stewart brand at K-mart or whatever.Actually the size of wire and such depends on how big you want your wicks. You have the basics from us now, so experiment and have fun!
Non-Https Image Link
With proper care my towel wicks have lasted up to six or more burns..though they do shrink with use!
Non-Https Image Link
One more hint, if you like the wicks, make several at a time. I usually make ten to twenty at a time so I don't find myself making new ones every week. That and it is always nice to have the extras.Best of luck!------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir..."I prefer not to go where there is a path but to blaze a new one!"


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

Delete

adamrice
adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA
Member Since: 19th Dec 2000
Total posts: 1015
Posted:I'm curious about this glue technique--you really coat the whole thing with glue? And you still get a wicking action through the glue? Interesting.I have started using the glue on cut edges with my kevlar wicks, which is very helpful, and I appreciate the tip--but I didn't realize one could coat the whole thing with glue.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

Delete

Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:No problem on the tip and yup...the whole thing. We use it on our eating torches as well. You have to soak the wicks a bit longer but it's worth it. It makes the wicks a bit stiffer too, a little crunchy. I admit, it's one of my favorite things when making poi, but that's because I like peeling the glue off my hands. Reminds me of grade school!
Non-Https Image Link
------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir..."I prefer not to go where there is a path but to blaze a new one!"


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

Delete

razza
member
Location: Helensburgh
Member Since: 28th Jan 2006
Total posts: 43
Posted:wat does the glue do to it ??? does it burn ???

Horsepower is how fast u hit a tree. Tourqe is how far the tree goes with u

Delete

FallenGrace
FallenGrace

Flow Commotionist
Location: Sonoma, California, USA
Member Since: 7th Jul 2011
Total posts: 2
Posted:I'm trying to braid strips of towel into a long rope, then make monkey fist out of it. I'm using about 1 part Elmer's glue to 10 parts water and dipping the towel strips into it to keep everything tidier while I braid the rope. It's going to be time consuming, but I think it'll be worth it for the finished product if it works the way I think it will. I'll let you know how it turns out. =)

I dig that Loco Motion, let's make a Flow-Commotion.

"I'm still just stunned...that's ME! With FIRE!"

Delete

Jameth
Jameth

enthusiast
Location: NSW
Member Since: 19th May 2008
Total posts: 378

FallenGrace
FallenGrace

Flow Commotionist
Location: Sonoma, California, USA
Member Since: 7th Jul 2011
Total posts: 2
Posted:Haven't tested them yet, but the poi heads are done. All towel, no metal (except for the rings where it attaches to the chain). Not the prettiest ever, but I tested the wicking I made from the towel and it gives a nice and slow burn.

I dig that Loco Motion, let's make a Flow-Commotion.

"I'm still just stunned...that's ME! With FIRE!"

Delete

FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:haven't been there but would say they are unsafe for use >5 burns...

considering the effort and time spent to construct, much better to buy aramide-wicks from HoP...

if money is the issue, get a short time job... wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

Delete

aston
aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2007
Total posts: 4061
Posted:My immediate thought on looking at the topic title was "Not".

Towel degrades far too fast to be safe.


'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

Delete

natasqi
natasqi

addict
Location: Perth
Member Since: 4th Jul 2007
Total posts: 489
Posted:*agrees*

After hitting myself in the face with a towel wicked poi in thailand and getting an eye ful of degrading burning fibres.. never again thank you!

Kevlar = much better!!!


Delete

Ninjatum
stranger

Member Since: 31st Jul 2011
Total posts: 1
Posted:Originally Posted By: Jameth
Non-Https Image Link

Non-Https Image Link

Non-Https Image Link



(necrobump)

H a H A this good. Thank


-

Delete