I'm looking at making a fire flag similar to like a marching band color guard flag. I will be using a 6' pole and a 35" x 52" fire-flag area.
Key decisions I need to make are: * type of pole material * wick or rope? * other problems?
I know the poles that are easily available come in aluminum, fiberglass, and wood. I can cover the wood in taping to make it fire-proof.
Which would work the best? All three spin about the same; I'm most used to aluminum. Fiberglass is slightly heavier but I can handle it fine. I've never spun a wooden flag.
I will need to weight the pole to properly spin and I'm not sure if the wooden poles would allow this to be changed easily.
As for material. Obviously a 35"x52" sheet of Kevlar would be ridiculous. It's best for a flag to be slightly curved when spinning to prevent flapping and drag. I would have to create a pattern of vertical and horizontal "stripes" of material. Would it be better to get strips and sew them together or rope and knot it together to form the shape? Which would move better in the wind?
(this will be my first ever homemade fire prop)
Do you foresee any other problems? How can I keep the pole from heating up too much?
Posted:I can tell you what I did for my fire flags:
I use aluminum purely because of the strength to weight ratio. It will be the strongest by far compared to wood or fiberglass. The only reason Fiberglass flags are heavier are because more material is needed to match strength.
Flat wick or rope will work just fine I prefer Flat wick because it looks cleaner.
I actually weight my fire flags very handle heavy. So much so I can do contact moves with them. Think very large contact sword.
As for the flag part, I actually stopped putting material, because it's so much more dangerous and actually makes the flame look less impressive. The fuel in the flag is used up very quickly because of the surface area, and then it blocks the trails from the staff part. A wicked pole when spun will already look like it has a flag attached. Just a flag of flame.
I have had no problems with mine but I have transitioned to more sword and contact moves because the area right next to the flag portion does get very hot.
I hope this helps. I can post pictures of my fire flags if you want.