This is a second part covering my building of a couple of fire sticks for a dear friend and excellent entertainer who goes by the name of Josh B' Gosh. He does shows for area festivals and fairs that is half sideshow, half Houdini, half comedy, and half amazement. Yes that is a lot of halfs, enough halfs for two as a matter of fact, but his show is always so well done that he can fit all those halfs into one. Trust me on this. If you want to check him out you can visit his website StrangeShows.com.
HERE. Now I'm moving on to the part that's a little more foreign to me, the metal work to finish the pieces.
The wicks are up to him but what I needed to do was fashion a section of metal to add to the end of the torch. The process was not unlike making a tool handle for a file or chisel.
I held a cold chisel at a sharp angle and rapped on the end with a hammer. Three to four light strikes raised a nice little barb. After getting the technique down on the practice section I moved on to the real ones, trying as best as possible to space them evenly and as uniform as possible.
How do you fit a square peg into a round hole? You heat the sucker up first. I held a propane torch to the metal bar for around 2 minutes, then I pushed the hole I drilled in the handle down over the hot steel and the square path gets burned in. I then loosen the piece from the vise and carry the whole thing outside the shop where I have a waiting bottle of water. I poured the water over the steel to cool it down and slow down the heat eating at the walls of the socket. In the end you get a very well fitted socket that is not too tight to allow for some more manipulation. To permanently seat the metal you need to apply some epoxy.
I had some cotton rags in the shop so I cut a long strip and tied it around the metal tip. I did some pulling and tugging to see how well the barbs secured my version of a wick. I was actually pretty impressed with the holding power. I had no kerosene or lighter fluid in the shop. I thought about mineral spirits, but I wanted to make sure I didn't use and explosive accelerant on the wick. So, don't laugh, I soaked the rag down with "3 in 1" brand oil and took it outside, bringing with a bottle of water and my fire extinguisher.