Making Fire handsticks
After years of thinking that it'd be really neat to have
devilstick handsticks with fire on the ends, I finally made some. The
effect is even better than I imagined. Since I'm such a great guy,
I've written up detailed instructions so you can make your own.
As with any procedure, you should read the directions completely
before buying materials or starting construction. There are surely
many other ways to make fire handsticks, but this is how I did it. I
did it another way too, but those fell apart immediately.
These are the materials you'll need for making one torch
end. If you want to do two handsticks, double the recipe. If you
want torches on both ends of each of two handsticks, quadruple the
recipe (except for the handsticks).
Materials for one torch end:
- 1 black silicone handstick
(This is what I used, but the silicone doesn't help much once
there's soot on the devil stick, so you could probably wrap a
dowel in something cheaper.)
- 1 10 foot length of fire eating cord
- 1 Sheet metal screw #6 x 1/2"
- 1 Fender washer 1/8" x 1"
- Aluminum tape (You'll only need 6 to 8 inches. A roll cost me
about $5. I found it in the plumbing section of Home Depot.)
- drill or dremel tool
These are directions for each handstick. You could do each step for
all handsticks, assembly line style, or do an entire handstick before
starting the next one.
- Cut off and discard 3 inches of the silicone tubing from the
end of the handstick.
- Drill a hole in the same end of the handstick. (Note for novice
drillers: I don't remember what size drill bit I used, but you
want the one that makes a hole wide enough for the body of the
screw but not the threads; the threads should bite
into the wood. To determine whether a bit is the right size,
hold it in front of the screw. If you can see all the threads
but not the shaft, it's the right size. It's easier to do this
with the back of the drill bit where it's solid.)
- Cover the exposed wood with a single layer of aluminum tape.
- Screw washer onto end of the handstick, but leave a small gap
-- don't tighten it all the way.
- Place one end of the fire cord between the washer and the
handstick end, and tighten the washer to hold the cord in
- Peel back some tubing (to make room for the tape you'll apply
in two more steps).
- Tightly wind the cord around the stick, covering the aluminum
with a few layers, and ending up with the end of the cord at
the edge of the wound cord closest to the silicone tubing.
- Wrap aluminum tape around the stick and some of the wrapped
cord. Be sure to securely fasten the free end of the cord.
- Unpeel tubing.
You could probably use
fire wick instead of
fire cord. You'd need to screw it onto the dowel, but you wouldn't
need the washer on the end.