Creating a Flaming Arrow That WorksWARNING:
Playing with fire is dangerous. Playing with fire that flies through the air at great speed is even MORE DANGEROUS. Use common sense and caution when using the arrow. I take no responsibility for what you do with your creation and for how you use this instructable. I highly suggest this not be attempted by anyone under the age of 21. I will stress again this is dangerous and has it's uses (like for a camp ceremony which is what I created this for) but you must be careful. Use these instructions at your own risk
I get asked to create some very interesting things, and often on short notice. It's pretty fun to see if I can really make the vision happen. This was the case with the flaming arrow. You might be shocked to know, there is not a lot out there on the web to create such an item. Those that do have instructions have little or no success. Others will show you what they did, but they do not tell you how it was actually created.
I took pieces from sites I found used a little brain power and came up with this flaming arrow that worked. So, my instructable friends, It is time to take the journey in learning how you too can make a flaming arrow that works!
Step 1: Materials
22" Aluminum Arrow (or longer I would not go lower than 22")
Liquid Stitch or a craft glue
16 Sparklers (the color does not matter)
Electrical tape or Duct tape
Thin gauge wire (24, 26, or 28 gauge)
A bow of your choice to shoot the arrow
Leather or cloth gloves (optional but strongly suggested)
Step 2: Cutting the Cheese Cloth
Cheese cloth is not very expansive but a lot of people are unaware of where to buy it. I've found it in several different isles in stores: cooking items (non-food), craft areas, and grocery. Large chain local discount stores do carry the item. If you have trouble, ask an employee they will be happy to help you.
Note: If you want you can make your layers thicker. I did try it this way as well, and it worked fine, but I did double the amount of sparkler material in the middle
Step 3: Sparklers
You will need at least ten for the inside of your cheese cloth.
Step 4: Shaving Off the Goods
Step 6: Adjusting to the Center
Step 7: The Fold
Step 8: Glue Time!
Step 9: It's Arrow Time!
Do not attempt this with a wooden arrow. Yes, I realize this seems obvious, but you never know who may not be clearly thinking when excited about making a flaming arrow. A wooden arrow will catch on fire....yes I tested it. Yes, I might have been that excited person.
You want to lay the arrow in the middle of your sparkler pile. Press down some on the arrow to wedge it into the sparkler material. You want to have enough of the sparkler material to wrap all around the arrow. If you are a little off that is okay, but do your best to even it out.
Step 10: Rollin'
Step 12: Glue Take Two!
Step 13: Tips at This Stage
The most important thing is to have your cheese cloth evenly around the arrow.
Step 14: Closing Up
Step 15: Wire
Step 16: Mummy
Step 17: Mummification Complete
Step 18: Tape Time
Note: I never tried making a flaming arrow with duct tape. I do however believe it would hold up for the amount of time the arrow is lit on fire and hits it's destination.
Step 19: More Sparkler Fun
Step 20: Keep the Sparklers Coming!
Step 21: Fire Power!
Step 22: Loose Ends
Step 23: More Wire Wrapping
Step 24: Last Tape
Step 25: Bath Time!
When you are set to shoot the arrow, have the extra kerosene away from the area. Have a friend/co-worker/family light the arrow for you. We found that it worked best if the shooter was completely ready, the arrow lit, the party that lit the arrow moved away, and finally the arrow was shot. However, you should do what you and those with you feel most comfortable with, and you should use extreme caution at all times.
Note: Here is where I stopped having pictures, I have been told I need to make these again, so as soon as I do, I will replace the drawing with an actual photo. I'll also had similar picture to those already listed so you can see that no two arrows are really a like.
Update: After long last I have pictures of the arrow in action!
Step 26: Arrow Part 2 Update 2013
I did still use kerosene, I can't help it I get fearful it's going to go out. It's a one shot deal so to speak at camp so I really have to ensue it's going to work. :)
My arrow this year was wooden, but we were not shooting from a very far distance. It did make the trip just fine, but clearly I couldn't save the arrow. :)
Step 27: CAUTION!!
- Do not light the arrow until you are really ready to shoot. You can shoot the arrow a few times unlit to get a feel for how it works. The arrow will get bent up, so if you are practicing from a far, have a few arrows made up for practice so you do not beat the one you need to use up.
- Even with longer arrows the flame will get close to your hand. BE VERY CAREFUL. We tried two ways of shooting the arrows. One with out gloves, it can be done, but it gets pretty hot and it freaks the shooter out. The second was wearing a glove that had been soaked in water for over and hour. It's still freaky but you have some protection from the flame. Basically, it's fire, use caution with your body parts!
- Never shoot a flaming arrow alone.
- Never shoot this towards a person. That is a bit of a no brainier.
- Always have water on hand. Enough to put out any flame you are going to make.
- My best advise as you are planning to use your arrow is to always think what is the worse case scenario. Then work to eliminate those issues.
Note: I at this time do not have a picture of the arrow(s) being shot. I'm trying to see if someone I worked with does. However, I will be doing this again, so I'll ensure I get a picture so you can see it all in action.
If you search Youtube you can find videos of people shooting arrows. This one is similar to what we use ours for.
UPDATE 2013: Arrow in action pictures now added.