Introduction: How to Make Fire Balls! Really Cool!

Just be careful and have fun!!!

(update 7/23/09 ) Im so lazy and havent posted an instructable yet but some one did!!!

so CLICK HERE to saw the instructable!!!


HerbertD1 (author)2016-03-22

The tick is the boiling point of the burn-fluid. Alcohol has about 70°C you will feel very uncomfortable at 50°C. So lighter fluid is good, even better would be ether.

EmilyS70 (author)2015-12-06

Do you think whte gas would work?

briannam1 (author)2014-09-19

come on teahch my little broth thats smart

elkhuntr (author)2013-04-16

dude i tried this 4 times and burnt myself every time. how do you not make it burn you.

capnlatenight (author)elkhuntr2014-08-10

Squeeze out the extra rubbing alcohol and make sure your hands don't have any on them.

Bob the dog (author)2011-12-11

I put one of these in a catapult i made and it was awesome!!!!!

11rex11 (author)2009-04-21

OK I'm tired of people saying that the blue part isn't the hottest part I'm a science teacher and i did this project for a class one day, anyway the fire temperatures go like this
Orange = coolest
Red = next coolest
Blue = next coolest (hotter than red or orange)
Green = next hottest (hotter than blue)
Any color In between blue and white pretty hot
WHITE = DON'T TOUCH ANY WHITE FIRE NO IM NOT TALKING ABOUT CLEAR FIR IM TALKING ABOUT WHITE IT IS HOT ENOUGH TO MELT STEEL WITHIN 4 SECONDS. the reason you can touch the bottom is because the fire burns up and plus the fumes from the lighter fuel is going up it is way less hotter down there because there is not a lot of flame down there

biboNL (author)11rex112010-03-19

gee, a 17-year old science teacher!
it's ok to tell people what you know, but you don't have to lie (unless you really are a 17-year old science teacher...)
anyway, here's some info on fire colors:

-barely visible: about 500'C (975'F)
-Cherry-ish color, visible, but slightly dull: about 850'C(1550'F)
-Bright: about 1000'C (1850'F)

-deep orange: about 1100'C(2010'F)
-clear orange: about  1200'C(2200'F)

blue and green are other types of combustion, usually giving off about the temperature of a white-ish flame (1350'C(2400'F)(most gas-based fires tend to give a blue flame, green flames are mostly made by adding fine copperdust to the fuel, though there are some materials that burn green.)

-White-ish: about 1350'C(2400'F)
-Bright: about 1500'C(2700'F)
-Dazzling/roaring(the other white flames will probably roar too, but you will hear the difference): about 2000'C(3000'F)

the transfer from Celsius to Fahrenheit is not accurate, since i didn't use a tool to convert it.

anyway, the reason your hand doesn't burn is because the temperature the cloth gets at the bottom is around 100'C.
This sounds like alot, but the combination of a lack of heat conductors under the flame, combined with constantly moving the ball makes your hand stay cool.

Hope this helped.

HeyJD (author)biboNL2010-08-07

Ok.... So many people have not stated the most basic and obvious thing. The burning temperature of cotton is really low...

biboNL (author)HeyJD2010-08-17

the cotton isn't burning, the fumes are. as soon as the lighter fluid runs out, the flame dies and your cotton will be in the same condition as before.

HeyJD (author)biboNL2010-08-17

No..... The cotton always disappears with me! Every time I burn my cotton it get's smaller. So I can only use it once.

biboNL (author)HeyJD2010-08-20

that's odd, and you don't burn your hand? maybe it depends on the fuel. what kind of fuel are you using? zippo lighter fluid burns at a different rate/temperature than normal lighter fluid, for example, maybe that affects the cotton aswell.

HeyJD (author)biboNL2010-08-20

Well it does hurt if I hold it in one spot... (I don't have zippo lighter fluid[I'm Australian])I'm using a lighter fluid which came in a small rectangular metal bottle.

biboNL (author)HeyJD2010-08-21

it's normal that it hurts when you don't move it, because there is no such thing as a 'cold flame', though many people here claim otherwise, because you move it around constantly, your hand won't burn. i don't0 know why your cotton burns out after one use, mine do tend to get slightly brown, but i can reuse them at least 4 or 5 times. maybe it's because i never let them burn out entirely, i just kill the flame by closing my hand... but it shouldn't burn the cotton, it's the same principle as the trick where you put petrol on some paper money, and let it burn, without actually burning the money, i've done that loads of times to win bets :P

HeyJD (author)biboNL2010-08-21

Well I use cotton balls... Maybe you use cotton from a t-shirt? Or something else... Which may make a difference

freakyqwerty (author)HeyJD2011-08-24

That's your problem there, make it how it says and try again…

iLikeCoolStuf (author)biboNL2010-07-13

Yes It helped

freerunnin1 (author)biboNL2010-05-20

heat rises upward and the cool air sinks downwards, this is why he isn't getting burnt, it is also why the flame goes upwards :P

Virtuous (author)11rex112009-08-20

You are correct but the reason you don't get burnt touching the blue part is also because the orange flame is more if your doing doing an experiment and heating a test tube the orange flame will blacken it the blue won't.

hintss (author)Virtuous2010-12-21

in other words, they don't get enough oxygen

CeGarra (author)11rex112009-07-28

thank you! i had been wondering y the blue flame wasn't burning anyone, i was pretty sure it was supposed to be hotter

iLikeCoolStuf (author)11rex112009-06-24

k thx for the help

taka21 (author)11rex112009-05-27

Okay, so I have recently searched about what I have said ages ago and I have found out that you were right. I am sorry for misleading tons of people here. The hottest part of the candle flame is the blue part, at 1670 degrees F (1400 C.) That is where the flame has the most oxygen and you are getting complete combustion. The reddish part is the coolest part, about 1070 F (800C). The reason why something burns faster at the red part is because freshly heated gases from the bottom of the flame flow upwards where there is less pressure so if you place something on top of the flame the item has a steady flowing stream of freshly heated gases, but if you burn it at the bottom of a flame which is the blue part, even if it is the hottest part, the object when touching the blue part cools the flame while the flame tries to heat the object. Have a nice day.

iLikeCoolStuf (author)11rex112009-05-27 do i can get white fire Just for asking

Zetheros (author)11rex112009-05-04

If what you say is true, then why would he be holding it on the bottom? And any fool would know white colored fire would incinerate practically anything within a few inches from the flame.

mariostar (author)2009-07-14

can you use charcoal lighter

ToddisI (author)mariostar2010-08-07

I would think so... a flame is a flame...

ToddisI (author)ToddisI2011-07-28

o sorry i thought u ment like a fire wood lighter opposed to something like a cigertte lighter.... not the actual flamable liquid....

Mathias Re'eh (author)mariostar2009-10-10

no it hurts i tryed

the_mad_man (author)2009-04-03

one thing come to mind when watching this: DOGEBALL!!!!

prosecutor (author)the_mad_man2011-04-28

or hacky sack.

DOGEBALL!!!! with sling-shots
they are cotton balls it wont hurt but it will be fun

taka21 (author)the_mad_man2009-08-01

Its spelled Dodge ball but other than that, yep, it would be pretty cool.

CeGarra (author)the_mad_man2009-07-28



rmallari (author)2011-04-24

What kind of lighter fuel do i need

rmallari (author)2011-04-24

What kind of lighter fuel do i need

Plo Koon (author)2011-03-26

cool, interesting, unusual.

copper tube (author)2011-03-19

too much cool

mrschneeebly (author)2011-01-29

I did it man! Fun Stuff!

Goalie1 (author)2011-01-03

I just did this, and it is AMAZING!! THANKS!!!!!!

Darwinfish (author)2010-11-16

FIrst off, YES on dodgeball, that would be awesome.

Also, I think part of the reason his hands don't get burned is the properties of the butane itself. At room temp, it's a gas. (Which, incidentally, is why a bic lighter works: the butane is compressed as a liquid, but expands to a gas when you open the valve.) Warmed by your hand, and of course by the flames, it shoots out of the ball more quickly. Right around the ball, it can't mix properly with the oxygen in the air, so it burns just a bit around the edges, but as it drifts upward, it gets to the right mixture, and ignites, resulting in that nice bright flame that we see.

Something with a lower boiling point (gasoline perhaps) would release more slowly, and burn closer to the ball, and give you a great story to tell the paramedics.

You can see this in effect burning a bowl of gasoline vs burning wood; with burning wood, the base of the flame stays pretty close to, if not on, the wood, but the flames from burning gasoline dance above the surface as gas rises, mixes, and ignites. (It looks amazing in a pumpkin, just throwing that out there.)

Great instructable, I plan to try this out this winter when I can't burn down half the county. :-)

Huntman00 (author)2010-01-07

could i use a cotton ball instead of cotton cloth

Pattongc (author)Huntman002010-01-25

 the cotton would burn after the alcohol was gone 

ToddisI (author)Pattongc2010-08-07


json12795 (author)2009-05-14

i only have two ideas for these, 1. juggling 2. and making them bigger ....... *will doing that effect it in any way, except making a huge flame?

biboNL (author)json127952010-03-19

it will leak over your hands, thus burning them to crispy meatchunks.

yolo777 (author)2008-11-03

i even tried numbing my hand w/ ice and it still hurt like a mother and now parts of my hand are brownish but don't hurt - weird it was totally worth it though any tips on improvement?

freerunnin1 (author)yolo7772009-01-19

thats because if you cool your hands then rapidly heat them it will give you heat pains try covering your hands in wax

11rex11 (author)freerunnin12009-04-21

I'm sorry but covering your hand in wax is dumb because wax will burn or it will melt and then not help

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