Introduction: Multi-function Walking Stick III - Torch Bearer
First Prize in the
Light Up the Night! Contest
Add a torch to the top of a Hiking Staff to illuminate your way.
The VIDEO shows the torch in action.
This is Part 3 in the Multi-Function Walking Stick Instructable series.
The Original Multi-Function Walking stick Instructable describes how to:
Make a three piece walking stick that converts into a Camp Chair.
Part 1 can be found here:
The Second installment describes how to:
Add copper ends to a staff creating a bottom point & a storage compartment on top.
Part 2 can be found here:
Part 3 Starts Here:
A staff to speed the march; A staff to rest the weary; A staff to store the gear; A staff to point the way; Now, a staff to light the night. All in one Staff.
Step 1: Shameless Promotion for the "Light Up the Night" Contest
This instructable has been entered into the "Light up the Night" contest. Please vote.
This page is dedicated to the shameless promotion of this Instructable for the contest.
(This was written before I found out the requirement for the compulsory Patriotic Essay portion of the competition had been dropped.... I decided to post it anyway)
An open flame torch to Light up the Night? Sure there will be those that dismiss this entry as a simple flame...a mere candle in the wind...not nearly technically innovative enough to win; let alone qualify for this challenge.
I can only imagine the response it will receive from the crew at Instructables.com as they decry..."an open flame torch as a light source for this contest?...Preposterous" An immediate rejection will be penned....I imagine it might go something like this: (Of course the ridicule will be kept to a polite minimum due to the "Be Nice Policy" but, a rejection none the less.)
Dear Mr. Stoutharrow,
We regret to inform you that your Instrucatble Multi-Function Walking Stick III - Torch Bearer cannot seriously be considered for entry in the Light up the Night competition. A Simple torch is not of the technological caliber expected here at Instructables. A primitive flame as a light source lacks the type of innovation this contest was intended to promote..
Also, it was not clear how to route the wires and where the Lithium batteries are stored.
To this anticipated rejection, I feel compelled to reply (proactively):
Dear Instructables Sirs and Madams,
Please do not dismiss the illuminating powers of fire as some charlatan parlor trickery. Don't scoff in disbelief "How can something without electricity... wires...bulbs... or an Arduino microprocessors possibly produce light?" Mere fire can work as a light source... It really, really can.
Sure, other light sources come around all the time: Carbon Arc, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Electroluminescent, Phosphorescent (can't we just pick an "-escent" and stick with it?) Led, H.I.D. (high intensity discharge), Wintergreen Lifesaver sparks.
What's the point? .... What's wrong with fire light?...Too simple?
Consider the essence of illumination. A simple lowly torch, at its basic, is a hydrogen storage vessel, but unleash that hydrogen potential with a spark, and its like a little bit of the Sun captured on the top of a stick. Runaway oxidation, the splitting and combining of atomic bonds, liberated electrons, photons scattered willy-nilly. Man.. that's chemistry and particle physics at its finest...and that's high tech. (or you could settle for an electron jumping up and down in an LED - your choice)
Combustion and Flame! Its not just for Cavemen any more.
I ask you...Did the angry mob storm Frankenstein's castle with pitchforks and Glow Sticks?... I THINK NOT!
And there are others that carry a torch to light the way. Pardon the French but a torch is just fine for that majestic lady in New York harbor (that's no 6 cell Mag-Lite she's holding) By the way...Copper as a fashion accessory?...she makes it look good...you go girl.
Still think a mere flame can't properly 'Light up the Night"?
I'll bet there is a certain O'Leary Cow in Chicago that would disagree. She knew how to "Light up the night" (and the whole city for that matter)...all with a simple flame. http://www.chicagohistory.org/fire/oleary/
If a torch is good enough for maidens, bovine, and mobs. Shouldn't it be good enough for Instrucables to consider for the Light up the Night contest? (Did I mention it keeps monsters at bay?)
- Silent Pause -
- Someone start softly humming The Battle Hymn of the Republic to set the mood for this next part. (you know the tune: "Glory...Glory... Halleluiah... Mine eyes have seen the glory of the...etc, etc.")
After all the flash-in-the-pan lighting sources have turned off their lights and gone home; after every last Indeglo watch face has dimmed; after every last LED berry has been harvested from the fields where they grow. When the dazzle of fluorescent has been switched off (due to mercury environmental reports) Good old Combustion and Flame will be be there, high atop a staff, waiting like a warm (~2000 degree F) friend; shining like the beacon in Revere's church tower; to light up the night for your walk home.
This Instrutable harnesses the humble power of combustion and places it at your command, at your side, to illuminate your night path...nothing more...nothing less.
All I ask, is that you consider the heritage of illumination when judging all the fine entries for this contest. And maybe...just maybe, find a place in your heart to award one of those fancy robot shirts to a certain venerable "also ran" entry. I can only hope (and light a candle.) By the way, Is the robot on the shirt printed with glow-in-the-dark ink? That'd be awesomely sweet...(how does that stuff work anyways?)
H. P. Stoutharrow
In the continued tradition of copper as decorative raw goods, this latest addition to the Multi-Function Walking Stick will not disappoint plumbing supply retailers.
The copper plumbing finial storage compartment at the top of the top of the staff is the basis of the torch holder. Be sure to check out the link, in the Intro, to the second in the series for construction details if you missed it.
This Instructable, will focus on the construction of the torch and its placement on the top of the staff. Experience that Huck Finn (or Laura Croft) sense of adventure....exploring dark places with a torch in hand... or just take a unique night hike illuminated by flickering flame.
Either way you can navigate and be seen as you Light up the Night with firelight.
Added note: When the torch is complete it also doubles as a cook fire. With a few more parts to make a stand (yes, more copper plumbing) the torch can cook a meal. See this Instructable for details.
Step 3: The Torch
These are the materials required to make the torch:
1/2" Copper Stub-out - This is the same plumbing fitting used to make the Point in the earlier Instructable.
3/8" Threaded Brass Cap
3/8" Compression / 5/8" Sweat Brass Fitting When purchased, this fitting comes with a compression ring and a threaded cap with a hole. These are not used in this project.
#8 Rubber O-ring
Fiberglass Wick - purchased as Tiki torch replacement wicks
1. Sweat the fitting to the Stub-out using flux, solder, and a Propane torch
2. Install the wick into the stub-out until it just touches the bottom. Cut the wick about 1/2" above the top of the brass fitting. The longer wick ensures that it is always "retrievable". (It prevents the wick from falling into the stub-out when the cap is screwed on.)
3. Insert the O-ring into the brass cap
Step 4: Slip Fitting
A 1" copper couple is used as a Slip Fitting to hold the torch to the top of the staff.
The Slip Fitting should have a "snug" fit around the torch to hold it in place but it still should allow the torch to slip in and out. The fitting can be crimped slightly to adjust the retention.
Note: the Slip fitting should not be sweat soldered to either the torch or the staff.
The torch is intended to be installed in the storage space created in the previous Instructable.
The torch fills the storage space on this staff so it is either storage, or the torch (unfortunately not both at the same time with the design as shown.)
Room for both a torch and storage could be accommodated if the staff is built with a longer top pipe storage area. Remember to compensate for a larger storage area by shorting the wood dowel accordingly. The overall length of the Upper Section of the staff must match the length of the other sections to function as a chair (as described in the first Instructable)
1. Remove the cap from the top pipe storage section.
2. Slide the Slip Fitting couple onto the top pipe. The fitting should also have a snug fit to the top. pipe - crimp as necessary.
Step 6: Torch - Stored Position
When the torch is not in use, it can be flipped over, and inserted into the the Slip Fitting with the brass cap end down. This is the Stored Position for the torch.
The brass cap end of the torch is concealed in the staff storage area. In this stored position the pointed end of the stub-out will be pointing up.
The top and the bottom of the staff are now identical in appearance - a Point on both ends.
Step 7: Torch - in Use Position
Flip the torch over from the Stored Position to the In-use Position and install it in the Slip Fitting point end down.
1. Unscrew the Brass Cap and extend the wick.
2. Light and glow
Note: When using the torch, the Brass Cap can be stored in the remaining storage area under the torch.
Step 8: Light-up the Night
The torch is filled with Isopropyl (rubbing) Alcohol. Use 90% rather than 70%; if you can find it. The Isopropyl has a nice bright yellow flame that gives off a good amount of light.
Note: if you are going to use the torch to double duty as a camp stove (as mentioned in step 2) be aware that Isopropyl will leave black soot on the bottom of cookware.
Eythol Alcohol is much better for cooking but there is a trade-off, its blueish flame does not give off as much light when used as a torch.
SAFETY NOTE: As alway....Please NEVER use Gasoline or anything other than alcohol for these type of torch or camp stove projects...its explosive nature makes it too dangerous!
Step 9: The End?
A torch atop a staff coming down the trail is perhaps a bit more ceremonial pomp and circumstance than a LED headlamp mounted to your forehead however, you can't beat that Gandalf look as you shepherd in the night with this flame atop your staff; keeping the dark (and monsters) at bay.
Remember: "Nothing illicits the proper monster control you need, like a brandished torch."
On a serious note. Use this responsibly. It is fire. Be aware of your surroundings. Don't use it where open flame is not permitted. Similar to a tiki torch, candle, lantern, or campfire, the yellow glow of of firelight has a certain primitive appeal. They all can be enjoyed in the outdoors when used properly and safely.
We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.