This instructable describes how to make a torch, and also how to breathe fire. All the materials needed should cost under 20$. Its also safer then you might imagine for a few reasons, the first is that kerosene (The liquid used to breathe fire) has a high flash point, meaning its not an extremely flammable liquid, I have put matches out in cups of kerosene. It ignites because you make it into a mist (aspirating) when you spray it from your mouth. Another reason is as long as there is sufficient pressure the flames will stay a safe distance from your face.
With that being said it is still a dangerous project and should only be attempted if you consider yourself responsible enough to follow the directions exactly. I have confidence that as long as you follow my directions you will not be burned, so thats my disclaimer if you dont follow the rules don't blame me.
Now with all the boring stuff aside, get ready to impress your friends and family at your next summer bbq. It never gets old hearing people say how crazy you are.

Step 1: Parts List

This parts list contains all the materials needed to make 2 torches and the things used to breathe fire.


1. Kerosene a.k.a. paraffin oil, make sure it is high quality with nothing added. (I bought mine in this big jug at sears hardware for about 6$)
2. 4' long 1" diameter wooden dowel or (2) 2' long metal pipes with similar or smaller diameter (Note: If using the metal pipes the following materials are not necessary: aluminum foil, nails, hammer, saw, or tin can)
3. Aluminum foil
4. Hammer with 5 or 6 nails about an inch long
5. Metal can of some kind( A soup can works, but a coffee can is better because it is longer and will protect the dowel better
6. Kevlar wick about 2" wide (Can be bought on e-bay for a few dollars a foot, just search for "kevlar fire poi"). You will need about 2-3 feet per torch, I have also heard that cloth belts can be used instead of the kevlar, but I have never tried this method.
7. Plastic water bottle
8. Small funnel
9. Tin snips or heavy duty scissors capable of cutting a coffee can
10. A wood saw
11. Ruler
12. A wet towel, bucket of water, and fire extinguisher are also a good idea (not just one but all three)

Step 2: Prepare the Handle

If you are using a wooden dowel keep on reading, however if you are using a 2 metal rods then there is not much preparation needed and you can go onto the next step.

1. Remove both the top and bottom of the metal container (make sure it is clean first) so you are left with just a hollow cylinder.
2. Using the ruler measure the exact diameter of your handle, take that measurement and multiply it by pi (3.14) to get the circumference, then add an inch to that number. If you used a 1" dowel like I said then your final measurement should be 4.1 inches.
3. Using the sciccors or tin snips cut a straight line down the side of the can, and then lay it out and press it flat. Take the ruler and measure out the final measurement from the last step on the side of the can and then cut out that length.
4. Press the piece of metal flat against the surface of the top of the dowel, and hammer one nail through halfway down the can.
5. Roll the handle onto the can until it completely surronds the top and overlaps back where your first nail is. Then take the hammer and hammer 2 more nails into the can, one a few inches above the first nail and one a few inches below, so the handle will be completely covered by the can (except for the top side)
6. Cover the entire area you just covered with the can with about 1 and a half feet of aluminum foil, except this time cover the very top also.

You are now ready to put on the wick.

Step 3: Apply the Wick

For the metal handle: Wrap the 2 feet of wick very tightly around the top 3 or 4 inches of the pipe. When you finish wrapping it tuck the last few inches into itself. (Warning: Unless it is wound and tucked extremely tight it will fall off when it is on fire and that is not good for anyone, that is why I recommend a wooden handle) A finishing tough for the metal pipe would be to wrap electrical tape around the base of the handle where you are holding it so you can get a good grip.

For the wooden handle: Wrap the 2 feet of wick very tightly around the top 3 or 4 inches of the dowel. When you finish wrapping take one of the remaining nails and hammer it straight down through the wick into the dowel. Finally put a second nail wherever you feel the wick is least secure, and you are finished.

Now on to igniting the torch.

Step 4: Igniting the Torch

The great thing about kerosene in this project is its versatility, it is both the fuel for the torch and the liquid sprayed from your mouth.

To ignite the torch find a container that, when filled with kerosene, can completely submerse the torch. Then procede to fill the container with kerosene and completely submerse the torch. Make sure the wick is fully saturated with kerosene, remove it, and shake it off until almost no droplets come off. Move into an open area away from anything remotely flammable and light the torch (It is easiest to use a lighter to do this)

A few rules of the torch:
1. Never tilt the torch at more than a 45 degree angle away from verticle (Go ahead and hold it upside down if you must see what happens. The flame will climb back up the handle towards your hand and not only risk burning you but will also damage the dowel)
2. Never try to refuel the torch while it is still light. (Seems like common sense, but hey you never know how uncommon some people can be)
3. To extinguish the torch take an old utility towel soaked with water and wrap it around the head of the torch, being careful not to burn yourself, and leave it there for one minute. Remove it and check for any red spots or smoke to indicate if it is still smoldering. If there are no red spots or smoke you can procede to refuel the torch by dunking it back in the container of kerosene. ( The great thing about kerosene is that I have dunked the torch in the container while it was still smoking and giving off embers and it still extinguished it ,so there is little risk of accidentally setting the refueling container on fire, however for safety purposes I must insist that noone attempts that)
4. If you need to use your hands but do not want to extinguis the torch the easiest thing to do is to jab the torch into the ground wick side up.
5. Never throw your light or extinguished torch at anyone (They will not appreciate it if you do)

Onto practicing spraying with water

Step 5: Practice Spraying Water From Your Mouth

You can do this step either with the torch light outdoors, or you could just practice in the shower. I prefer doing this while holding the light torch because it gives you more of a feel for what you will really have to do. Get a bottle of water put about a tablespoon of it in your mouth and practice spraying over the torch with it.
Your goal is not to get a stream of water coming from your mouth but a constant spray. To do this press your lips together, inhale a big breath of air through your nose, and with all the force you have exhale the air into your mouth where it will force the water through your pressed lips, this should result in a fine spray. It will take a bunch of tries to perfect it but eventually you will get it just right, and when that happens you are ready to try it with the real stuff.

Step 6: Safety First

So youve practiced a bunch with the water, and feel confident that you are ready to start using the real thing. Before you do though I must first give some advice on handling kerosene.

So I used to carry around the kerosene in an 8 oz. flask thinking I was cool. However, after a few weeks the kerosene had affected the little piece of rubber (I think it was rubber) in the screw on lid, causing it to expand to many times its original size, and it fell out. Thinking I had a strong enough seal just between the metal cap and the flask I filled it up anyway, slipped it in my pocket, and biked over to my friends house. When I arrived at my friends house I noticed that my pocket was slightly damp and checked the flask, which was dry to the touch, so I didnt think it had leaked. I moved it to another pocket where after 20 minutes the same thing happened, but by this time my leg underneath the first pocket started to itch. I was fairly certain that the kerosene was giving me a chemical burn, but there was nothing much I could do about it.

I emptied out the flask, rubbed it down with paper towels, and replaced it in my pocket, but it was too late my pockets were already soaked with the stuff. I wasnt able to change my pants so I had to walk around for the rest of the day with my kerosene soaked pockets rubbing against the sides of my legs. A few days later the skin was incredibly itchy, and about a week and a half later the skin from the 5x2 inch red square on my leg started to peel. Once the peeling stopped my leg was fine again, but the point of the story is that this is a dangerous chemical and do not leave it in contact with your skin for a prolonged period of time.


Step 7: Now for the Real Thing

The best thing to ingest before attempting this is charcoal tablets bought at a pharmacy, they prevent the fuel from being absorbed into your system if you accidentally swallow any. Before you put anything in your mouth have the light torch and a wet towel close by. (Use the wet towel to wipe your mouth off after each time so no excess kerosene builds up on your face and ignites, that would be bad) The most important thing to remember the first time is to start small and work your way up. Its hard (not impossible) to burn yourself with just a quarter of a tablespoon of kerosene in your mouth, so make sure you start off with a small amount.
When you feel you are ready take a small sip of the kerosene, close your lips, and hold it in your mouth. Pick up the torch in one hand and the wet towel in the other. Hold the torch slightly closer then arm fully extended. (Make sure you are facing the direction the wind is blowing) Take a big breath in through your nose and with your head tilted slightly upward spray the kerosene out over the flame. When there is no kerosene left in your mouth quickly wipe around your mouth with the wet towel.
Now for an explanation for some of this. The reason you want to hold the torch far away from your face is so you can avoid a blowback. A blowback is when the flame travels along the stream reaching your mouth and burning your face. Blowbacks can be avoided in three easy ways
1. Never overfill your mouth with kerosene (If your lungs run out of capacity before your mouth is empty the flame will travel back into your face, if you feel this is about to happen the best thing to do is to quickly open your lips and spit out the remaining liquid, and bring the wet towel infront of your face to protect from any flames)
2. Always keep the torch a safe (at least 2 feet) distance from your face. (As you can see in the photos the flame traveled towards my mouth from the torch, but I ran out of kerosene before it hit my face)
3. Always spray as fast as possible, this will make it harder for the flame to reach your face.

Some basic rules:
1. Never play dragon and set anyone on fire
2. Never do it in an area with anything flammable
3. Make sure there is nothing ahead of you for at least 25 feet and nothing above you for 20
4. Never do this indoors
5. Always have a fire extinguisher, bucket of water, and wet towel
6. Never do this under the influence of alchol or drugs, HOWEVER you can do this in the PRESENCE OF THOSE who are under their influence (Its a very easy way to entertain drunk people, but then again what isnt)
Again heres the link to the videos of me breathing fire http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2276917600442809328

Step 8: Oh and I Almost Forgot

To easily transport the kerosene I recommend using a clear plastic waterbottle, with the lable removed, and "do not drink" clearly printed on the side.

Oh and something to watch out for on your torch, if the wood underneath the wick starts to shrink that means that the wood is being burned when your torch is light. If the damage isnt too great, you could try to repair it by removing the wick and adding another can and some more aluminum foil. However, if it has already gotten as bad as it is in the photo, there is a risk of it breaking off and that would be really bad, so it would be best to just remove the wick and use it on a new handle.

Random note #1: Of the 100+ times ive done this ive only burned myself twice, both minor burns just on my lips, the first one I overfilled my mouth, and the second one I didnt have enough air in my lungs to push all the kerosene out of my mouth.

Random note #2: After your done firebreathing you will want to get the taste of kerosene out of your mouth, I suggest any type of mint, however you do not want to use gum because the small amount of residual kerosene in you mouth will dissolve the gum and you will be left with a big mouth of goo (Go ahead and try it, its actually kind of weird)
Please revise your opening paragraph. To claim that this is a safe activity - especially to an untrained audiwnce looking to recreat it - is dangerously misleading. Im excited to see the art promoted, bjt this is very irresponsible. Signed a profession fire performer.
<p>great instructable, well written. but you might want to state that kero/parrafin are two seperate things in some countries like mine but in others it is the same product, it can be a bit confusing and dangerous. </p>
<p>great instructable, well written. but you might want to state that kero/parrafin are two seperate things in some countries like mine but in others it is the same product, it can be a bit confusing and dangerous. </p>
this is ok but i would never put kerosene in my mouth what else can u use for fuel?
<p>Kerosen is so dangerous and more volatile. For your healt, please use Paraffine. It's more gentle for you troath, le light of the flamme is whiter than kerosen. Never breath near of a cable as the photo, always have 10 meter of safety that there are anything around.</p>
<p><b>paraffin *is* kerosene</b></p>
Baking soda makes much smaller flames
<p>100% Non-Toxic, and impossible to backfeed into your lungs seeing as the oil puts off no vapors, and best of all if this stuff is on your skin and you tried to light it, it would not even catch fire :D</p>
Tiki torch fluid. the taste is not bad and its a nice bright orange. i'v swallowed some on accident and i was fine.
lmao like the citronella oil? that cant be tasty.
Or moonshine
or rum
Or corn starch.
or powdered coffee whitener
or solid fire retardent
&quot;lol&quot; isn't combustible.......
And solid fire retardent is.
that's the joke....
Lamp oil. Works good and not as volatile as the rest. Never had problems with it.
spit 151 rum or isopropyl alcohol at that torch-good not nearly as toxic or volatile as petrol products.
never use isopropyl alcohol!!!!!!!!!!!! you obviously have never used it. if you had,you wouldn't be typing this. period!
isopropyl is good for the torch itself (if you want to eat fire too) but not the breathing liquid
lasermaster, said no isopropyl, but CVS sells ethyl alcohol, which works well and wont kill you if you swallow it, no denature alcohol or methanol either, they WILL kill you without even swallowing them.
&nbsp;Use corn starch or powdered sugar.
u should put a straw filled with flour in ur mouth then blow it out. the axis experimented with using flour and charcoal dust to strengthen the power of their tornado gun
Flour only works as a flash powder though, so you'd have to throw it. It's much cooler to make like a dragon and breathe some fire.
Dilute the kerosine with water.
what?? that would not work
First test the liquid with a spray. Take care.
Dangerous and cool
can you use peanut oil? (acts just like Diesel)
<p>I use Canola Instead, it work fine so long as you heat it up to thin it out a little before you try it... Good to see someone else is on the same mindset tough... XD</p>
kerosene and paraffin are completely different well sort of......Paraffin just means it is a fuel that has an oily composition and kerosene is a carcinogen and If you don't know what that means it means it causes cancer. Kero comes from petroleum that has been highly refined but Lamp Oil doesn't......you are going to get someone hurt and that would be grounds for suing because you didn't state a waver from responsibility and if you decide to put one up it won't matter because It hasn't always been up therefore they can still sue so you should take this article down.
but everything causes cancer these days
only in the state of California.
haha i got a butane torch a few weeks ago and it says on it something about it causing cancer in California
so does California have a high death rate? and if everything causes cancer there, should i go there to get cancer removed? since the doctors would have so much practice.....
But while you're there, your cancer will get cancer. You'll need to be on one side of the state line and have them operate from the other.
but wouldn't that still exspose the cancer to the cancer? could we just kill of the cancer with cancer while we stay safely on the other side?
I heard you like cancer so we put cancer in your cancer so you can die while you die. <br> <br>seriously, use paraffin.
PARAFFIN, PARAFFIN,PARAFFIN,&nbsp;&nbsp; DO NOT USE KEROSENE,&nbsp;&nbsp; DO NOT USE GASOLINE,&nbsp; DO NOT USE ALCOHOL,&nbsp;&nbsp; USE PARAFFIN, PARAFFIN PARAFfIN<br /> Im not usually one to talk about irresponsibility <br /> parafin can be found at any walmart or hardware store.&nbsp; it is called lamp oil and is used for tiki torches.&nbsp; Paraffin is used for its low flash point, and it is for the most part odorless and not terrible tasting, you really want to stay away from anything else.&nbsp; And Jesus, please read all the precautions first.&nbsp; Practice with water first, it sounds dumb but DO IT.&nbsp; The most important factor is when you blow the flame and then close your mouth when you reopen your mouth you need to blow out again incase the fire has been trapped in your mouth waiting for oxygen.&nbsp; If you were to inhale, the flame would fill your lungs and we can only hope after that.&nbsp; Try not to wear any synthetic material when attempting, I have seen peoples clothing melt onto their body. Just as you would not piss into the wind, do not blow into the wind. And always have a towel that has been soaked in water and wipe your face in between blows, the liquid likes to dribble down your chin, and a little goes a long way.&nbsp; Start off small,&nbsp; do not rush it,&nbsp; you dont need a whole mouth full.&nbsp; If you really must breathe fire, research it first. There is plenty of info on Wiki and other sites that will give you correct info and they all agree.&nbsp;&nbsp; USE PARAFFIN.&nbsp; lord Im getting old<br /> <br /> <br /> <br />
<p>I use Canola Oil... All that stuff above... Yeah, I worry about none of it XD</p>
Your advice is better but why not be safe and not try it at all. People that try this could end up being visited at a <a href="http://www.daltonfuneralhome.com" rel="nofollow"> funeral home</a> with the lid closed due to being burnt beyond recognition. Ouch!