How to Build Professional Juggling Torches

Introduction: How to Build Professional Juggling Torches

Today I am going to show you how to make professional juggling torches. This is also my entry for the woodworking contest. My idea for this started sometime ago. I have always been amazed about juggling fire and knifes. So like everyone else who wants to learn how to juggle I first learned how to juggle juggling balls. After I learned those I built my own clubs and learned those. Finally I was ready to try and learn how to juggle fire. But every were I checked online I found out that each torch costs around 50-75 dollars a piece! That is when I decided to make my own.

Step 1: Gathering the Materials

tape measure

wood (4x4x20.25in)
Aluminum tape
Kevlar wicks or Kevlar gloves
paint (I recommend spray paint)

Step 2: Turning the Rectangle Into a Circle

Probably the most time consuming part of this project. The idea of this is to take the piece of wood and keep chiseling the wood away until it's round. To do this first you need to put your wood in your lathe and start it up, remembering to start off at a slow speed and constantly turning the wheel to hold the wood better so you wont chip the wood. Now using your gouge slowly move up and down the lathe until it is almost perfectly round. don't forget to constantly check the check the diameter of the wood using your Caliper. Your goal diameter is about 2in so you have a lot of extra wood to work with. like I said this is probably the most time consuming part and the most boring but stick with it.

Step 3: Forming the Top Torch Part

From here we are going to form the torch part were you will attach your Kevlar. I recommend using the side of the wood that is not being dug into by the end of the lathe. First turn of the lathe and measure and mark from the top 1/3 of the way down (6.75 in). Now turn the lathe on and take your pencil and hold it to the mark you made till it forms a nice dark ring. Now your going to take your scrapper and cut into the mark nice and steady until it is about 3/4 to 1in thick. Don't forget to constantly check using your caliper. If you so desire you can always make the diameter smaller. After you have finished making the whole top part even out. You should have a rough edge along the bottom on were you just finished using your gouge to make the torch part. Use your gouge to slowly round out the that rough edge. Now its onto the handle.

Step 4: Forming the Handle: the Bulb

Now for the handle. Getting the handle is probably one of the hardest parts to get right so we are going to break it down into 2 steps. The first of these steps is the bottom bulb of the handle. To make the bulb turn the lathe off and mark about 1 in from the bottom of the wood. now turn on the lathe and as before hold your pencil steady against the mark until there is a dark ring around it. Now take your scrapper and as before cut into the mark until you feel it is about a good size for your hand I recommend about 1- 1 1/2 in. Now using your gouge cut on the right side of the newly cut mark you just made until it is even with the depth of the mark you just made. Don't forget to constantly check the diameter. Only go a couple of inches up above the mark because later on you will be making the rest of the handle. As before use your gouge to round out the part of the bulb that is on the left side of the mark until you have something close to a sphere. Now its time to make the rest of the handle.

Step 5: Forming the Handle: the Grip

Now that you have the bulb it is time to finish up your torch. We are going to form the grip part of the juggling torch. So from what you did with the bulb you are going to slowly tapper the handle, which basically means your going to slowly round out the handle while also gradually getting bigger and bigger as you move up and closer to the end of the torch. But about an inch or two away from the top do not tapper leave it alone. This may take some time but in the end the handle should look close to a baseball bat. Now time for some finishing touches.

Step 6: Finishing Touches

Now that you have finished the main look of the juggling torch go back over it with your gouge if there is any big problems you may see. Now take your sand paper and while the lathe is still turning grip the sand paper in both hands and slowly move up and down the torch to smooth out the torch. After that is done turn off the lathe and take your new juggling torch. Feel all around it for any more bumps or rough areas and round those out by hand using your sand paper. Now all you have to do is paint them any way your heart desires. After you are satisfied with your sanding and painting take your drill and drill 2 holes a small distance away from the top and about 1/2 in apart. Then take your aluminum tape and tape up the top part where the fire will be. Something i didn't do yet but you will have to do was take the Kevlar and attach it to the torch. 

Step 7: Final Tips

-Take your time
-If you get stuck don't hesitate to ask someone or message me.
-This is not a bigger task so it is advised to have someone more skilled help you
-Be careful not to cut to deep because you can always take wood away but you can never put it back
-After you have finished the torch don't forget to rap the top in aluminum tape because it is a cheap and affective way to prevent the fire from catching the wood on fire. 
-After you have finished the torch drill holes in the top so you can attach your Kevlar wicks using bolts.
-If you can't afford Kevlar wicks then i recommend using cheap Kevlar gloves and cutting them up.

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    2 years ago

    I love what you did. They look great. You are truly a talented guy.
    I have made several sets but since I am not an excellent woodworker as you are I went to the store and bought 3 table legs. Cut to size and removed some wood and used 3/4 electric tube 6”s long shield and hold cotton belt torch.


    7 years ago on Step 7

    Hi, thank you for this instructable. It gave me some good ideas.:) i was wondering though, how do they handle the heat over time? i mean, the alu tape keeps the flames away from the wood, but does the heat still have a great impact on the wood? grtz


    Good 'ible! Can you tell me how you worked out the handle length for the balance? Is 1/3 right always for the tip? Is the wood just pine? I wonder if 2" dowel rod would be a good starting blank (if it's available that thick)? I'm going to suggest that it would be good to make a shape template from card so that all three (or more!) clubs are the same. Just cut a shape which is half the outline of your finished ideal shape so that you can place it on the piece of wood being turned (always make sure the lathe is off when doing this). That way you should never shave off too much by mistake and you can repeat the shape again and again. I hope this makes sense. If not I'll post a photo. You could also use a scrap piece of wood with panel pins nailed through at the right distances to use as a marker for where to turn your shoulders. Basically a jig that can quickly mark where to start your cut and again be used to make exact replicas.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Ya i guess it makes sense kinda of. But instead of going through all that hassle you could just leave the part right above the bulb around 1in diameter then the top part right under the torch part around 2in diameter. By the time you get it tapered it will be perfect no matter how many clubs you need to make. Here is a pic to explain it more. hope it helps. The picture is basically showing that if you leave about 1 in. from the torch part around 2in diameter and 1 in from the bottom bulb around 1 in diameter your tapering should be perfectly fine no matter how many torches you make. Also yes i think you could make them out of a 2in. dowel but i couldn't fine one also they can be pretty expensive also if you use a 2in dowel you already have the top of the handle diameter so there is no way to fix it if you mess up.


    Thank you, I agree nothing feels better then making something from nothing and working hard for your stuff. I think this came out really well in the end. If you guys really like it please vote for me in the woodworking contest.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice!

    I bought my brother a set of torches a while back, but these look much better. Certainly homemade is more personal!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I won't rate this 5 stars because I already have two many favorites but it is good