Building an (Olympic) Torch (with Simulated Fire)




Introduction: Building an (Olympic) Torch (with Simulated Fire)

In this instructable I'm going to show how I build an (Olympic) torch with a simulated fire only from household materials.

Our athletics division will take part in a show  (the 50 anniversary of our main club) next week. Our choreografie (thanks Georg) includes an Olympic torch. Since the original ones are out of reach of (almost) everybody we had to come up with some kind of replica.
Last week I had a little spare time so I thought: Why not build one (from scratch). Since I had only a little spare time (about 2 hours) I could only use what i had at home.
Since the show is indoor and no real fire is allowed I had to come up with some kind of simulated fire.

I try to describe my building step by step. If anything need further explanation please ask. And since I'm a non native speaker please let me know if there are any mistakes (in spelling, wording or grammar).

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Step 1: Gather Materials

Gather materials
So here is the list of stuff I used to build my Olympic torch (and I had at home).
If something from the list is missing use something similar (which does the needed job). Just be creative ...

* Scissor
* Duct Tape, translucent adhesive tape (called Tesa film(?))
* Glue

* Rigid, but roll-able paper (for the torch body). I used the rigid paper which comes inside a roll of gift wrapping paper. Since it is already rolled the actual forming  (i.e. rolling) of the torch will be quite easy. sorry I didn't take a picture of this one in "raw status"
* Sheets of translucent paper in "fire colors". I found some red and yellow leftovers from a translucent bascetta star origami set.
* "kitchen" Aluminum Foil, to finish the body of the torch
* Cardboard, to build some inner structures, an old packing box from the internet seller of your choice will do well.
* Flashlight (to illuminate the artificial fire)
* Cardboard roll with diameter similar to the diameter of your light source/flashlight. Mine came from another roll of gift wrapping paper.

Step 2: Forming the Torch (Body)

From the rigid (and preferably pre-rolled) paper form a cone. The size of the cone determines basically the final size of your torch.
To form the cone simply roll the paper with two different diameter on the left and right side of the paper. Once your satisfied with the form of your cone fix the paper with duct tape against unrolling.

It is better to roll the cone with three or more layers so the come becomes stiffer. Since you'll hold the torch on the lower end with the main weight (the flashlight) on the top end there will be some momentum/tendency to break in the middle, so the stiffer the better.

Rolling the paper cone with different diameters on both endings results in uneven endings of the cone. Cut off the excess to get a normal ending.

Step 3: Build the (simulated) Fire

The (simulated) fire consists of two parts: the light source ( the flashlight) and the illuminated fire simulation. How to do this step depends a lot of the type of your light source.

In my case i overlapped the two sheets of translucent paper and rolled them around the flashlight (forming a slight cone). After rolling just fix the paper with the tesa film. If you "glue" only paper to paper you can disassemble the fire by removing the flashlight, which comes handy for transportation.

As you can see on the photo (luckily) I managed to overlay the two (rectangular) sheets of translucent paper in a way that they form two tips (one red an one yellow, while some parts get orange from the overlapped parts) when rolled around the light source.

Step 4: Build the Fire Support/Mounting Structure

To assemble the torch and the fire I build a support structure.
For this I cut a (kind of ) circle with supporting flaps from the cardboard.
First you have to measure the diameter some 3-4 centimeter inside the (bigger) opening of the torch body. Scribble a circle with this diameter on the cardboard and add the 3-4 flaps (the number of flaps depends on the size of the diameter and the weight of the light source (in my case 3 were enough).
Then cut off the resulting form with the scissor and reinforce the part with duct tape. It is a good idea to first fold the flaps to 90 degree and the do the reinforcement duct-taping.

The next step is to make a hole in the middle of the structure. The hole must be big enough to stick the light source (i.e the flashlight) through but small enough to not let it fall through.

I did not want to take any risk on that, so I added another piece of cardboard cylinder so the flashlight cannot fall through. To build the cylinder measure the the length of the light source showing at the lower side of the supporting structure. Cut the cardboard cylinder to that length. Seal one end of the cylinder completely with duct tape and glue the other end to the supporting structure so that the holes sit about each other. To securely fix cylinder and structure I used thin lengthly strips of duct tape glued (deep) inside the cylinder and across the structure at the other end.

Step 5: Assemble Mouting Structure Into the Torch Body

The whole structure is then glued into the the torch. For the step use the flaps.
First bend them upwards (if you did not bend the in the step of reinforcement) and press the structure into the torch.
Then use stripes of duct tape to glue the flaps to the inside wall of the code (i.e. the torch body).

Step 6: Finish the Torch (will Say: Make It Nicer ...)

Since a torch of brown paper will not get any applause I decided to give it silver metallic look. For this I simply wrapped the whole torch in aluminum foil.
At both ends of the torch I wrapped the foil inside to fix it and in the middle I used two stripes of tesa film.
This step is the most creative one. So depending on what you have at hands you can go crazy. If you want more then an simple design, go for it (post them in the comments so others can see what you came up with).

Step 7: Light the Fire (i.e. Assemble It Into the Torch)

Since we now have all the parts we need it is time to assemble our Olympic torch.
I needed a demountable one, so no gluing or duct-taping is involved in this step (resulting in a somewhat instable torch).
So if you need a more robust version (e.g.for children) just use some glue to stick the parts together.
In my case to assemble the torch I switch on the flashlight and put it into the fire simulation (from the translucent paper). Then I put the simulated fire into the torch (into the mounting structure).
Now you can switch off all light and enjoy your Olympic torch.

N.B. For our show i used duct tape secure all parts just minutes before the show.

Step 8: Final Thoughts, Improvement Ideas

* Other kinds of light sources (especially flickering ones) may be better suited for the fire simulation
* Use more then one light source (e.g. illuminate the body of the torch)
* Make the torch body nicer, e.g. by drilling holes into t for a second light effect (see above)
* It doesn't have to be an Olympic torch, decorate the body of the torch in another way and you will get a prehistoric torch
* A torch of this kind may add some finish to children Halloween costumes without letting them play with (real) fire ...
* ... whatever you come up with

* is there a way to rotate uploaded images?

* document all my projects, maybe there is an instructable in it ...

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