Welcome everyone. In this instructable I'm going to show you how to craft a simple torch, designed to be carried or stuck in the dirt as a stationary light source. Let's begin
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Step 1: Materials
the list of materials is is fairly short:
-a stick 4-5 feet long, preferably hardwood. It's nice to have a pointed bottom end so the torch can be stuck in the ground and stand by itself.
-about 18 inches of aluminum tape
-a rag, about 1x2 feet, size not critical, I used a scrap of polo shirt
-4-6 inches of wire, I used a bit of copper 14 AWG
-about a cup of fuel (I've tried both gasoline and diesel, they both have advantages/disadvantage s)
Step 2: A Word of Warning
This project involves fire and flammable materials. It has the potential to be dangerous, and I can't be responsible for your safety. Please be careful and use common sense. Definitely don't try this indoors or near flammable objects.
Step 3: Torch Construction
This is pretty straightforward. First wrap the top foot or so of the torch in aluminum tape.
Next cut yourself the cloth you need for the torch. I find it usually works best to fold it in half lengthwise, then wrap it around. Wrap it snugly, but not too tight or it will lose its absorbency. Now secure the cloth with a short length of wire. Wrap it tightly around then twist the ends to secure it.
Now you are ready to fuel the torch. This should be done outside, away from anything flammable and over something that will catch or absorb any spills. I have used both diesel fuel and gasoline. I find that diesel burns for longer, while gas provides a more steady, brighter light. Diesel is also harder to light, but gasoline vapors are much more dangerous. Take your fuel of choice, hold the torch horizontal or at a 45 degree angle and carefully pour the fuel onto the cloth, soaking it on all sides but not saturating it to the point of dripping. Put the fuel container in a safe place and sea it shut. Now you have the completed torch! It's time to light it.
Step 4: Lighting and Extinguishing the Torch
Before we talk about lighting the torch, I would like to discuss some ways to put it out. The best method I've found is to take a damp cloth about 1.5-2 feet square, drop it over top, and close it against the handle under the rag. You could also dunk it in water. It doesn't work to blow it out or hit it on the ground, and stepping on it doesn't usually work either. I usually just stick mine in the ground and burn out, which usually takes about 15 min.
Now for lighting it. The easiest way is to stick it in a fire until it catches. Gas torches will probably light just with a lighter, but diesel torches can be more difficult. Alternatively, you could light a loosely rolled paper with your lighter then light it with that. Got it lit? Great! Stay away from anything flammable and have fun!
P.S. This is my first instructable. Please feel free to tell me what I can improve.