Longer Lasting Wicks

One thing most of you new flame heads out there may have already discovered is that your fire toys do tend to get destroyed quite easily and even more quickly,they start to get black on the ends, frayed edges and threads and generally become less absorbent of your fuel and depending on how often your spinning fire with them this can start to be quite expensive paying for new wicks every time, but not to worry because like most things the better you look after them the longer they last so here’s a few tips you might not already know on how to look after your fire toys which i guarantee will give them a longer lasting life time of fun!

First of all these tips are mainly intended for toys with Kevlar wicks so if you’ve made your own fire toys with old clothing or something ( it does happen ) then this post might not be of interest to you!

There are many types of fuels, spinners use but I’m sure the most experienced spinners would agree White Gas would be the best for making your wicks last longest as it leaves very little residue on your wicks and because it burns the cleanest of all fuels it only emits a small amount of smoke, the only problem people find with white gas is that it has a very low flash point which means it light instantly which can be problematic with a higher risk of burns, so personally i would use Kerosene/paraffin which is a lot more safer having a higher flash point and compared to most other fuels also leaves your wicks in decent shape, both these fuels also have the added bonus of being relatively cheap and can be picked up from any decent hardware store.

Note – Yes we know green and other coloured flames look cool but because the flame dyes tend to require mixing with certain fuels such as pure methylated spirits in order to work, they will burn at a higher temperature which will cause the wick to break down a lot faster than normal, so i suggest not using them to much and if you do have a separate set of heads to use them with.

When ever you find your self replacing old wicks and adding new ones be sure to make them as tight as humanly possible this is because when you wick is loose the fibers have more room to flex which can cause burning on all sides something that you definitely don’t want, another little trick is when ever your building up new heads try to use a little bit of white glue to hold the wick together while you slowly wrap it up as this will prevent movement.

Just like me im sure many of you practice with your fire toys unlit as they often have different weights to your practice poi and staffs, but even when practising you should be protecting the wick just because it’s not on fire doesn’t mean it cant get damaged you can help it by simply wrapping some tinfoil around the ends and by tying an old sock them, practising on soft grass rather than pavement is also a good idea.

Now when you have your toys on fire and they are reaching the end of the burn time be sure to put them out rather than let them go out this is because once your fuel is gone the flame will try to feed of the wicks and this is one of the main reasons for premature break down and fraying, also never let your wicks smolder because even after the flames have been extinguished the wicks are normally hot for anything from two to eight minutes and just like a piece of coal it will slowly start to break down, you can stop this by continuous spinning in the cool air after the flame have gone out or simply by wrapping a damp towel round them!

No matter how well you look after your fire wicks eventually they are going to pick up some wear and tear this doesn’t mean you should stop showing them your love, when ever you see frays starting to form simply cut them off this will slow down the process of destruction by preventing them from becoming worse and causing even more damage.

Now one last thing before i go not only are these tips practical, make your toys look nicer & cleaner it also is something to bear in mind if you ever plan on travelling with your fire toys as airport security don’t tend to like allowing them through customs so the newer they look the better.

hope you guys find this post worth a read and give it a tweet or a like, and i would love to hear your comments on it! – much love

 Bruno’s Addition

I would just like to add the following:

- After burning let your Poi Soak in fuel for at least 5 minutes between burns & always soak your fire toy and spin-off any excess fuel before storing your prop. This will help cool down your wicks and thus increase its life span.

- Generally wicks on staffs don’t last very long if you are new to staff or use your fire staff to practice. Dropping your staff causes more damage than you realize. Here are a couple of things you can do.

1) Get some Kevlar thread and stitch the edge and top part of your wicking. This will help prevent your wicks from fraying

2) Apply some cold glue/white glue/wood glue to the edges and let this dry. Do not apply this to the entire surface or use too much as it will affect how well your wicks soak up fuel and burn time.

I hope this is helpful in some way and keeps you spinning for longer.

Categories: fireplay.
  • http://www.aboveandbelow.org/ Kyle Harris

    I would also like to thank bruno for his addition on this post with some top notch advice.

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