How to Make a Torch

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Making a basic torch is simple and inexpensive, but it can also be dangerous if you're not 100 percent focused on the task at hand. All you need for the task are a few cheap household materials, and you can put a simple torch together in about 15 minutes. Be aware of the danger of accidentally setting yourself or something else on fire if you're not careful and aren't paying close attention to what you're doing.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Wooden stick
  • Cotton rag
  • Stapler
  • Staples
  • Torch oil
  • Lighter
  • Get a sturdy wooden pole or stick that's at least a few feet long. A broomstick without the bristles or a mop without the head would each be perfect for the job. The stick should be solid and not cracked or broken, or it could potentially fall apart and accidentally start an unwanted fire.

  • Attach a cotton rag to one end of the stick with a stapler and wrapping motions. Lay a portion of the cloth across a few inches of the wooden pole or stick and staple the base of it to the stick. Then wrap the cotton cloth around the end of the stick using tight, circular motions until the rag is completely and tautly balled up around the stick. Tuck in the loose end of the cloth or staple it to the stick.

  • Dip the cloth in a flammable liquid such as kerosene or torch oil. To make sure the torch will burn for a longer period, immerse the cloth in the liquid for five to 10 minutes, to ensure the cloth becomes fully soaked, and will burn better and longer. If using a torch oil, do not leave it unattended, since the oil may be mistaken for water or juice and poison someone who drinks the toxic substance.

  • Light the cloth using a pocket lighter or matches. Light the head of the torch and then tilt it downward so the flames will spread to the rest of the rag. If the ends are properly tucked in, the torch could burn for an hour or more.

Tips & Warnings

  • An old T-shirt or dusting rag would be ideal to use as a rag.
  • Be sure to tuck in any loose ends of the cloth to better control how it burns.
  • The cloth needs to be cotton, chemical-free, and not made of a material that melts when burned.
  • Be careful not to get any of the flammable liquid on your skin or clothing.

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