johnny April 11th, 2010
Well, I threatened to make torches and knives once I got a cascade down with clubs. So far, I haven’t made any knives because I’m still too busy working on torches. I’ve now made 3 sets of torches. The first set was based on the green club construction and worked out pretty well. Eventually though, they started coming apart as the handle detached from the torch. Not good!
The next set I made wooden handles with the intention of swapping club/knife/torch heads out and using the same handles. There were a lot of issues with this version wanting to fall apart. On top of that, they were a pain in the butt to make, took some specialized tools and hardware to do correctly, a little painful to catch, and were just too darn heavy.
Yesterday, I salvaged the handle wraps from my first torch set and made some fairly light weight torches. I skipped the aluminum tubing that protected the dowel rod in the previous design and just wrapped it in tinfoil tape. The handles are a little different as they widen up considerably more than the green club handles towards the top.
I did finally find a source for furniture tips, but they are just too light to counterbalance the torch heads even in this ultra light model. So… I’m still using drilled out golf balls for knobs. Will I ever find a better solution?!
I also made a few rings to juggle from clear vinyl tubing. It flexes a bit too much to juggle in the heat of the day without putting a layer of tape around the rings. However, if you wait for the evening and stick a handful of glowsticks from the dollar store inside, they don’t look half bad. The biggest problem with the glow rings as props is convincing the kids to let me have enough to juggle.
They’re pretty nifty little night time toys that are incredibly fast to make for very little cost. Kids love ’em and I don’t have to keep refueling every 2-3 minutes if I want to juggle at night!
If you make a set of rings, I suggest getting a dowel rod with a diameter close to the inside diameter of your tubing and using a one inch sized piece to connect the tubing together. A couple of inches of electrical tape will secure it enough to stand up to a fair bit of abuse without coming apart.