Torches

This easy recipe describes how to make torches to carry at your next night march or rally. Pitchforks not included!
You will need ( tools or supplies ): 
Dowels, at least 1” thick (wooden table or chair legs work fine)
Tin cans—small (15-ounce) or medium (26-ounce)
Kerosene or lamp oil
Old cotton t-shirts or cloth
Hammer and nails or screws and screwdriver
Ventilated working space
Step

Nothing livens up a night march or gives that “peasant revolt” look like bright, flaming torches (and pitchforks). A festive, safe torch is easy to make. Begin by removing any paper from the outside of your tin can. Lay the can on its side and, with a hammer and nail, punch some holes along the top and middle of the can. This will allow more air to reach the center of the torch, making for bigger flames.

Step

The wooden dowel serves as a handle for the torch, so it should be long enough that the flames will not be too close to your face or head. Nail or screw the tin can to the top of the dowel, mouth upward. You may want to use a drill to make a pilot hole in the dowel. The nail can be difficult to reach within the confined interior of the can; use the bottom of the hammer if need be. You may want to use a washer, too. The can should be securely attached to the dowel. You do not want that connection to fail out on the mean streets.

Step

Take an old 100% cotton shirt or rag and wet it with kerosene or lamp oil. Place rags in a plastic bag or margarine container when you wet them, so you don’t spill or waste any fuel. Do this in a well-ventilated space, away from any open flames. Store the rags in a sealable container. Rags can be stuffed into the cans and lit when ready.

Step

Torches will last for roughly twenty minutes before they need to be relit or replaced. They can be extinguished by turning them upside down on the ground for several minutes. You can also extinguish them by covering the can entirely with a wet towel. If you are concerned about the rags falling out, or if you may be running while carrying the torch, string metal wire through the holes you punched in the can and across its mouth.

Step

Warning: Using fire always involves risk, and not just of arson charges. Being organized helps create a safe, romantically-lit environment, and keeps the chaos where you want it. Bring along fire extinguishers and designate people who are responsible for them. Make sure you keep torches away from heads and faces. Never add kerosene or flammables to a lit torch. Do not light a torch after handling soaked rags.

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