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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Tiki Torch Questions.....
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Tiki Torch Questions.....
Geeky Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 533
From: Las vegas
Posted: 2003-04-21 10:57 am   Permalink

Aloha,

Time to light up the back yard with the soft warm glow of Tiki Torch-light, and want to improve upon the basic woven-bamboo-with cannister-of-oil torches I have always used before.

So, the questions:

1) Are all oil cannister based torches about the same in your experience?

2) Are some wicks better than others?
The classic torches seem to have just not quite enough flame "oomph" to 'em, you know? More like candles than TORCHES, so to speak.

3) Anybody using those propane torches that use the 14.1 ounce disposable propane or citropane cannisters?
Here is a link, they can be had for as little as 30.00 each at other sites.
http://www.fire-science.com/patiotorches.html

4) Anybody ever have permanent natural gas torches installed?
Our local contractor said that gas lines to the torches would run 38.00 per foot, way outta our league.

I'd love to hear your experiences and preferences!



[ This Message was edited by: Geeky Tiki on 2003-04-21 10:58 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Geeky Tiki on 2003-04-21 10:58 ]


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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5045
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2003-04-21 11:37 am   Permalink

One thing to keep in mind with the torches is the wick length. You don't want too much wick exposed or you get a lot of smoke. Also, use the clear "Pure" oils. I keep mine at about 1/2 inch or less. If you see smoke, shorten the wick.

If the gas line doesn't get you, the cost of burning gas in those torches surely would!
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SugarCaddyDaddy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2002
Posts: 1500
From: Huntington Beach, California
Posted: 2003-04-21 12:17 pm   Permalink

GT~
Good question for those that haven't purchased torches yet.

For me I now use Tiki Corporation's Torches. I prefer this black style, since it is the design of choice for me:



You can get these at Target, Smart 'n Final, Sav-on, Rite-Aid, Wal-Mart, etc.. Fairly easy to find. I have used the rattan style, and have seen the brass & the aluminum/silver metal ones. All of the fuel-type work the same. You fill the canister up, pop/screw the top on, adjust the wicker and light. As Swanky said, wicker height is important. I keep mine at about 1/2" exposed too, since I am looking to set mood lighting, not smokey joe's backyard bonfire. So shop, set your budget and see which style you like.

I'm sure you've seen the mini-torches for table tops:




One word of caution...Don't use these on any of the plastic outdoor tables! These are very, very lightweight torches that get top-heavy after filling the canister with fluid, and they tip over VERY easily. If you must put it on a table, make sure its a very heavy table that doesn't shake if someone bumps into it.

As for the CitroPane torches you mentioned on the link, yeah, I've seen them work. They are very cool and can give you that "big wave of flame", but it's really expensive in the long run since you must buy canisters of CitroPane to use on these. Oh, and one other thing about them on their design: You can actually unscrew the flame adjuster if you turn it too far! Who wants to be the one to try to rescrew that little knob while a big flame is going just because you turned the knob too far? These are in some of our local stores and you'll usually find one or more without the flame adjuster even on it. Either it fell off or someone unscrewed it all the way off.

The permanent gas torches? I have a friend who owns a plumbing business and he has installed gas lines for many of the Hoity Toity homes along the Newport Coast. They are expensive to install, BUT you do NOT have the convenience in changing the landscape lighting. Once they are installed, that's it. You can't just relocate the torch when you feel like it.

If you've got the budget for it, then go for it. If not, keep it simple and go for the under $12 torches. You can actually buy brand new ones every year for as low as $2 each starting at the end of August, since almost all of the stores start their clearance sales to make way for the fall season inventory. This is also when I stock up on the fuel too for the next year.

FireChief SCD says:
~make sure there's a clearance of at least 3 feet all around your torch.
~don't set your torch under ANY structure.
~use loooooong matchsticks to light your torch.
~don't fill your canister that holds your fuel up to the very top. Better to fill 3/4 of the way.
~buy a fire extinguisher, would ya? Better safe than sorry.
~look both ways before crossing the road.

Just my 2 coconuts worth,

Torchin'CaddyDaddy

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[ This Message was edited by: SugarCaddyDaddy on 2003-04-21 12:41 ]


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Lake Surfer
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 21, 2002
Posts: 3379
From: Milwaukee, WI
Posted: 2003-04-21 2:16 pm   Permalink

Make sure you cap your torches or remove them during rain storms. It can downpour here in the midwest during summer months and I found that if the wick gets water it will drip down into the can.
I 've had a whole can of lamp oil runied bcause it got water in it. Most torches come with caps... make sure it has one and keep those wicks out of the rain!


 
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TikiMaxton
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 557
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2003-04-21 5:35 pm   Permalink

The oil and water can be separated - the real danger of getting water in the cans is that they can rust out. I lost a whole can of oil out a rusted pinhole in a torch. Spilled into the ground, which is probably a bad thing ecologically, too.

Those small coconut shells I mentioned in an earlier post work really well for keeping the wicks dry, by the way. They make a flashier torch-snuffer/wick umbrella than the little piece of bamboo they usually give you, and they're heavy enough to stay on in a stiff wind...


 
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TikiMaxton
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 557
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2003-04-21 5:40 pm   Permalink

Couple of other torch tips:

Fiberglass wicks are better than the natural (cotton) fiber ones. They last longer, use less oil and give a better flame.

Watch out for the really cheap torches - these you REALLY have to avoid filling up all the way, 'cause the oil can wick up and over the edge, onto the bamboo, and set the whole damn thing on fire. I've actually had this happen.

A piece of rebar driven into the ground makes a good support for a torch, especially if your ground is too hard to drive the bamboo into deeply enough for a secure torch.


 
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RevBambooBen
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 12, 2002
Posts: 7454
From: Huntikington Beach
Posted: 2003-04-21 8:59 pm   Permalink

We had one blow up one time at a party we had!!! Shot the flaming wick in the air 20 feet and then into the next door neighbors yard and cought their play house on fire!!! The can/holder also turned into a very large tiki torch!!! VERY LARGE!!!

Another time we were at a Holloween party and those 24" shorter ones caught a mummy on fire and it was gnarley!!Burned the shit out of this poor girl!! Stop drop and roll sitch!!! (We were mummies too but had squirt bottles and kept our guaze damp all night.)

Just yesterday we pulled up from getting back from MONDO and I saw some black smoke coming out of a neighbors yard across the street. It looked wrong and, it WAS WRONG! They left a bug candle (the one thats tall with the bamboo stick) burning and forgot about it and split too! When I saw it and opened their back gate the flames were like 8' tall. I freaked out and grabbed the hose and sprayed it for like 5 mins. The fire was next to their sliding glass door that was open for a cat and the flames almost caught the curtains on fire. A plastic dog house was also torching up pretty good! Freaked me out!!! (not a good thing after MONDO) (When we got home, I just wanted to go to bed but, had to be Bamboo "house saver" Ben)

So, be f'in smart when you are using fire!!!! G-damn it!!!
Buy one fire extinguisher for each torch you have!!!


[ This Message was edited by: RevBambooBen on 2003-04-21 21:01 ]


 
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Squawker
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 23, 2003
Posts: 37
From: Costa Mesa, CA
Posted: 2003-04-23 11:32 am   Permalink

Good info on fire stuff. Unfortunately, if if a tiki-head lives in an apartment or condo, you're out of luck on the traditional torches. But, I've recently discovered a solution!

This spring, Pier One Imports is selling a terrific looking bamboo tiki torch. It's about four feet tall and topped with a thick glass candle holder. Meant for tea lights or votives. Not as bright and showy as the oil flame torches, but four or five on your private balcony or patio are still impressive. They stick in the ground (or large planter pots) just like their bigger cousins. BTW these torches only cost $4 each!

An alternative for those of us in smaller living environments.


 
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SugarCaddyDaddy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2002
Posts: 1500
From: Huntington Beach, California
Posted: 2003-04-23 1:46 pm   Permalink

Squawker~
FYI~ I'm in Huntington Beach, just down the hill off Adams, and Rite-Aid and SavOn's has them too for $2.99....just in case your local Pier One (I'm guessing on Harbor Blvd.?) is out of them.
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Squawker
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 23, 2003
Posts: 37
From: Costa Mesa, CA
Posted: 2003-04-23 4:43 pm   Permalink

Thanks, SugarCaddyDaddy!

That's good to know. I just redone my sundeck, rolled out my outdoor tiki (a treasured Danny Balsz antique from the long gone Tikis in Monterey Park - or at least that was what I was told when I restored it) and set up for a great summer of evenings in the pseudo-tropics.

BTW for tiki lovers in the Huntington Beach/Newport Beach/Costa Mesa area in So Cal, there is an excellent tropical shop called The House of Tiki, which is on Newport Blvd. directly across from Triangle Square. It's run by a great guy named Wes Johnson and is well-stocked with all sorts of tropical stuff (Tiki Farm mugs, furniture, accessories, tiki bars and, of course, locally carved tikis).
There's also a store a couple blocks further down the street called Copa Cobana which deals in up-scale tropical furniture.

Just for everyone's FYI.

[ This Message was edited by: Squawker on 2003-04-24 09:06 ]


 
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TikiMaxton
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 557
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2003-04-23 6:09 pm   Permalink

My bar is filled with electric tiki torches I made from real torches topped with flicker bulbs. I love 'em and they don't smoke. The real, flaming ones go outside.



 
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Squawker
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 23, 2003
Posts: 37
From: Costa Mesa, CA
Posted: 2003-04-23 6:20 pm   Permalink

That's a great idea for indoors. I've seen some commercially available tiki bar kits that feature flicker bulb torches. Even thought about making some myself.

 
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RevBambooBen
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 12, 2002
Posts: 7454
From: Huntikington Beach
Posted: 2003-04-23 9:58 pm   Permalink

Hey Squacker,
Your Homepage has lots of Blood!
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Bamboo Ben
Custom Tropical Decor
I build Tiki Rooms for you! Just ask around ;)
https://www.facebook.com/bamboo.ben


 
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purple jade
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 19, 2003
Posts: 1450
From: New Orleans
Posted: 2003-04-23 10:37 pm   Permalink

Wow, Squawker, I first visited your homepage about four years ago! We LOVE Halloween at my house.

 
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Squawker
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 23, 2003
Posts: 37
From: Costa Mesa, CA
Posted: 2003-04-24 09:05 am   Permalink

Ah, yes...

My alterego is "Uncle Creepy". I didn't say the web site was a tiki page (it may evolve into that sometime in the future). I have been a writer for hobby magazines since the late '80s. Along the way I have worked in the movie biz, music videos, etc. The "blood" you've seen up there has to do with my creepy EFX I sometimes do for the professional haunted attraction industry.

If you've wandered through the "graveyard", I assume you came across the Grave Diggings section where you can visit some of my parties, notably last year's Halloween Bash and it's Indiania Jones jungle tomb adventure (I may create a section for my upcoming tiki paty this summer).

So now some of you have discovered a portion of my dark soul....ha-ha-hah...heh-heh...Ha-Ha-Haaaa....

Uh...oops...I better take a sip of this Fog Cutter...ah...yes...That calms me down. I'll just turn on the tiki lights and my rainforest fountain...Put a little Martin Denny on the stereo....That's better. Good tiki...good tiki...

[ This Message was edited by: Squawker on 2003-04-24 09:09 ]


 
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