Fire/Pyrotechnics / Tools

Alcohol Torch


I was talking to one of my friends the other day and she was telling me about this torch she has. She said it was fueled with denatured alcohol and you just squeeze the bottle to make it work. I googled the torch later in the week and watched a YouTube video of one in use and it seemed like something I could really use and it also seemed easy to make. I had all the materials on hand so I took an hour or so and built an Alcohol Torch.

For the bottle, I am using a bottle that I bought at Harbor Freight. The bottle came in a 3-pack. I had an Elmer’s Wood glue applicator tip laying on my desk at the time and I realized it just happen to fit the Harbor Freight bottle I had so I was like “Yup, this is what I’m using”. I pulled the applicator tip apart and cut it down until I just had a round hole. I then cut a thin piece of aluminium (maybe 1/32″) and bent it into a rough tube shape. I then pushed this tube into the soon-to-be torch cap’s hole. I then heated up the metal tube a little so that it would melt the plastic of the cap a little. When this happened I then let the plastic cool around the metal. This gave me a decent seal so that later on alcohol fumes won’t be coming up around the tube. I then shoved my oil lamp wick through this metal tube in the cap.

I then began working on the tube that the alcohol fumes will be forced through. For this tube I am just using an 1/8″ diameter brass tube. I bent the tube into a rough S-shape. I then drill a small hole in the cap and stuck the brass tube through it. At this point I cut the brass tube to length. I left a little brass tube sticking into the bottle so I can raise and lower the fume tube later on.

At this point the construction of the alcohol torch is complete. I just screwed on the cap, waited for the wick to soak up the alcohol, and then tested it out. The way to work the torch is you light the wick that has soaked up the denatured alcohol and let it remain lit. When you’re ready for the torch, you squeeze the plastic bottle which will force alcohol fumes through the brass tube. It worked pretty good the first time, but I had to play around with the fume tube’s height a little to get the optimum torch flame. Once I found a good spot for the fume tube, I got a really nice flame. Once thing I learned is that it is much better to do long, constant speed squeezes to get the fumes out versus powerful and fast squeezes.

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