Tiki Torches That Aren’t a Ripoff.

Seriously, Tiki torches are awesome.  Real flame burning in your backyard is truly manly.  There is nothing better in my backyard when I light a campfire (illegally) and then spread the flames all around the perimeter.

Who doesn’t really buy the regular, 3 bucks a pop, bamboo shit tiki torches every summer to plant around their backyard?  They suck to drive into the ground, they rot in months, and they’re generally worth even less that the shockingly low price they’re sold for in the first place.

So, as previously mentioned here, I found a site with stumbleupon that had these awesome, home made, recycled bottle tiki torches that I fell in love with.  This past weekend, I went to Home Depot, admittedly a bit intoxicated, and bought all the items needed to make one of these spectacular backyard torches.

you'll need an old bottle, a tiki torch wick, and all the rest of the stuff here. I'm not giving specifics. It's DIY. That means, figure it out for yourself. I was half drunk when I made these, and nothing's burned down yet. Look in the plumbing or gas section of your hardware store to get most of this stuff.

Give the bottle a heavy coat or two of varnish. If the whole bottle is painted labels, then it's optional. If the bottle labels are paper and you want to see them in a few months, you'll have to seal them with something.

you'll need a threaded bar to screw into a base plate on one end and a pipe clamp on the other. I bought a 3' bar and cut it with a hacksaw into 1 foot sections. You should also screw stop bolts onto the rod first so you can lock the position in place later.

The brass fitting should fit into the mouth of the bottle you are using, but not fall into the bottle. Then, I sliced into the narrow side in order to bend it....

...with pliers, so that it's narrow enough to grip the wick...

...like this. Make sure it's tight enough. Fishing the fuel-soaked wick out of the bottle later really sucks, trust me.

While waiting for the bottle to finish drying, I nailed the post to my fence. The original prototypes used a lot of copper components. I thought that was cute and all, but since I was looking for longevity, I switched to galvanized. You can certainly screw them in with drywall screws, but the galvanized will last longer without rusting.

When the bottle is sufficiently dry, fill that vessel with tiki torch fuel

drop in the wick and attach it to the mount. Technically, I should have used plumber's tape to seal the wick holder into the bottle neck, but I didn't have any. It will keep water out of the oil, though, so I will go back later and seal all the wicks into the bottle necks.

And that's it. Light the torch. I got little copper caps to put on the tops when they're not in use, so water doesn't contaminate. Here are some pix of the first few I made...

UPDATE:  BTW, these cost about 10 dollars a piece to make.  That includes all the parts, the finishing, the tiki fluid and all.  Also, I decided to only use Gin bottles in my backyard, but you could use anything.  I’m thinking of using craft brew 1 liter bottles of beer in the future.  But, be aware that all necks are not the same size, so you may need to try a few different cuffs to find the one that actually will fit around the neck of a particular bottle.  Buy a bunch at Depot, then return what you don’t use later.

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