Monday, 25 February 2013

Fire Painting: Firewall Holding Device

Before you continue please ensure you have read the two previous blogs relating to fire painting a firewall.


After  making the first firewall blog and video I  was looking for a new way to hold the burning rope, something that would allow more control over the rope and even allow for dynamic movement and provide a means to throw some shapes.

The original concept was a metal pole, with a metal O Ring attached to the end, to which the rope was attached with a carabiner.  With this method I had no control over where the bottom of the rope went.  Sometimes it would hit the ground then bounce around, other times it would just float around leaving a zig zag pattern in the wall - something had to change!

Shopping List
After a visit to the local Hardware store I came home with the following items.

  • 2 x Roller poles
  • 2 x Roller Frame
  • 1 x Round Steel Tube
  • 1 x 6 Pack Metal Curtain Rings
  • Various sized  Jubilee Clips
  • 10 x carabiner
  • Metal repair tape 
  • 1 x Shelf Bracket
  • Leather gardening gloves

Note: This tool for me has been superseded by a full custom made metal frame, it’s similar in design but stronger  to ensure the 19mm Kevlar rope is held securely – The roller pole device started flexing under the weight of the 19mm rope -  However, the 8m and 25mm straps were just fine, so please bear this in mind.

Tip: The rope seems to shrink after a few burns so make sure the device you make caters for this!

Cutting the Rope
First things first, we need to decide on how long the rope needs to be, then we need to modify the ends  so that it can be fixed into the device.

I’ve used 3 methods up to now for attaching the rope to the device.

  1. 4mm – 10mm rope, I simply tied a knot around the metal ring either end of the rope and attached a carabiner
  2. 19mm Rope, I wedged an eye bolt into the end and secured with a couple jubilee Clips, I also wrapped Metal Repair tape around the ends to prevent damage from burning.
  3. For Straps I used rivets to secure the strap to the hook/eyes and then attached a carabiner.

Creating the FHD
Once you have decided on the length for your rope/strap and modified the ends it time to start putting the FHD together.

  1. Take the rollers and break of the plastic rollers, leaving only the handle and metal frame.
  2. Cut the metal tube in half and place this over the metal frame of the roller, this extends them and moves the rope further way from the poles and yourself, safety first!
  3. Using jubilee clips attach the metal curtain rings to the end of the small metal tube.
  4. Take the metal repair tape and wrap it around the roller handle, this helps protect the plastic.
  5. Repeat this process for both rollers.
  6. On one of the rollers attach the shelf bracket, this will strengthen the roller and should be used as the top of your FHD.
  7. Next we take the two roller poles, turn them so that the screw ends are pointing outwards and using the jubilee clips join them together – not to tight yet, we come to that in a minute.
  8. Attach the Rollers to either end and make sure they are tightly fastened.
  9. Turn the rollers and poles so that both are facing the same way and the modified rollers are flush on the ground (as per picture).
  10. Grab your rope and attach it to both ends using the carabiners.
  11. Move the poles so that the rope becomes tight, allow for a little flex in the rollers but not too much!
  12. Now tighten the jubilee clips, this secures the device and ensures the rope is taut. 
  13. That’s it, you’ve created your first Firewall Hold Device.

Tip: Use the Leather gardening gloves to undo the carabiner from the device and place the rope into your towel to extinguish the flame!

Picture examples

Video Example

Here’s a video of it in action.

I hope this guide has helped you understand a little more about how to work with the firewall and come up with some creative ideas, if not please don't hesitate to comment below or on my facebook page - any relevant questions will be added to a FaQ on this blog.

Before you go don't forget to head over to my Facebook Page and give it a like!

I now hand over to you, try to be creative and show us what you can do with your Firewall Holding Device! - Please post your results on my facebook page!

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