For this project I decided to make a replica real minecraft torch for the garden. The real beauty of this is that they are nothing more complicated than scrap wood, bits of tin and a splash of acrylic paint. Recycling never looked this good.
Minecraft torch burners
The torch part itself is interchangeable, and I decided to tackle it two ways. The first method was to take a small can and fill it with rolled cardboard. Wax from candles is then melted and poured into the can until it is almost flush with the top if the can. They burn very clean and produce virtually no smoke, once cool they are very easy to swap out when spent. Burn time is anywhere between 30 mins to over two hours in tests, depending on the wax used. You can see the King of Random build his version here. To make mine look like the top of a torch I watered down some acrylic paint and painted some magicians flash paper, a few crumbled match heads underneath assures easy ignition.
The second method is to use cut up, then roll up cotton clothing like an old pair of jeans. Simply roll the cotton bundle, jam it in the can and pour on just enough flammable liquid to saturate the cloth. I used paraffin, white spirit and citronella oil with good results, I totally avoided any highly flammable liquids like gasoline, that could flashover. In tests I achieved anywhere between 30 mins to an hour of burn time with quite good light and flame height. On the downside they do smoke more than the candle versions, and they must not be topped up too much in case they get knocked over, which could obviously be dangerous. On the positive side I found they were easy to top up now and again, and they burnt for many hours.
Wherever you have fire, you have danger. This is an adult only project that has to be supervised at all times. I built wooden bases from scrap wood that secured the torches and made them very difficult to knock over. I would never consider using highly flammable liquids that atomise in the air like petrol (gasoline).
The above project is aimed at adults for education and entertainment purposes only, not to replicate. Anyone doing so takes full responsibility for their own actions.