Make Your Own Fire Poi

Forge Your Own Fire Poi

One of the many joys that come from fire dancing is the ability to choose your equipment. But if you can craft your own gear, then so much the better!

Premade fire poi come in many shapes and sizes, but none of their shape/size/material/weight combination can match the sense of personal relatedness that you get upon piecing together your own. That said, let’s make some fire poi, shall we?

A piece of warning first: don’t be making fire poi if you’re not absolutely convinced in your skills. This doesn’t mean that you need to belong to some kind of poi making guild and have a licence, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, or have never done it alone before, it is best to have someone show you in person how fire poi is made.

Roll Up Your Sleeves

Fire poi, stripped to its bare bones, has a 3-part structure. It’s got the handles, the chains, heads, along with all the bolts and nuts to hold the thing together.

The Head

No fiber comes close to Kevlar when making wicks is concerned. It is very flame resistant, and your fuel will stay on the wicks for a long time when lit. If feeling adventurous, full cotton towels would still do, or even a pair of old jeans, but Kevlar should always be your first choice.

The Chains

It’s best to use stainless steel welded oval linked chains, so get two of those (about 40? each). Ball chains are also an option, but they’re not as strong as the welded ones and will wear out rather quickly. You might also get some swivels to add to the chains, but this isn’t a must.

The Handle

There are probably as many different types of handles as there are people wielding poi, so you should really find out what works best for you. Key chain rings or nylon double finger loops are a good way to start.

The Assemblage

Begin by measuring 5 links on the chain. The bolt, going through the fifth link, should later pierce the middle of the Kevlar, with the remaining 4 links looping back and key-chain-ringing to the body of the chain. Measure out the aimed length of your poi, and attaching the handle, cut the rest of the chain. If you like swivels or split rings on your gear, attach those too.

Now it’s time to do some drilling. Pierce through the center of the Kevlar, and then put the bolt with washers on both sides in it. Tighten it all up with a nut, and you got yourself half a poi! Repeat the same process for the other half and then go out to do some testing (without fire at first, of course).

There can be a lot of variation in making fire poi, but the basic steps of attaching & cutting & drilling are pretty much the same. These basics are, however, rarely satisfying, and adding some artistic flair into the mix (if you know what you’re doing, don’t forget) is always welcomed.

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