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Topic: Fast-Burning Material
Message: Posted by: zallen (Oct 16, 2005 02:12PM)
I'm looking for some sort of fast burning material to use for an effect. Before I go further, what I mean by fast burning is not like flash paper, just something that burns relatively quickly.

Here is the effect that I want to emulate. A cigarette is lit and placed in an ashtry. The performer concentrates, and suddenly the cigarette stars burning as if an invisible person is drawing on the filter. After about 20-30 seconds, the cigarette has completely burned out.

So, what I'm looking for is some sort of material that will take about 20-30 seconds to burn through 2-3 inches. I was looking into slow-burning fuses to place into the cigarette, but that probably wouldn't work that well.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Message: Posted by: perceptions (Oct 23, 2005 07:51PM)
Make a cigarette shell by removing the tobacco, then stuff cotton plugs into the shell. The rate-of-speed for burning will be determined by how dense the cotton is packed at any point in the shell. Use a pair of tweezers to pack the density (slow burn) or fluff the cotton (quick burn).

You can also control the burn rate thru a combination of cotton plugs and tobacco plugs throughout the cigarette shell.

The problem is that the stuffing of the shell causes stress on the cigarette paper and you may rip it. This can be done effectively if you use a small metal tube slightly smaller than the cigarette's diameter. Stuff the metal tube, insert it in the cigarette shell and plunger the tube to empty the contents.

You can use an old tube from the classic Vanishing Cigarette in Tube trick to pre-pack the cotton plugs. You have to take the tube and carefully insert it into the cigarette shell, thus expanding the paper to make a corresponding match.

Also, the desired rate-of-burn is a trial and error procedure. One that takes many failed attempts to learn.

Other materials can be substituted for the cotton.
Message: Posted by: zallen (Oct 24, 2005 10:24AM)

Thanks for the info! I'll have to try this out.