Rob Gorrell - Folk Artist

We are in the process of moving and will not be accepting custom orders until after the holidays.

Making a Parade Torch.

Folk Art, TinwareRob GorrellComment

A colleague of mine contacted me a while back about reproducing some parade torches for his reenacting activities.  He needed some torches that could be carried in political rallies and parades from the 1860's period.  This was an opportunity for me to learn something new and I was happy to take on the project. It took a series of emails and picture swapping to get to the design that seemed to work the best.  We settled on something similar to this antique design.

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I ran into a problem with the screw on spout.  The problem being that I don't have any idea how to make a screw on cap. Some other tinsmiths took a look at it with me and we threw around the idea of adapting an existing metal cap to fit, but didn't work out in the end. We ended up going with a corked spout on this batch.  if anyone is interested in teaching me how to make a screw cap I would very interested.  We also talked about a press on cap but were afraid they might leak.

The bodies were rolled on a mandrel and punched to receive the copper rivets that would hold the handles on.

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I did not get photos of making the rest of the parts. The tops and bottoms were cut and burred on a burring machine then touched up on a steel mandrel. The handle and hangers were a bit of trial and error to get right.  It's weird how simple these things always look on paper...

??????????The wicks for this series of lanterns were old smudge pot wicks I found in an antique shop.  They flame huge!  I ended up wrapping thin wire around the wick top to reign in the flame a little.  In the future I think I will try a smaller type of wick.

torch 2The torch shown above is the final design. This particular torch is made from hot dip tin which is a much more historic appearance than the shiny modern electroplate that is commonly used.

As always, I welcome any comments about the methods of construction, suggestions and opinions related to this post.