This is a quick and inexpensive (around $25-bucks, less if you can scrounge-up some of the parts) project that repurposes an empty wine bottle. Plus it’s a great way to add some evening ambiance to your garden and possibly keep away mosquitoes. This wine bottle torch was inspired by Design for Life: Recycled Wine Bottle Tiki Torch, check out their original design!
What you will need for this project:
1) Empty Wine Bottle (use any bottle you fancy as long as it is glass and has an 1” outside diameter neck.)
2) ½” Teflon Tape
3) Copper Top Plate Connector (threaded for 3/8”-16 thread rod)
4) 1” Split Ring Hanger (threaded for 3/8”-16 thread rod)
5) 1/2” female threaded x 3/8” smooth Copper Coupling
6) 1/2” male threaded x 1/2” smooth Copper Coupling
7) 1/2” Copper Cap
8) Two Hex Nuts (threaded for 3/8”-16 thread rod)
9) 3/8”-16 Zinc Plated Threaded Rod (I bought a 12” rod to keep the finished torch well away from anything that may catch fire.)
10) Tiki Torch Replacement Wick
11) Tiki Torch Fuel (For safety reasons, only use fuel made specifically for outdoor torches.)
12) Two #10 x 1” Zinc Plated Wood Screws -- not pictured (if you are mounting the torch to wood)
Helpful Tools: Channel locks, adjustable wrench, screwdriver, bubble-level and a funnel.
Safety Note: This torch is for outdoor use only. Tiki brand recommends that the wick never be set higher than 1/4-inch, and I recommend that you exercise the same discretion and common sense that you would with any small open flame. Never leave your torch unattended.
The Hanger --
Decide where you want to mount your Recycled Bottle Torch. Position the Top Plate Connector (3) on your mounting surface and mark the holes for where the screws (12) will go. It’s easier to keep it level if you pre-drill your screws first.
Once you have your Top Plate Connector mounted you can screw in the 3/8”-16 Rod (9) until it stops. Channel locks are helpful for this part.
Thread the two Hex Nuts (8) on to the Rod and tighten one all the way down at the point where the Rod meets the Top Connector Plate. Leave the other Hex Nut at the front end so it can be used to secure the Split Ring Hanger.
Thread on the Split Ring Hanger just enough so that the Rod is flush with the inside of the ring. Turn the 2nd Hex Nut counter-clockwise to snug it up against the Split Ring Hanger.
If you prefer your hardware to retain the shiny, un-weathered appearance you can paint it with several coats of clear polyurethane before you mount it. I think a weathered patina adds character.
The Bottle --
Carefully and tightly wrap the 1/2” smooth end of the Coupling (6) with the Teflon Tape (2). You will want to keep each wrap nice and clean so that it creates a smooth, even surface. Continue building up the tape until it fits very snugly into the opening of your bottle. Screw the 1/2” male end of the Coupling (5) into the 1/2” female end of the coupling (6). This is your Wick Holder.
Insert the Wick into the Wick Holder until it sticks out about 1/4-inch or less from the 3/8" end of the Coupler (5). Tiki brand replacement wicks are about 3/8” in diameter so they will fit well into the Wick Holder. Once the wick absorbs the torch oil it will fit tighter in the couplings.
Use a funnel to fill the bottle with the torch oil. (I used Tiki BiteFighter with Cedar Oil (11) for extra mosquito repellency, and the scent.)
Insert the Coupling and Wick (10) into the top of the bottle and twist it snugly into place. Do not light the wick yet.
Unscrew the Split Ring Hanger (4) on one side and position the bottle neck into the ring.
It may be easier to have a helper here to the hold the bottle for you. Flip the front half of the Split Ring back into place and tighten down the Hanger. Do not over tighten the Hanger as you do not want to break the glass.
You may light the torch now.
Use the Copper Cap (7) to extinguish the Wick and to keep it dry when you are not using the torch.