Spinout bucket

Not exactly a firedancing tool, this is a handy piece of auxiliary equipment for poi and meteor spinners. A spinout bucket prevents your cast-off fuel from falling on the ground, so you can re-use it and avoid polluting.


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  • New paint can with lid
  • Rope (5-6 feet)

New paint buckets can be bought from a decent hardware store.


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  • Cutting board
  • Chisel
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Hammer

The chisel will be damaged in this process, and must be considered sacrificial. A sharpened flathead screwdriver makes a good substitute.

Punch out bail attachments

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Remove the bail if present. Place one of the reinforcements directly over your cutting board, and use the chisel to punch through the middle. Slide the chisel back and forth to smooth out the opening. The opposite bail attachment has already been punched out in this photo.

Clean up hole

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If there’s any loose flashing, use your pliers to pull it off. Enlarge the hole so that it’s big enough to pass the rope through.

Punch out false bottom

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The lid is actually going to serve as a false bottom inside the bucket–this will allow fuel to flow through without the wick soaking in it.

Place the lid on your cutting board and punch a bunch of holes in it with your chisel.

Behold, the punched-out lid

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Insert false bottom

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Wearing work gloves (because of all the sharp edges you just created), slightly bend the lid into a potato-chip shape and slip it into the bucket.

Tie rope

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Tie your rope with a secure knot, such as a bowline, through each of the openings in the bucket.


To use your shiny new spinout bucket, drop your wicks into it after they finish soaking, and spin the bucket very vigorously for about 30 seconds. Remove the wicks and pour the cast-off fuel back into your soaking tank or storage container. If you’ve never used a spinout bucket before, you may be surprised at how much fuel you recover.

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