Re: Safe Fuel
- Hi David,
How about Calcium Carbide? I never thought about using the stuff in a
pop-pop boat when I was a kid, but had a lot of innocent fun at school
by putting the stuff in paper bags and flushing the bags in toilets.
The safety factor consisted in making quick getaways to avoid going to
the principal's office for a spanking that would usually be repeated
after I went home.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "David Halfpenny" <dh1@...>
> I'm David Halfpenny (abbrev. 1/2d) and I live in Derby, England.
> I have several pop-pop boats, and have made them in the past.
> The promise of a grandchild in the near future has turned my
> them once more, and reminded me of an old quest for a safehigh-performance
> fuel.if the
> The smallest of my boats all work with Birthday Cake candles. They are
> tricky to light and not very long-lived, but it has the merit that
> boat capsizes the flame goes out instantly, the boat becomes coolwater,
> instantly, and any spilt fuel solidifies into a harmless non-toxic lump
> By contrast, alcohol would continue to burn on the surface of the
> and oil would make an objectionable puddle that would spoil children'spossibility
> clothes etc if used in a paddling pool. There is a theoretical
> of butane forming an explosive puddle - my steamboat friends lackfor small
> eyebrows - but I'm treating butane as a Big Boy's Toy, unsuitable
> children.still using
> So far I've tried to get longer duration and better performance
> wax.hull with
> I've had some success on the duration front by filling an entire
> candle wax, using a simple wire framework to support the wick in theright
> place. This is much easier to light and had a very long durationindeed. If
> molten wax is put in with the boat afloat in a bowl of water, the waxcreates
> automatically finds its own level, and once lit, it automatically
> its own container around the flame. However it sails a bit low in thedestabilise
> water, and in choppy waters the surging of the liquid wax can
> it. And once it does run out of fuel, it's back to base for arefill. Next
> step was fit a lightweight wax container under the engine, and fillthat
> alone with wax. More stability, and similar duration in practice.pellet in
> For larger boats with more space under the engine, I've managed to
> re-manufacture tea-lamps so that the metal tin is more spill-proof.
> Basically, one finds two brands of slightly different sizes, and uses a
> larger tin as a cover for the smaller. (Make a fair-sized hole in it
> first!) It helps to only half-fill the lower tin - break a wax
> half and melt it around the wick. Talking of wicks, it helps to makea wire
> thingy to stop it moving around or falling over once all the wax inthe tin
> has melted.with a
> But I'd still like a hotter flame. I've had some workshop success
> vapourising candle, i.e. one that uses a tealamp to boil a smalltank of
> wax, with a separate "Bunsen" flame directed on the engine. Theassembly is
> quite tall: one cannot pipe the vapour around like one can with spirit
> vapour, and I've not had reliable enough combustion to make it worth
> building a boat around it.
> Any suggestions anyone, for longer duration and better performance from
> child-safe non-damaging fuel?
> David 1/2d
> (Apologies if these topics have been covered in earlier posts.)