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Olive oil heater Wicks Question

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  • d_mcilvaine
    I have made and refined several heating units using olive oil but wicks are a problem. What do you use and where do you obtain it? My most successful heater
    Message 1 of 6 , May 4, 2007
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      I have made and refined several heating units using olive oil but
      wicks are a problem. What do you use and where do you obtain it?

      My most successful heater so far has been a small fabricated metal box
      about 3/4" square. I put a dab of steel wool in the box after boring
      a hole with an awl to get the wick through it. After inserting the
      steel wool with protruding wick into the box I add the oil. Then a
      small v shaped tent goes on top. The tent has a hole punched in it
      for the wick to go through.

      Twine is thick enough to be stiff to stand up, but does not seem to
      last long.

      Best luck so far was with a wick from a melted birthday candle that I
      tried to use as a heat source. The candle did not work well, but when
      the mess was done there was about 1.5" of good wick left that ran the
      above mentioned lamp. I got about 20 minutes of burn time and
      put-puting about in my outdoor table top pond (a plastic pan for
      mixing concrete).

      Another thing I tried to use on a bench test, was "lamp oil" -- too
      much soot. There was a black plume of it. If my model was a tug boat
      with a smoke stack I might try it again to see if I can get smoke to
      come out of the stack!

      Do not try to use lighter fluid in the above kind of lamp! A test on
      my work bench went well until the fluid underneath the tent flared up
      all around the lamp in my work bench. I couldn't blow it out and had
      to smother it under a coffee can!

      I am also using "sterno" which I scoop out and place in a little fire
      pot under the boiler. It works well, but does not last as long as the
      oil lamp. It IS cleaner, and my hands to not get slippery from oil
      spill with the small lamp. Trouble is that alcohol fuel burns clean
      and it is hard to see the flame outside in the light!

      This summarizes my experiments in the last week. Any suggestions or
      comments? My Grandkids love to watch the boats and we will take them
      down to the stream and its larger pools next week!

      Dave in PA
    • Pete B.
      Hi Dave, Thanks for sharing you pop-pop experience. I haven t done anything to date as far as experimenting with engines, fuel etc. You are definitely a head
      Message 2 of 6 , May 4, 2007
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        Hi Dave,

        Thanks for sharing you pop-pop experience. I haven't done anything to date as far as experimenting with engines, fuel etc. You are definitely a head of me there.

        I have a couple of thoughts on your wick question. The first being the olive oil. Can you blend the oil with another fuel that might wick better without the sooty smoke? Have you tried craft shops like Michael's for wicks? They may have candle and oil lamp wick assortments. You might also look for hobbiests that work with candles and lamp oils.

        I can't wait until our 1 year old grandson is old enough to share in pop-pop. Keep playing, keep posting!

        THANKS AGAIN,

        Pete 

        --- In pop-pop-steamboats@yahoogroups.com, "d_mcilvaine" <d_mcilvaine@...> wrote:
        >
        > I have made and refined several heating units using olive oil but
        > wicks are a problem. What do you use and where do you obtain it?
        >
        > My most successful heater so far has been a small fabricated metal box
        > about 3/4" square. I put a dab of steel wool in the box after boring
        > a hole with an awl to get the wick through it. After inserting the
        > steel wool with protruding wick into the box I add the oil. Then a
        > small v shaped tent goes on top. The tent has a hole punched in it
        > for the wick to go through.
        >
        > Twine is thick enough to be stiff to stand up, but does not seem to
        > last long.
        >
        > Best luck so far was with a wick from a melted birthday candle that I
        > tried to use as a heat source. The candle did not work well, but when
        > the mess was done there was about 1.5" of good wick left that ran the
        > above mentioned lamp. I got about 20 minutes of burn time and
        > put-puting about in my outdoor table top pond (a plastic pan for
        > mixing concrete).
        >
        > Another thing I tried to use on a bench test, was "lamp oil" -- too
        > much soot. There was a black plume of it. If my model was a tug boat
        > with a smoke stack I might try it again to see if I can get smoke to
        > come out of the stack!
        >
        > Do not try to use lighter fluid in the above kind of lamp! A test on
        > my work bench went well until the fluid underneath the tent flared up
        > all around the lamp in my work bench. I couldn't blow it out and had
        > to smother it under a coffee can!
        >
        > I am also using "sterno" which I scoop out and place in a little fire
        > pot under the boiler. It works well, but does not last as long as the
        > oil lamp. It IS cleaner, and my hands to not get slippery from oil
        > spill with the small lamp. Trouble is that alcohol fuel burns clean
        > and it is hard to see the flame outside in the light!
        >
        > This summarizes my experiments in the last week. Any suggestions or
        > comments? My Grandkids love to watch the boats and we will take them
        > down to the stream and its larger pools next week!
        >
        > Dave in PA
        >

      • Frank McNeill
        Hi Dave, My friend Google thinks you should use fiberglass wicks. You might find them locally in an artsy-craftsy store, or go to:
        Message 3 of 6 , May 4, 2007
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          Hi Dave,

          My friend Google thinks you should use fiberglass wicks. You might
          find them locally in an artsy-craftsy store, or go to:
          <http://tinyurl.com/2y4z5u> to place an order.
        • Pete B.
          Hi Dave, Me again... To compliment Frank s find: http://www.wickstore.com/fluidwick.html They have a variety of
          Message 4 of 6 , May 4, 2007
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            Hi Dave,

            Me again...

            To compliment Frank's find:

            http://www.wickstore.com/fluidwick.html

            They have a variety of options including fiberglass.

            Pete


            --- In pop-pop-steamboats@yahoogroups.com, "Frank McNeill" <frankmcneilll@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Dave,
            >
            > My friend Google thinks you should use fiberglass wicks. You might
            > find them locally in an artsy-craftsy store, or go to:
            > <http://tinyurl.com/2y4z5u> to place an order.
            >

          • d_mcilvaine
            Thanks for the replies. Yes I had thought of going to a local craft store (Michaels is local also another large chain) to look for wick material. I just
            Message 5 of 6 , May 5, 2007
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              Thanks for the replies. Yes I had thought of going to a local craft store (Michaels is local
              also another large chain) to look for wick material. I just haven't gotten to go in that
              direction yet in my travels. Next time I go up that way ( the two stores are about 100
              yards apart) I will check in on both of them.

              Also, I never thought of fiberglass!

              I also occurs to me that the wicks sold for cigarette lighters might also work, a 4" piece
              costs about $1 I think.

              Another idea was a local hardware farm store that sells oil lamps (Amish customers in the
              area). Wicks for oil lamps are there. I know I bought one for an oil lamp. That kind of
              wick was cheap and perhaps could be cut down into strips. But it is kind of woven so it
              might come apart.

              I also have some old candle stubs that we keep for electrical emergencies. I guess I could
              melt them down for the wicks, but that seems like too much work!

              Regarding fuel: I plan to try some mineral oil to see how that burns. Vaselene saturated
              cotten balls works too as an emergency light source, but burns very sooty! Maybe using
              fiberglass would be better. I have not tried that yet as a heat source since the soot would
              quickly coat the exterior of the boiler and ruin effeciency.

              I will keep you posted on the results of my various experiments!

              Dave in PA


              --- In pop-pop-steamboats@yahoogroups.com, "Pete B." <georgeyyy@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > Hi Dave,
              >
              .....> They have a variety of options including fiberglass.
              >
              > Pete
              >
              >
              > --- In pop-pop-steamboats@yahoogroups.com, "Frank McNeill"
              > <frankmcneilll@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Hi Dave,
              > >
              > > My friend Google thinks you should use fiberglass wicks. You might
              > > find them locally in an artsy-craftsy store, or go to:
              > > <http://tinyurl.com/2y4z5u> to place an order.
              > >
              >
            • eknispel70
              A different type of fuel we use in my high school chemistry class is Biodiesel made from soybean oil. I have had to design my own fuel tank to use with our
              Message 6 of 6 , May 7, 2007
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                A different type of fuel we use in my high school chemistry class is Biodiesel made from
                soybean oil. I have had to design my own fuel tank to use with our wooden putt-putts, I
                use 3/4" copper end-caps from the hardware store.

                For wicking material, I went to a local candle making supply store and bought 3 feet of
                wick for about $1.50 which should last me the rest of my teaching career!

                I'll try to attach some photos but if not, visit my link pasted below:
                http://www.jburroughs.org/science/eknispel/studentpic06/PuttputtBoatRace-07/
                PuttputtBoatRace-07.html

                I have also used straight vegetable oil as a fuel but it can be a little more smokey.
                Good luck.
                Eric Knispel
                St. Louis, MO
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