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Brian does Ridders flame eater

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  • brian Rupnow
    replied
    I well remember kerosene (we called it coal-oil) lamps. That is all we had when I was a kid. I did actually buy a set (2) of Tiki torch wicks, but they are 1/2" diameter.

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  • danlb
    replied
    Not to derail anyything but...

    When I was a kid, the instructions in my chemistry set was to put a cotton ball in a saucer of alcohol and light it. That was my "bunson burner".

    Of you want to have an adjustable flame the wick should have a way to pull it down into your lamp. Less exposed wick means smaller flame. Kerosene lamps use a knurled shaft that presses against the wick.

    Dan

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  • dave_r
    replied
    rona and lowes (in canada) both have tiki torch wicks on their web sites...might even have them in a local store... also higher-end places that sell home decorations or cooking stuff are likely to have wicks for fancy lamps or for keeping food warm...

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  • brian Rupnow
    replied
    Well, we have an alcohol burner. I used the 8 mm rope and managed to squeeze it through my 1/4" tube, filled the body with alcohol, dribbled a bit of alcohol on the fuse to make sure it was saturated, then lit it. The good news is that it didn't explode. The bad new is----well I'm not really sure at this point if there is any bad news or not. It flamed up quite large when it was first lit, probably because of the extra alcohol I had dribbled onto the wick before lighting it. After about two minutes, the flame died down to a much more sedate pace. I'm just going to let it burn until it goes out.--I can't do anything on the engine today, because it will take 24 hours for the J.B.weld holding that magnet in place to cure.


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  • brian Rupnow
    replied
    The wick issue has been resolved for the moment. I found a fabric shop about one mile from where I live that sells natural cotton rope in either 6mm diameter (which is slightly to small) and 8 mm (which is slightly too big).--I have a 1/4" hole in my wick tube, which translates to 6.35mm. I will make one of them work. I also went to the pharmacy and bought a bottle of isopropyl alcohol, which is a 70% solution. I asked the pharmacist if it was available in 95% and he said yes it was, but he would have to order a small bottle for me, and it will be here tomorrow.

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  • danlb
    replied
    You used to be able to get wicks for kerosene lamps at hardware stores. They can be cut lengthwise too. We have decorative blown glass oil lamps that use about 1/4 inch wick. We get them at the hobby shop.

    Dan

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  • RichR
    replied
    Originally posted by brian Rupnow View Post
    ... and nobody has 1/4" cotton rope.
    Maybe a piece of 1/4" cotton clothesline?

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  • dalee100
    replied
    Hi,

    Go to the craft hobby store that your Wife enjoys. Odds are they will have candle/lamp making supplies. I was able to go to Hobby Lobby and buy all the cotton/fibreglass mix wicking i wanted.

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  • BCRider
    replied
    Brian, do you have a scrap of old fiberglass cloth kicking around? Unravel it and form a bundle of the strands together so they fit through the wick tube snuggly. The glass cloth won't burn the end up like you'd get with cotton. What it will need though is to have some way to tie the tail of the bundle together where it sits down in the alcohol so it doesn't just splay out and lose the capillary action. But that can be button thread or a fine wire or whatever, That part will never burn.

    Glass fiber bundles like this is what you'll find in a lot of the glass globe style oil lamps. They last forever.
    Last edited by BCRider; 02-28-2018, 12:13 PM.

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  • Willy
    replied
    I have seen some wicks used on alcohol burners made from a very fine stainless mesh screen.
    although I haven't tried it I would think a piece of steel wool should work similarly. All it would take to function is capillary action to draw the fluid up. The wick's end does not get very hot at the flames base and is constantly cooled by the liquid so experimentation time seems to be in order for the day.
    No sense waiting for that slow boat from China.

    It's looking very nice Brian, looking forward to the video of it's first run.

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  • brian Rupnow
    replied
    This mornings work was to put a 0.140" deep counterbore into the aluminum baseplate and J.B.Weld a powerful magnet into place. This will keep the alcohol burner from jumping around while the engine is running. And now I am completely stymied because I don't have a wick. I have a 1/4" wick on order from ebay but it won't be here until mid March. I have called every model shop, upholstery shop, scientific supply shop, and coffee maker supply shop in Barrie, and nobody has 1/4" cotton rope.

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  • vpt
    replied
    Originally posted by brian Rupnow View Post
    I had some "real" work at my office across town today, but before I went I degreased/de-oiled the engine and tried firing it with my propane torch. It didn't take off and run on it's own, but it did give some very heartening effort. It tried to run, which thrilled me all to pieces, but then I had to leave and go earn some money.
    Thats good to hear! Hope it doesn't take long to take off on its own.

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  • Jon Heron
    replied
    Amazing!
    Thanks for the explanation.
    Cheers,
    Jon

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  • brian Rupnow
    replied
    John--These engines are much like a Stirling engine. They have enough power to run themselves, and that's about all. They are called "flame eaters" or "flame suckers" because they suck the flame in through the port, then the port closes and the flame goes out. The flame going out results in a rapid loss of heat and creates a partial vacuum to pull the piston back up. There is no power driving the piston towards bottom dead center--that is left up to the flywheel. I have never built one of these engines before, but there are dozens of videos of them running on Youtube.

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  • Jon Heron
    replied
    Beauty!
    So this thing runs of an external flame??
    Does it produce enough power to do any work or this a model type of engine only?
    Cheers,
    Jon

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