Forums > Technical Discussion > canary in a coal mine: fumes

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Peregrine
member
Location: Mystic, Ct. USA
Member Since: 12th Jan 2001
Total posts: 428
Posted:bad stuff happened this weekend and i think the culprit was kerosene fumes.we had a big poi-making fest on saturday. we usually keep the towel wicks in a metal bucket in the garage. I currently have the relay poi too which were in the bucket and so everything was wrapped in plastic bags to keep the smell down, and we had brought it inside to look at the wick construction technique...well saturday night i had put it all away, but the bucket still in the kitchen all the windows open and fans on i figured it wouldnt be too bad for a little while.sunday morning I come home from my morning class to feed my animals and one of my pet mice, who live in my kitchen in an aquarium under the table apparently had what looked like a stroke...one side not working, having convulsions, not happy at all! thought at the time i might have to euthanize her but didnt know what to do since i suspected the fumes. so took the bucket outside, put mouse cage near a window with a fan to air it out and let her alone for the day. fortunately by evening she was only limping a little and by yesterday was fine. however i think this serves to show that fuel fumes are toxic, sealed plastic bags are not good enough to keep them out of your immediate environment, and you can get fumes from used poi which should be kept outside if possible. and im sorry to say one of my animals got hurt to really drive this point home. so, some things to consider when storing gear and performing inside. (of course, maybe i have an epileptic mouse, and i am not exactly reaching a scientific conclusion here, but i am not going to go experimenting on my pet animals to find out if it really was just a coincidence)and i also think that it also shows how toxic this stuff is to small living things and i am now not happy at all just spinning out onto the ground anymore, so we're working on a way to do it without getting the fuel everywhere...Pere[This message has been edited by Peregrine (edited 20 June 2001).]

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adamrice
adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA
Member Since: 19th Dec 2000
Total posts: 1015
Posted:Interesting.For other reasons, I've been looking into some kind of container that I can use for both soaking and transport--so it would need a wide opening and reliable seal. And it would need to be metallic--plastic eventually warps because of those fumes, apparently. Online, I've seen a stainless camping pot with a lid that clamps on--I need to drive up to REI and see what it's like.I suppose to avoid spattering too much fuel, one could put plastic bags over one's wicks while spinning off.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:What about those old scout camping pots with the wing nut clamps? Those would work well I would think, depending on the size of your wicks. Tin foil, as pj suggested, is a stronger fume barrier and inside plastic as well. I still keep all mine in the garage. I am lucky enough to have a garage, I realize.Anyway, if you spin off in a plastic bag (which we have done here) put a cotton washcloth in the bottom of the bag to catch the fuel, so it doesn't eat through the bag.Reliable rubber gloves and a gentle squeeze shoudl do it too.I am sorry Pere, about your mouse and hope she is in full recovery soon!
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------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Endangered Sanity
member
Location: Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Member Since: 11th Feb 2001
Total posts: 164
Posted:For a fuel container, I use a Milo tin. It seems to do the job fairly well.

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pj
member
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Member Since: 8th May 2001
Total posts: 277
Posted:I use a number of different dunking containers. I started off with just a coffee can. When I built the uber poi, I needed a special container to soak them. I wound up taking the one-gallon containers the synth kero comes in and cut off the spout. It works great. For my staff (with double wicks) I use a tall Evian water bottle with the top cut off. (Props to Knarphie for coming up with this one.)If you don't mind using glass, a mason jar would probably work great and you can get them in all sizes. One of the old fashioned ones with the Grolsh-beer-bottle style lid would probably be even better.But I've been thinking, maybe dipping containers really aren't the way to go at all. I've seen a number of people "soak" their wicks by using squeeze bottles -- they just squeeze the fuel onto the wicks. Once you know how much fuel your wicks will take, you squeeze just that much in, and if you get it right, you don't even need to spin out!I'm going to try this myself as soon as I find an apropriate container...-p.

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adamrice
adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA
Member Since: 19th Dec 2000
Total posts: 1015
Posted:What I really want is a container that:- has a lid with a tight seal, so I can use it for transport and soaking.- is made of metal.Plastic doesn't hold up well when exposed to white gas. Glass can break.The idea of squirting instead of soaking is interesting, although you'd still need some kind of drip pan (unless you're really accurate).And I just made a staff for a friend with three spread-apart rolls of wicking on each end--the wicking "zones" are 18" wide. Finding a soak tank for this beast will be a trick.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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Twist
member

Member Since: 4th Apr 2001
Total posts: 160
Posted:GUYS! Paint cans! You can get an empty one at any hardware store. Metal. Sealable. Portable.

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adamrice
adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA
Member Since: 19th Dec 2000
Total posts: 1015
Posted:Yeah, thought about paint cans. Not sealable/unsealable without some tools. I'm lazy. So sue me.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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Twist
member

Member Since: 4th Apr 2001
Total posts: 160
Posted:
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hehehehsued.you mean you don't like wrenching away with a screw driver.... or not being able to perform if you forget your screwdriver...


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emthren
member
Location: Sydney
Member Since: 31st May 2001
Total posts: 57
Posted:Twist,Thanks heaps for the paint-can idea!Been looking for something that can be taken on public transport, and that's the best idea so far. =))

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s-p-l-a-t
member
Location: Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Member Since: 8th Mar 2001
Total posts: 383
Posted:oh God, that's terrible about the mouse (glad it survived) .. although I would love to see a before and after picture of its brainwaves.I think it would scare the crap out of me.It doesn't surprise me at all at its reaction ... if it can make me woozy on the occasion imagine what it could do to smaller animals...(well convulsions I guess!
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) I don't think ppl take the whole idea of 'TOXIC fumes' seriously enough...(nothing bad on you... or anyone here... its funny how it has to come to a point or event like the one I experienced or you described above for attention to be paid though :/ )


The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.- B.B.King

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