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Forums > Technical Discussion > Steel wool... to infinity and beyond!

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Knagi


member
Location: Brunswick, Ohio

Total posts: 397
Posted:Ok I sent my friend to the store to pick up some steel wool for me the other day.. Low and behold it was on sale 2,24 packs for a buck.. so he bought the store out. I now have a nearly infinte supply of steel wool.

I could make really big heads... but don't see the point in making them any bigger then I alrdy have. Someone mentioned maybe attachin some to a fishing pole and whippin it around like that... another idea I got was for a steel wool whip. Which would take more time and will power then I have. I need a quick idea to expend ALOT of steel wool befor this weekend.

Any crazy-suicidal idea's welcome A reverse blowing vaccum strapped to my back is also to much work.

[ 28 May 2002, 16:06: Message edited by: Knagi ]


We are all in the cosmic movie. That means the day you die you watch your whole life repeating for eternity. So you'd better have some good things happen in there and have a fitting climax. --Jim MorrisonIt's going to come from a direction you didn't predict at a moment of chaos which you didn't see coming. -- NYC

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soldari


soldari

busy-tofu!
Location: montreal: bagel capital

Total posts: 133
Posted:Unfortunately I couldn't come-up with any suicidal ideas, but...

If you still have insane amounts of steel wool you want to burn, you can pack your bike wheels with it. The spokes do a good infrastructure job; all you need to do is add some chicken wire on either side.

If you don't have any protection for your bike chain and your gears, I wouldn't recommend stuffing your rear wheel.

Another thing you might want to consider is having a really big flat open space (like a school yard) cause the sparks make it hard to see where you're going (assuming it's dark).

Actually *thinking suicidal* pack both your wheels full and find a cleared mountain (those that are used for skiing are usually best!) and down you go! But that's only if you're tired of living and want to go out with ...errr... style

/soldari

Somehow it doesn't sound quite as bad wrapping your arm in steel wool... but I could be wrong


there is no better way to say I love you than with the gift of a spatula!

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Dentrassi
GOLD Member since Apr 2003

Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Total posts: 3044
Posted:im going to have to try this.....

just checking ive interpreted some of the info correctly.

steel wool can burn if its hot enoungh, resulting in lots of sparks. it doesnt have to be used with fire heads - it can be spun by itself, you just have to initiate the combustion. to initiate the burning, hold the wool above a torch, or contact it to the end of a 9 volt battery. after that the burning is self supporting.

is that right?
thanx.


"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

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soldari


soldari

busy-tofu!
Location: montreal: bagel capital

Total posts: 133
Posted:Right on.

Just make sure you have some kind of a cage to keep it in and to let the flying bits of burning steel wool out, and pull it out a bit (if it's packed it doesn't burn well -- or doesn't burn at all).

I'm not sure about the battery thing, but I know you don't need fuel to ignite it. I'm assuming you already know you should cover your body and your eyes, the burn time is about 2 minutes from what I've experienced thus far.

Appart from that, you can do a search to find everything related to burning steel wool. You'll find tons.

Cheers and good luck!


there is no better way to say I love you than with the gift of a spatula!

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automaticforthepeople
GOLD Member since May 2003

automaticforthepeople

Obama supporter
Location: Boston, Mass, USA

Total posts: 32
Posted:Hi,

Five points on steel wool:

1) hardware mesh

A suggestion - hardware mesh can be used instead of chicken wire when making the containers for your steel wool. Hardware mesh is basically chicken wire, but has square shaped holes. It is tougher to bend than chicken wire, but you can make some really cool cubes and stuff with it.
It is about $2 per foot. I suggest buying a pair of 99 cent gloves at the local hardware store before touching either steel wool or hardware mesh.

2)connecting the steel wool cage to your chain

Whether you use chicken wire or hardware mesh-- it is a good idea to loop more than one 'cell' of the wire/mesh through whatever device you use to hook the steel wool cage to your chain. The metal cage can get quite hot, and the whole thing might fly off if connected to your chain by only a single cell.

3) grades of steel wool

Also, as was discussed, there are 8 grades of Steel Wool. They are:

0000, 000, 00, 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 (0000 being finest, 4 being the most coarse)...

For kicks, I tried it with 4, and the wool did not produce any sparks - it simply turned into a molten ball. Lame. Finer steel wool is better.

4) audience placement with steel wool

If you are doing a butterfly or 3 beat weave, be sure you are in profile to your audience - otherwise you will shoot sparks all over them... I like to be *at least* 20 feet away from folks when doing this.

I have found that this should be used as a kind of finale. Once an audience sees you shooting sparks 20 feet in the air, regular fire poi seems kind of lame. Just my opinion.

5) finding steel wool

Finally, in case anyone reading this is having trouble finding steel wool (doubtful, but you never know), I have had good results using Rhodes American (http://www.homaxproducts.com/catalog/steelwool16.html).

Thanks everyone... Gotta say, this is such a great web page.
(going to see REM twice in October....so happy)
Michael


"The storm it came up strong,
and shook the trees,
and blew away our fear."

-R.E.M. "Half a World Away"

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automaticforthepeople
GOLD Member since May 2003

automaticforthepeople

Obama supporter
Location: Boston, Mass, USA

Total posts: 32
Posted:Hi,

Five points on steel wool:

1) hardware mesh

A suggestion - hardware mesh can be used instead of chicken wire when making the containers for your steel wool. Hardware mesh is basically chicken wire, but has square shaped holes. It is tougher to bend than chicken wire, but you can make some really cool cubes and stuff with it.
It is about $2 per foot. I suggest buying a pair of 99 cent gloves at the local hardware store before touching either steel wool or hardware mesh.

2)connecting the steel wool cage to your chain

Whether you use chicken wire or hardware mesh-- it is a good idea to loop more than one 'cell' of the wire/mesh through whatever device you use to hook the steel wool cage to your chain. The metal cage can get quite hot, and the whole thing might fly off if connected to your chain by only a single cell.

3) grades of steel wool

Also, as was discussed, there are 8 grades of Steel Wool. They are:

0000, 000, 00, 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 (0000 being finest, 4 being the most coarse)...

For kicks, I tried it with 4, and the wool did not produce any sparks - it simply turned into a molten ball. Lame. Finer steel wool is better.

4) audience placement with steel wool

If you are doing a butterfly or 3 beat weave, be sure you are in profile to your audience - otherwise you will shoot sparks all over them... I like to be *at least* 20 feet away from folks when doing this.

I have found that this should be used as a kind of finale. Once an audience sees you shooting sparks 20 feet in the air, regular fire poi seems kind of lame. Just my opinion.

5) finding steel wool

Finally, in case anyone reading this is having trouble finding steel wool (doubtful, but you never know), I have had good results using Rhodes American (http://www.homaxproducts.com/catalog/steelwool16.html).

Thanks everyone... Gotta say, this is such a great web page.
(going to see REM twice in October....so happy)
Michael


"The storm it came up strong,
and shook the trees,
and blew away our fear."

-R.E.M. "Half a World Away"

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bean_brigade


member
Location: UK

Total posts: 14
Posted:Hey Woody that picture is amazing!!!
I've never tried wire wool but will definately get some now


selecta

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shoddygoods


shoddygoods

member


Total posts: 18
Posted:question: has anyone tried this with copper instead?

i know if you put fine enfough copper wire in a flame it releases ions and makes the flame go green.

any thoughts on what it would do if mixed with the steel wool? i'm guessing it would give off a mix of orange and green sparks but i dunno. i've seen copper pot scrubbers but the are more like a ribbon than wool.

as a side note i did try burning a bit of very fine motor magnet wire, it is copper and it did go green but i'm not sure if it was a coating on the wire or what... looks like i'll have to make some cages to test it out.

i had also contemplated adding some magnesium bits for nice bright white trailers but after seeing Knagi's nice little bracelet and knowing that its burn temp it WAY hotter than the wire wool i think i may pass...


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darkpoet
BRONZE Member since May 2003

darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish, USA

Total posts: 525
Posted:ok not too sure about this....but it MIGHT burn green, but its usually copper chloride that burns that green color your looking for,
and for your heads
make a core of 0000 guage steel wool and put your guage on the outside of it,get a 6v battery, attatch one wire to each pole, touch them on the 0000 guage wool and boom there you go


Jesus saves sinners and redeems them for cash and
prizes

Co-Founder of Keepers of Light

Educate yourself about the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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darkpoet
BRONZE Member since May 2003

darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish, USA

Total posts: 525
Posted:and will magnesium chloride do the same thing as magnesium ribbon???????????
and another point....stock up on fireworks, they have pellets of things like
strontium chloride=scarlet flame
copper chloride=blue\green flame
etc etc etc


Jesus saves sinners and redeems them for cash and
prizes

Co-Founder of Keepers of Light

Educate yourself about the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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originalsmit
SILVER Member since Aug 2003

originalsmit

addict
Location: nottingham, england. cornwall ...

Total posts: 469
Posted:1) hardware mesh



A suggestion - hardware mesh can be used instead of chicken wire when making the containers for your steel wool. Hardware mesh is basically chicken wire, but has square shaped holes. It is tougher to bend than chicken wire, but you can make some really cool cubes and stuff with it.



smit agrees thats what my cages are made from. bird feeders will melt through after a little while.

i have cylindrical cages



2)connecting the steel wool cage to your chain



Whether you use chicken wire or hardware mesh-- it is a good idea to loop more than one 'cell' of the wire/mesh through whatever device you use to hook the steel wool cage to your chain. The metal cage can get quite hot, and the whole thing might fly off if connected to your chain by only a single cell.



AND DONT USE SPLIT RINGS



3) grades of steel wool



Also, as was discussed, there are 8 grades of Steel Wool. They are:



0000, 000, 00, 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 (0000 being finest, 4 being the most coarse)...



For kicks, I tried it with 4, and the wool did not produce any sparks - it simply turned into a molten ball. Lame. Finer steel wool is better.



not so sure on this. ive found that after coarse grade has welded itsel finto a ball bits of spark will still fly off through the bottom of the cage and the coarser grade the longer the burn time.

4) audience placement with steel wool



If you are doing a butterfly or 3 beat weave, be sure you are in profile to your audience - otherwise you will shoot sparks all over them... I like to be *at least* 20 feet away from folks when doing this.



I have found that this should be used as a kind of finale. Once an audience sees you shooting sparks 20 feet in the air, regular fire poi seems kind of lame. Just my opinion.



yeah. bear the wind factor stringly in mind as well. sparks fly then drift






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better photos to follow



love those sparklers. will try the wrapping wool round devilsticks also and my mum is getting me some science supplies to work with as well


my original signature was tooo long.
this one is shorter

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*HyperLight
BRONZE Member since Dec 2003

*HyperLight

old hand
Location: Great Malvern [UK]

Total posts: 1174
Posted:Right, enough talk already.. I'm going out to the garden with some copper / steel wire and a camera - back with photo's in a few mins!

Cake or Death?

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*HyperLight
BRONZE Member since Dec 2003

*HyperLight

old hand
Location: Great Malvern [UK]

Total posts: 1174
Posted:Foo! My plan failed - 2mm thick chunks of copper don't work - it just looks like regular wire wool :




Non-Https Image Link




It did, however, give the cages a bit more weight which was nice - they normally feel a little light! I've got some thinner, stranded copper wire around here somewhere, but I can't find it right now frown

EDITED_BY: FireGeeK (1081977030)


Cake or Death?

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darkpoet
BRONZE Member since May 2003

darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish, USA

Total posts: 525
Posted:try oxidizing your "copper wool" first so you might be able to get a copper chloride wool, but soak it in fuel first because oxidizing it reduces the conductivity of a metal....

Jesus saves sinners and redeems them for cash and
prizes

Co-Founder of Keepers of Light

Educate yourself about the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

Delete

originalsmit
SILVER Member since Aug 2003

originalsmit

addict
Location: nottingham, england. cornwall ...

Total posts: 469
Posted:*bumps*
cos its come up in conversation recently


my original signature was tooo long.
this one is shorter

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