Forums > Technical Discussion > questions about dipping ur wicks

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Blaze Networks
Blaze Networks

member
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
Member Since: 2nd Jun 2002
Total posts: 41
Posted:well heres the scoop.... our fire performance is like about 7 mins long. And well the next time that we're on, is like 8 mins later. And we have to light up again. So my basic question is.... *drum roll please* Can we dip our hot wicks after they've gone out into the fuel? Or will that ruin the wicks or evaporate the fuel??!?! Apparently its good for your wick says someone... but i just wanted to get other's opinions... thanks!!

hrm... lets burn stuff.... jah!

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:There's a number of factors we need to know of first. If you can please let us know.

1. What type of fuel you use?
2. What type of wick you have?
3. The size of your wicks?
4. The area which you will dunk them in (backstage, grass, the beach etc).
5. The sizeand shape of your dunking container, as well as how much fuel it is going to hold.
6. What safety equipment you will have available and how well trained your safety/ies are.

Plus a few more things that I've forgotten...

Hope to hear from you soon.


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Kyrian
Dreamer
Location: York, England
Member Since: 15th Mar 2002
Total posts: 4308
Posted:as long as this topic is up, i'd liek to put up my own scenario.

1. Coleman's
2. both cathedral and tube (depending on who's toys)
3. lot's of sizes
4. usually on the cement above a beach, it's a smaller area but not tiny
5. one is a medium size open bucket, one is two small clean paint cans, and one is a shallow metal dish. i've never seen any of them except mebbe the tiny paint cans over half full
6. wet towel, and altho we sometimes haev actual firemen there, teh response time to (anything!) is unlikely to be all that quick.

gracias,

Kyri


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Blaze Networks
Blaze Networks

member
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
Member Since: 2nd Jun 2002
Total posts: 41
Posted:1. Colemans Camping Fluid mixed in with some Lamp oil
2. tube wicks
3. um...like 4 inches long?
4. Backstage
5. In an emptied paint can and we've got TONS of fuel
6. we've got everything from blankets, fire extinguishers, the works basicly.... we've also got professional fire marshalls that are gonna be backstage with us

its that all you need?


hrm... lets burn stuff.... jah!

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:Ok.. that's good to start with.

Firstly, NO COLEMANS!!!! Sorry for the exclamation marks but I feel they are warranted.

Coleman mixes have a high chance of lighting from a hot wick.

Also, backstage is an area where other people will be milling around who are not aware of how to deal with accidents. They may also be wearing all manner of flammable costumes too, that you won't know about until the night.

I'd forget about relying on the marshalls if they aren't the only people who have access backstage. Even telling the organisers that you don't want anyone there until you finish the show doesn't mean that that wiull happen on the night.

The only situation where I would consider dunking hot wicks into fuel would be if :

1. The fuel was either PURE Kero, PURE Pegasol 440 Special or PURE lampoil. No Naptha, Colemans or any other low-flashpoint fuels or mixes.

2. The dunking area was NOT backstage or the wings. Outside the door to backstage is a possibility, but it needs to be cordoned off. Stages are busy areas with lots of unorganised and frantic people runnign around. Kicked over fuel tins and panic about unexpected fire is almost a certainty.

3. Experienced safeties who know about the fuels and how they are used for your performance. I don't like to say this, but a fire marshal often has had little or no experience with the type of incident that can occur from fire-acts such as firedancing.

If any of the above points are not present I wouldn't even consider it. But even if there are, there are lots of other factors which also need to be considered.

Another issue is never to dunk in an enclosed space, even a large room, as you will get a lot of fumes coming out of the fuel because of the hot wicks and without a decent airflow that coudl be dangerous to other poeple's health as well as your own...

Well, that's my two cents...what doesn anyone else think?


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Kyrian
Dreamer
Location: York, England
Member Since: 15th Mar 2002
Total posts: 4308
Posted:thank you charles. i know not to dip colemans hot actually, but i was trying to get this up for someone to see that it wasn't just me making stuff up mebbe?

Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Blaze Networks
Blaze Networks

member
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
Member Since: 2nd Jun 2002
Total posts: 41
Posted:thanks charels.... don't worry our backstage is outside... or stage is outside... so no worry!!

hrm... lets burn stuff.... jah!

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Cazzar
member
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Member Since: 13th Apr 2002
Total posts: 53
Posted:Clement dude..now that the show is over i guess we could go on to say it went very well aye ol chap! And charles you can't get anyting like pegasol in Van i've looked everywhere...It's all i used in NZ but like seroiusly camp fuel seems to be the best you can get...we used a lamp oil/ fuel mix and it seemed to go pretty well although i would really like to have seen the flames last longer as i kept going out really early and althoug i am taking into consideration that poi do spin at a much higher velocity i'd definitely like to experiment with other fuels and mixing to see what will last the longest.. so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated ...and all of the people ion our show had numerous years in the show...especialy the pirotechs..so there was absolutely no worries ther.......all in all...it was a wicked time!
take care
cazzar


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FireMikeZ
FireMikeZ

Laguna dude
Location: Laguna, California, US
Member Since: 24th Jul 2002
Total posts: 1438
Posted:thanks, Charles, this was good to read

molten cheers,

~ FireMike

FireMikeZ@yahoo.com (personal messages welcome, no promo spam, please!)
Laguna, California, US

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Paddy
back from the dead...sort of
Location: 4341'N 7938'W
Member Since: 23rd Feb 2002
Total posts: 884
Posted:Quick query, if anyone knows...

From what I understand, dunking the wicks in fuel right after they go out cools them down and stops the kevlar itself from smouldering and fraying. I've only every used kero so I've always been able to do this.

But, if you use a fuel which you cannot dunk hot wicks into, is there anything you can do to stop the smouldering? Or is that just something you have to live with if you want to use those fuels? And how much damage does smouldering do, anyway?


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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:If you don't have high flashpoint fuel (like kero or pegasol 440 special) then it's best to have some wet towels to extinguish the flame.

In My Opinion of course...

Leave the towels on the wicks for a minute or two if you have finished and they are usually suitably cool to prevent smouldering. You need to make sure there is still a reasonable amount of fuel on the wicks (waterproofing) so that they don't soak up water. That can drastically shorten your burn time for a while as the water trys to boil out.

Smouldering is more of an issue with smaller wicks than larger. If your wicks are held on with screws, then the that area will smoulder more because of the higher heat retention of the metal screw. This in turn means it will fray around the securing point which can be bad news if you don't regularly check your wicks for safety.

Abrasion combined with smouldering can also be a problem, so if you hit the poi into the ground a lot, or, like me, drop the staff a lot when practicing, it pays to avoid smouldering as much as possible.

Otherwise, just try it, and see what effect you get. It's only a few more feet of wick, whioch isn't all that expensive when you look at how much it costs per burn or per week...


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Tom
Tom

member
Location: England
Member Since: 10th Sep 2001
Total posts: 135
Posted:For longer burns, use more kevlar.. My cathedral poi with 8ft of wick on each head last a very long time.. a little heavy but all that means is that you spin a little more slowly.

Tom


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Paddy
back from the dead...sort of
Location: 4341'N 7938'W
Member Since: 23rd Feb 2002
Total posts: 884
Posted:Awesome, thanks for the info, Charles...I've been trying to find that out for a while.

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:Tom. There is a certain point where more wicking doesn't extend burn time, particularly with cathedral wicks, as it's the surface to volume ratio that has a large hand in affecting burn time.

The tighter you bind the cathedrals, the lower this ration is and the longer the burn time, but putting using more wick, in a loosely bound

But what affects things just as much is the speed at which you spin. Speed not only makes the flame burn hotter and makes the fuel evaporate into the flame faster, but the spinoff during the burn of non combusted fuel is also quite high.

You say your big wicks are quite heavy and so you spin them slower...I feel this may be having as much if not more effect on the burnt ime than the wicks themselves and the fuel they are holding.


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Tom
Tom

member
Location: England
Member Since: 10th Sep 2001
Total posts: 135
Posted:Charles, again you are correct (seems to be a habit ).

The wicks are 2.5" square by 4" deep and are quite tightly squeezed just to get all the wick onto the bolts.. maybe I should have mentioned that.. oh well..

Tom


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