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Forums > Technical Discussion > Soaking wicks after a burn...

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MillenniuM
GOLD Member since Jul 2003

MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck


Total posts: 595
Posted:Many people say to dunk your wicks in your fuel after you burn. Isn't that dangerous? Couldn't you light the fuel on fire and have QUITE a mess?

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:quote:Originally posted by MillenniuM:
Many people say to dunk your wicks in your fuel after you burn. Isn't that dangerous? Couldn't you light the fuel on fire and have QUITE a mess? What they mean is to extinguish the wicks then dunk then immediately.

It's the best way to preserve your wick life cos wicks smoulder when extinguished and that is damaging.

If you use paraffin you should have no problems with it igniting, that's not true of some other fuels though.


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But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


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frostypaw


Great balls of fire
Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Total posts: 643
Posted:This is all written presuming you're using paraffin...

It's a very good thing to do - puts them out properly - you could probably put out fully lit wicks in a bucket but hey, let's not try

There is a risk of it catching light - this is why it's so important to use a metal tin not a plastic jug or summat as a fuel container as the plastic could melt spilling burning fuel everywhere... not good

IF it catches light put a wet towel/cloth over the top, puts it out in a second and you should have one (or fire blanket) anytime you're using fire anyhows. it'll run outta oxygen in no time flat.


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MikeIcon
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

MikeIcon

Pooh-Bah
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA

Total posts: 2109
Posted:Yeah, the flash point for most fuels (Paraffin, lamp oil, coleman, kero) is high enough so you can dunk a smoldering head in and it wont light up. As we know, most of the damage done to a head is while its smoldering so ya wanna put it out as soon as possible and this is the best way to do it.

Let's turn those old bridges we crossed into ashes.
We'll blaze a new trail,
and torch the rough patches.

-Me

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MillenniuM
GOLD Member since Jul 2003

MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck


Total posts: 595
Posted:Yes, I assumed that you should put your wicks out first... but I've had many occasions where simply spinning my smoldering poi in circles causes them to light back up again, just from the increased oxygen flow. It would scare me greatly to put them back in a full tin of fuel, but I guess I'll try it with an almost empty tin first.

*Flutters off to find a paint can*


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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:Millenium! STOP! An almost empty can is MORE likely to catch light than a full one.

But first, all this advice has been concerning kero/parrafin, lamp oil or solvent 3440 special.

Secondly, the less fuel you dunk hot wicks into, the less the fuel will cool down the wicks and the more the wicks will heat up the fuel.

Hotter fuel means there is more evaporation and the flashpoint decreases, making it more likely ot catch light...


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MillenniuM
GOLD Member since Jul 2003

MillenniuM

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Total posts: 595
Posted:Thanks a bunch, good to know.

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:Can you let us know what your fuel is too? then I can perhaps be a little less worried about this advice as it only pertains to the above-mentioned substances...

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:I've never seen any evidence that soaking wicks after burning extends the life. But people will swear by it because someone better looking than them told them that once.

I used to drink vodka tonics on friday night and when I'd spin fire on Thursday my first set of wicks didn't last that long. Now I usually drink a vodka cranberry and my wicks show literally no wear after almost a year. So by drinking a vodka cranberry 6 days before spinning fire you will extend the life of you wicks. I have proof.


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MillenniuM
GOLD Member since Jul 2003

MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck


Total posts: 595
Posted:I'm using Lamp Oil.

NYC, can we compromise and dip our wicks in Vodka Tonics?


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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:at NYC.

I think the correct term is "dunking" after use, rather than "soaking".

Soaking, in my opinion, doesn't help much at all, but dunking does make a big difference, especially in preventing fraying...Well for tubecore staffs anyway...


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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:quote:Originally posted by NYC:
I've never seen any evidence that soaking wicks after burning extends the life. But people will swear by it because someone better looking than them told them that once.

I used to drink vodka tonics on friday night and when I'd spin fire on Thursday my first set of wicks didn't last that long. Now I usually drink a vodka cranberry and my wicks show literally no wear after almost a year. So by drinking a vodka cranberry 6 days before spinning fire you will extend the life of you wicks. I have proof. Are you talking about dunking them into fuel immediately they're extinguished?

My feeling is that it does help cos otherwise the wicks smoulder and you can see the smoke coming off.

My wicks seem to wear a lot better since I started to dunk straight after the burn.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide

Total posts: 2474
Posted:quote: Many people say to dunk your wicks in your fuel after you burn. Isn't that dangerous? Couldn't you light the fuel on fire and have QUITE a mess?
yes and no, if your just using kero you can dunk ur wicks lite it might flame up for a bit but it will go out if you have lots of fuel and if its a cold night and if u only do it once. if its a warm night or you have done it a few times it can catch alight if it happens just put a lid or damp cloth (not a dunking rag) on top and it will cut out the oxygen supply and go out. whatever happens STAY CALM.

if you are using a shellite mix thats a tad different as shellite will ignite at -26 degrees celcius. it also burns way way hotter so definately want to be super careful when u are using it. if it catchs on fire whatever u do dont acidently kick the tin over cos it will be really really bad and if u do dont pour water on it cos it floats and top and still burns.

quote: I've never seen any evidence that soaking wicks after burning extends the life. But people will swear by it because someone better looking than them told them that once.
i have posted on this before

http://www.homeofpoi.com/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=7;t=001054#000017
br>
if u want to make up two sets of identical wick and burn them soaking one after it has been burnt and let the other one smolder and burn it only once a night if after 90 burns they are still identical then i will believe you. otherwise im the devil so behave

QED


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:So basically believe a lie until it's proven wrong? Sounds like a 'cold fusion' experiment to me.

And dave, I wouldn't be surprised if it was true that soaking in them stops smoldering (which it does) and that smoldering noticably affects wicklife BUT since nobody bothers to test it, it's a bit silly to suggest it. It does bug me HOW MANY untested rumors have been played off as facts in the firespinning world.


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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Gotta resectfully disagree with you here NYC.

Firstly, I'm fully with you on the 'curing' issue.

There's not only no evidence that 'curing' does anything, but there's no rational reason I can think of to suggest that it would extend wick life either. (I know that someone recently did a long post on how curing doesn't directly affest wick life, but that in developing good dipping practice in newbies would prolong life. I didn't fully understand it).

However, prompt dipping, whilst it may lack experimental evidence, does have in its favour a rational reason why it would work i.e. undipped wicks smoulder and give off smoke, you can even sometimes see a 'red ember' effect on the kevlar; this suggests that damage is being done, that the actual wick is burning.

Prompt dipping stops this hence there is good reason to believe that it works.

Whilst experimental testing may establish that soaking has no effect, until that it done we have to make a decision to soak or not to soak, I think that soaking is preferable in this time of uncertainty becasue: -

soaking will not damage the wick, so there's nothing to lose; and, there seems to be a good reason for why soaking would prolong wick life.

Incidently NYC, if someone did set up a proper experiment to test whether soaking prolongs wick life, and you had to bet on the outcome, where would you put your money?


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Um... You can disagree with me if you like, but I'm not sure what you're disagreeing with.

We both agree that no one has ever tested the efficacy of dipping wicks after burning and that neither of us can say for sure if it affects the life of the wick.

We both have a gut feeling that soaking after burning could extend the life of the wick.

The difference is what we'd do with that information or lack of information. I would never say: "It's the best way to preserve your wick life cos wicks smoulder when extinguished and that is damaging" without evidence, and apparently you would.

You have a "feeling that it does help" and are willing to act and give advice on that 'feeling'... and I need more proof before I'd advocate something.

But if you do want to disagree with me, I assure you, you'd be in good company.


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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:it's not a big dissagreement.

I guess I'd say that I agree with you about not posting curing stuff as fact cos there's no evidence or reason to support it.

But where dunking is concerned there is some decent reasoning behind it.

If experiments are done then my moneys on it being established.

So, here and now, given a choice between posting about the value of dunking, and not doing so, I reckon it's doing people a favour cos it'll help their wicks (if experimentation verifies it).

And, if I'm wrong, they don't loose anything anyway.

I must dispute this: -
quote:Originally posted by NYC:


You have a "feeling that it does help" and are willing to act and give advice on that 'feeling'... It's not a feeling, it's rational conclusion drawn from the fact that non dunked wicks smoulder and smoke; smoke consists of small particles of material i.e. wick stuff, therefore my wick is going into the air, therefore the wick left is diminished.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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frostypaw


Great balls of fire
Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Total posts: 643
Posted:Further to that it will cool the wicks and metal stopping that from causing any further damage.

When the wicks burn with fuel in them the outer layer chars, burns as much as it can, and the fuel burns off this - less fuel in the wicks and it'll burn deeper into the wicking to find the fuel. Best I can remember that was the advice given with oillamps too - don't let them burn dry - it would burn more wick and excessively heat the lamp


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:quote: I must dispute this: -

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by NYC:


You have a "feeling that it does help" and are willing to act and give advice on that 'feeling'...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's not a feeling, it's rational conclusion drawn from the fact that non dunked wicks smoulder and smoke; smoke consists of small particles of material i.e. wick stuff, therefore my wick is going into the air, therefore the wick left is diminished.
Dude, I was quoting YOU! That's why it was in quotes.

First you said:
quote: My feeling is that it does help cos otherwise the wicks smoulder and you can see the smoke coming off. Then when I quoted you on that, you stated that you were disputing your own quote saying:
quote: It's not a feeling, it's rational conclusion drawn from the fact that non dunked wicks smoulder and smoke; But again, it's not a big dispute. I just didn't want you to think that I was putting words in your mouth.

My fundamental point is, was, and will remain:
I am unwilling to accept rumor and speculation (even LOGICAL speculation) as fact.

Rumors can turn out to be true, and educated guesses are right most of the time. But I wouldn't ever pass an educated guess as a fact. It certainly makes sense to me what you are suggesting about wick damage, but passing it along to newbies as fact becomes damaging. There are too many urban myths about firespinning.

(Again, though, I think we're both saying generally the same thing.)


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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:Arrrgghhh1 There is only so much quoting and requoting this poor mod can handle...

(Takes off his moderators cap) I have to agree with NYC here. Especially when he says that you are absically saying the same thing

Saying that something is true because it sounds right is a very easy thing to do, but there is no way of knowing for certain without controlled testing.

Lets use an old joke Socrates made (translated) which uses logic to prove something silly. This logic could well prove irrefutable to an alien something that any human on earth would describe as "stupid".

Premise 1 : The dog is yours.
Premise 2 : The dog is a father

Therefore : The dog is your father

From a number of areas, these structure seems to make sense. It is only the fact that a dog cannot be the father of a human that disproves it.

And that is one single fact that must be known to find the flaw in the argument.

These facts are all over the world, just waiting to disprove urban myths and theories about the universe and so-called fire-performers 'knowledge'.

When passing on knowledge that is not knowingly backed up by experiments, it certainly helps to say "I feel" or "in my opinion".

This simply alleviates some of the stories that seem to be in our nature to unconsciously create as fact.


Well, thats how "I feel" about the subject anyway...


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MillenniuM
GOLD Member since Jul 2003

MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck


Total posts: 595
Posted:Thanks for the information everyone. I will definitely start dunking my wicks after use, just until the temperature cools enough to stop smoldering, but I don't think I'll leave them soaking. The idea of letting my wicks in a corrosive material for long periods of time doesn't seem like a great idea to me, and even if it won't do any harm, it'll put my mind at rest and prevent me from checking my wicks every few hours to make sure they're alright.

I understand the issue and argument you guys are having about curing, and I can't see how curing would help either. Although it is helpful to have an experiment done to prove something, it's not always neccisary. I agree with Charles: 'I think' or 'I believe' can be powerful statements.


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:BTW, for the newbies, I HAVE done a presoaking test and found, in my experiment, that presoaking a wick before a burn for hours or minutes makes no difference. So don't waste your time.

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:NYC-

I'd like to thank you for your posts because, prior to our debate, I had a belief that dunking was beneficial, but couldn't really have expressed why.

On my previous post it clicked and I again put forward: - quote:Originally posted by onewheeldave:
non dunked wicks smoulder and smoke; smoke consists of small particles of material i.e. wick stuff, therefore my wick is going into the air, therefore the wick left is diminished. I'd say that this isn't a speculation or an educated guess, but a rational conclusion drawn from observation (that undunked wicks give off smoke) and deduction (smoke is made of particles and the only available particles are kevlar, therefore the wicks are being damaged).

i.e. I'm putting it forward as a proof of the hypothesis that dunking extends wick life; unless someone can spot a flaw in the reasoning.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
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Lasa'nta Dubh Mac Tire


member
Location: LA... Pine Oregon

Total posts: 51
Posted:Howdy. well anyway. i'm way to cheap to get Kevlar wicks, or i'm just poor who cares. but i've used denim and towels. and no matter what i do dunk them after if fuel or water or not even dunking them. they turn out the same... maybe i'm just dumb eh? and to add. i use colemen stove fuel. nice and hot, but i've dunked red hot poi meany times in it and it just turns the fuel into alittle gas and it never goes up so eh WEEEEEEEEEE!

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:The smoke could be any number of things.

1) Unburned fuel residue. Clearly all of the fuel isn't used up, the wick goes out when there isn't enough fuel or oxygen or sufficient appropriate surface to spin on.

2) Parts of wick that have already burned up. So it's not the kevlar further breaking down, but the kevlar that's already broken down simply turning to vapor.

3) Impurities within the fuel. Since not ALL of the fuel is flammable (there will always be a certain level of imputiry within any fuel) whatever is left clearly doesn't burn well (or it would have burned) so it smoulders.

4) An insignificant amount of kevlar. Keep in mind that everything gives off particles, it's how we smell. That's like saying "I won't clean up the dog poo on my living room floor because, since I can smell it, it's clearly giving off particles and will soon be gone alltogether." It could take hundreds of years for the smouldering to have any noticable effect on the size or strength of the kevlar.

Or it could be something entirely different.

Or it could be the kevlar, degrading and quickly destroying your wick.

Is it possible that dunking after spinning allows more fuel to dry on the kevlar, which helps oxidize the metal weave in the kevlar? After all, liquids allow more oxygen to be in contact with the metal (which is why wet things rust faster) so redunking might make wicks rust and degrade faster.

Or maybe it attacks the metal and corrodes it?

Or maybe by dunking it you are cooling the metal components of your wick too quickly and weakening or cracking the metal bolts in your wick. A more gradual cooling may be less stressful than a drop of several hundred degrees in less than a second.

I don't know. I don't think so. But I'd never suggest it without evidence.

I'm just saying, there ARE other explanations. Again, I GUESS you're right. But without evidence I'm not willing to say.

For example, a statement like:

"Water puts out fire, so you should soak all of your clothes in water before spinning to be extra safe"

...is flat out dangerous. Since you will get far worse steam burns with wet clothing than with dry clothing. It is, actually, more dangerous to be spinning with soaking wet clothing than with dry clothing.

Just playing the 'what if' game...

Can't someone just try it? (I've got no virgin wicks)


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:And another thing,

I've been spinning for two years.
I've never cured a wick.
I've never predunked a wick.
I've never dunked a wick after spinning.
I always let my wicks smoulder.

And I've never had a pair of wicks wear out.

So I really don't know what the big deal is.


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MillenniuM
GOLD Member since Jul 2003

MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck


Total posts: 595
Posted:quote:"I won't clean up the dog poo on my living room floor because, since I can smell it, it's clearly giving off particles and will soon be gone alltogether." The only difference is that if you can see the smoldering poi letting off smoke, there's enough particles being let off to be able to see the particles in the air - far more drastic than a smell alone.

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:once again, what you say SOUNDS sensible, but may have no grounding in fact at all.


As there are chemicals whose very nature is to be invisible, such as oxygen and carbon monoxide, then, perhaps different materials have different visual aspects to the molecules they give off.

Perhaps, say the smoke is 500 times denser than just the smell, but that 500 times is STILL insignificant in terms of weight or degradation.

Or say some molecules are HIGHLY visible compared to others, yet at much smaller volumes.


I hope this isn't taken as an attack, its simply pointing out how hard it is for most people not to think in this illogical logic form.

It's second nature to most of us, but that doesn't make it right.


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MillenniuM
GOLD Member since Jul 2003

MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck


Total posts: 595
Posted:I can't think of a single colored solid material which would give off a clear or any less-colored vapor... can you?

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:I think you may be missing the point, Millenium.

It doesn't matter whether or not you or I can think of such a material.

The point is, the rationale you put forward was a perfect example of the "theory stated as a fact" that has been discussed in the previous posts.

I find that both amusing and a strong statement about how easy it is to fall into that trap...


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frostypaw


Great balls of fire
Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Total posts: 643
Posted:quote:But I wouldn't ever pass an educated guess as a fact. It certainly makes sense to me what you are suggesting about wick damage, but passing it along to newbies as fact becomes damaging. There are too many urban myths about firespinning.I'm not sure we're passing it off as stone cold fact - but as a 'probably good idea'.

So don't worry.

quote:wet things rust fasterThat's not true with organic solvents - true with water though. Metals are stored in oils to keep them bright and away from air, and paraffin is an oil fraction so it would actually preserve the metal - heating metal also speeds oxidisation a.k.a. rusting

quote:I can't think of a single colored solid material which would give off a clear or any less-colored vapor... can you?Candle wax.

Incidentally the smoke/vapours given off from the wicks are not going to be good for you whatever they're from, so dunking them and stopping the vapours also good thing!

There's simply no apparent reason why not to do this - and it's got to be far preferable to have blackened but cool fire equipment lying around than blackened but blazingly hot equipment lying around still ready to burst into flame.

Strictly speaking (for NYC) if you've never had a wick burn out then you have no evidence either way about dunking according to the scientific method... we would need a proper test to determine anything other than 'how long a wick lasted for so and so' starting with two virgin wicks and burning them to destruction

Could be fun in itself


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