Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Now that I've started thinking of my own poi and fire sculpture ideas I've been wondering what other media that I could use...Can I use pipe solder to make my sculpture? Or will it melt? Will whitegas or lamp oil melt any metals? I know I'm the chemist but I don't know how hot lamp oil/whitegas flames get... Anyone?

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Location: Adelaide, SA, Australia

Total posts: 750
Posted:Well I'm not exactly an expert in this field, but I might have something to offer.Isn't pipe solder designed to have a relatively low melting point in order for it to work during soldering? If so, it is probably not a good idea to use it. If you want something malleable, how about lead? (or gold if you can afford it!)A friend of mine once made a sculpture (non-fire) out of a clothes horse. She took all the plastic off and heated the metal in order to bend it, and welded it together. This is another thing you need to remember, the heat from the fire might soften the metal, causing it to weaken and bend.I think that most fuels just burning off won't be hot enough to melt metal (except for fuels like jet-fuel). I would guess that they would need to have oxygen or fuel forced in (like a bunsen burner or a welding torch) and get to that blue cone type flame, rather than the common orange flame.But like I said - I'm no expert. A good experiment would be to expose a test pieces of the metals to flames of the various fuels.I just remembered - two lighters that I suggested in the Lighter Preference thread can reach 1300C[This message has been edited by Bendy (edited 13 December 2001).]

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Ninja Rockstar!
Location: Denver, Co. U.S.A.

Total posts: 1100
Posted:I was just looking through some of the older threads, cuz I'm bored and I came across this. Hope it's not too late.The day time finds me in a machine shop, working with metals all day, so I know something about this, but I don't know about pipe solder spicificly, but if it's anything like electrical solder (in melting temp.) the fire will just distroy it. Lamp oil and white gas don't burn hot enough to affect most metals, unless they are in small amounts like wire or sheets, but even then it would have to be very thin to be affected. It depends on the type of metal and the gauge. Aluminum wire (if you can even find it) has a pretty low melting point, copper does too, but it transfers the heat along better so it usually lasts a little longer, but it depends on task it is applied to. But they should both stand up to white gas pretty well. If you're worried about it though steel, titanium, and carbide have a much higher melting point, so those will work better when on fire, even if they will be harder to work with in making the sculpture. I wouldn't recomend Bendy's suggestion of lead or gold, as you would have to melt them if you can't hammer them into the shape you need, and both give off very toxic fumes when they melt or burn. Your best bet would probobly be to learn to weld. Apparently basic welding isn't very hard at all (I have a few friends who do it) especially if you're not too particular aboout the raggedness of the seam.Another solution would be JB weld, which is an epoxy designed spicificly for metal, and is tested to hold it's bond at over 600 degrees. JB weld does take about 15 hours to set, however, which could be a problem. I don't know the scale that you're thinking about building on, but you might consider using plumbing parts as well, since it screws together. Or you could use a heavy gauge wire to bind every thing together. As long as it's not under too much stress it should hold up fine under white gas. I mean the wire works for towel wicks, right. Also beware of the fumes from hot copper, they can be nasty.Hope this helps you out,
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SickpuPpy------------------If you love something, set it on fire.[This message has been edited by SickpuPpy (edited 18 December 2001).]

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