Forums > Technical Discussion > Steel wool on staff - It really didn't work

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roarfire
roarfire

comfortably numb
Location: The countryside
Member Since: 8th Jul 2004
Total posts: 2676
Posted:Okay so I spend a while winding a cage, I stuffed the steel wool in, dipped it in kero and lit up. Expecting it to just go 'whooosh!'...I didn't at all... What went wrong with that?

.All things are beautiful if we take the time to look.

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squarefish
(...trusty steed of the rodeo midget...)
Location: the state of flux
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2002
Total posts: 403
Posted:hmmm.
possibly not fine enough steel wool, if its fine enough you should'nt even need to dip it in kero, it should light up straight away.
I recomend doing a burn test on all steel wools to find out which gauge is best for your application before using it in your equipment.

It's also possible that the steel wool was packed in too tightly, it needs just a little room for the air to get working at it and peel away the hot metal.

Are the gaps in your cage large enough? is the hot metal getting trapped inside?

Are you spinning your staff fast enough? the steel wool needs A LOT of air to feed it.
Good luck, it works, dont give up on it. biggrin
Squarefish


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strugz
strugz

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Southampton - Possibly...
Member Since: 6th Mar 2002
Total posts: 3964
Posted:ditto what squarefish said - good advice.

Also you should be aware that putting wire on a staff doesnt work as easy as it does with chains, mainly because chains form a pull, allowning the wire to hurl out like your after biggrin

Staffs on the other hand dont work in the same way, to get good results i found a longer staff best spun really really fast, takes a bit of arm power though!

Good luck!

weavesmiley


"...We don't stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing......."

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roarfire
roarfire

comfortably numb
Location: The countryside
Member Since: 8th Jul 2004
Total posts: 2676
Posted:Thanks everyone, I'll give it another go tomorrow. Sorry to have bothered you!

.All things are beautiful if we take the time to look.

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Mugetsu
Mugetsu

member
Location: Calgary
Member Since: 2nd Nov 2003
Total posts: 74
Posted:Can anyone reccommend a brand of steel wool?

Is it hot in here, or was I just engulfed in flames?

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*HyperLight
*HyperLight

old hand
Location: Great Malvern [UK]
Member Since: 9th Dec 2003
Total posts: 1174
Posted:Any steel wool should work.. finer stuff tends to burn the most sparks, but won't last as long. My hunch as to why it didn't work is down to speed. Wire-wool Poi work MUCH better when you spin the things as fast as possible - it's much harder to achieve the same speeds with a staff...

Cake or Death?

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darkpoet
darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish
Member Since: 14th May 2003
Total posts: 525
Posted:first off....get like...000 or 0000 steel wool...makes things alot easier...attach your cages to some sort of cable thats around 6 inches long and attatch that to the staff....rememeber wool needs air to work...by putting the cages on cables it increases the air alloted to the wool...and finally
use a fuel that burns at a higher temp...and a lower flash point..
(COLEMANS!!!!)
and if all that fails...ill just post how to make a good set of cages....so far ive gotten about a 3-4 min wool burn out of mine..so the design works quite well


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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squarefish
(...trusty steed of the rodeo midget...)
Location: the state of flux
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2002
Total posts: 403
Posted:Colemans should be on the same proscribed list as gasoline/petrol, angry
It's is after all exactly the same stuff just slightly more refined than what you put in your car.
LIKE I SAID ALREADY....if you're using the right type of steel wool you shouldn't need any extra fuel.

Please don't play with colemans, Please dont explode yourself angel2


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native
native

sleeping with angels
Location: anaheim CA usa
Member Since: 16th Jun 2004
Total posts: 508
Posted:that AND!!! you were burning the fuel and not the steel wool
i lite my steel wool with a 9 volt battery.. just place the 2 ends againts the steel wool for a min or to the juice will flow threw the wool and cause heat and it will inginte


SLEEP WITH ANGELS muckieha

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darkpoet
darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish
Member Since: 14th May 2003
Total posts: 525
Posted:using a 9V batt. hasnt ever worked for me, it will start the wool, but not evenly and at a constant rate...using colemans (safely mind you) ignites your whole cage, the fuel heats the wool and sets off the sparks....
with my cage design and how i layer the wools ill usually get around a 5 min wool burn...yes..sparks galore....and btw...i also use colemans in my fuel mix so i can get the quick light of colemans, and the long burn time of kero


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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*HyperLight
*HyperLight

old hand
Location: Great Malvern [UK]
Member Since: 9th Dec 2003
Total posts: 1174
Posted:I'd love to see those cages you've got!! My wire-wool burners (a bird feeder cut in half) only last about 30 seconds MAX. How do you do them / how much wire woll do they use?

Cake or Death?

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darkpoet
darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish
Member Since: 14th May 2003
Total posts: 525
Posted:ill use 6-8 pads of layered wool in each...

*scrambles to get all the supplies to properly give instructions...
actually...PM me and ill give you the schematics...i dont want some punk kid trying it w\o the necessary safety precautions


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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*HyperLight
*HyperLight

old hand
Location: Great Malvern [UK]
Member Since: 9th Dec 2003
Total posts: 1174
Posted:Check your PM's darkpoet - ygm.

For those curious as to what wire-wool poi look like, I've got a photo that should give you an idea :


Non-Https Image Link


Cake or Death?

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ado-p
ado-p

Pirate Ninja
Location: Galway/Ireland
Member Since: 13th May 2004
Total posts: 3882
Posted:Hi Darkpoet

Any chance I could get that schematic off ya too?

I asked my mom and she said im not a punk kid (anymore) so its ok....


Love is the law.

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vanize
vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas
Member Since: 21st Aug 2001
Total posts: 3899
Posted:Written by: squarefish

Colemans should be on the same proscribed list as gasoline/petrol, angry
It's is after all exactly the same stuff just slightly more refined than what you put in your car.
LIKE I SAID ALREADY....if you're using the right type of steel wool you shouldn't need any extra fuel.

Please don't play with colemans, Please dont explode yourself angel2



sorry to disagree, but not true. it is more volitile than kero/lamp oil, but it is safe to spin with given cetain precautions (which much of the world seems totally unwilling to take, despite being the same precautions you should use while fire performing with any kind of fuel).

coleman is only 50% gasoline/petrol, and the rest of it is additives to make it less dangerous.\

-disinformation containment complete-


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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darkpoet
darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish
Member Since: 14th May 2003
Total posts: 525
Posted:i never thought colemans was standard gasoline...i know its a petrol distillate...but it burns alot hotter and cleaner than standard gasoline......and people call it white gas around here..so if i use that term yeah..talkin about colemans

and anybody that sends me a pm the first thing im gonna send back is an inquiry to what safety precautions you are taking...spinning steel wool is insanely dangerous..so at least minimize the risk...have a safety/backup, 2 fire extinguishers (at least) a hose w/running water.....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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Lurch
Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon
Member Since: 1st Nov 2003
Total posts: 929
Posted:The two nights I've done steel wool were both on a dock over water, with a couple EMT's standing by and all the assorted goodies needed. Not to mention I was wearing heavy pants boots two t-shirts gloves goggles and a bandana...

I'd advise against using gas to start them up though, it tends to burn off a lot off the wool before whoevers lighting you has time to get far enough away for you to safely start spinning.


#homeofpoi -- irc.newnet.net Come talk to us we're bored frown

Warning: Please Do Not Jump On The Seals

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darkpoet
darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish
Member Since: 14th May 2003
Total posts: 525
Posted:i usually light my own...........

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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*HyperLight
*HyperLight

old hand
Location: Great Malvern [UK]
Member Since: 9th Dec 2003
Total posts: 1174
Posted:I find lighting them with a gas-powered lighter works very well - one of those 'wind proof' ones. Doesn't take long to get 'em going smile

Cake or Death?

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Playswithfire
newbie
Location: Washington (nope, nothing catc...
Member Since: 18th Sep 2004
Total posts: 2
Posted:Hey, just wanted to comment on Coleman's. I love the stuff. I use it for most everything, and have never had it do anything close to explode. I will even fill a soup can half full, and light it. No, it doesn't blow up, it will burn like a little torch for a good hour or more. I use it to light my staff with when I'm practising. It's safe enough, when you observe the rest of the fire safety rules. So yeah, don't just write the stuff off!

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lunernia
member

Member Since: 24th Aug 2004
Total posts: 110
Posted:whats the best way to make cages??!! iam just starting to spin wool so ...help!!??!!

L xx


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...{SAFE}...
...{SAFE}...

"if i jump in the fire, will you?"
Location: USA, wishing I was in SA
Member Since: 1st Jul 2004
Total posts: 633
Posted:stick a candle in a number 10 can , thats how i lite up whenever no-ones around!

i like breaking the Law frown , of Gravity wink !

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squarefish
(...trusty steed of the rodeo midget...)
Location: the state of flux
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2002
Total posts: 403
Posted:Using a fuel that burns without a wick means that flamable vapours are more likely to build up and present a serious explosive hazard.
No-one in our group (or pretty much the entirety of Dublin) uses such fuel, we saw how it burned and just said "NO WAY"
It meant no fire spinning for us at burning man, but we considered the risk far too great.

I saw a flame barrel being lit with colemans, wood and about 50 ml of the fuel.
The barrel had to be lit from one of the cuts in its side because the resulting fireball would have flash fried the person light ing it otherwise.
It went *THUD*


Further more, anyone who applies a flame to an open cannister of fuel is most likely going to get exactly what they deserve.
If you hurry playswithfire you might even make this years Darwin Awards

" The Darwin Awards, making the human race smarter, one idiot at a time" devil


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ado-p
ado-p

Pirate Ninja
Location: Galway/Ireland
Member Since: 13th May 2004
Total posts: 3882
Posted:Written by: Playswithfire

Hey, just wanted to comment on Coleman's. I love the stuff. I use it for most everything, and have never had it do anything close to explode. I will even fill a soup can half full, and light it. No, it doesn't blow up, it will burn like a little torch for a good hour or more. I use it to light my staff with when I'm practising. It's safe enough, when you observe the rest of the fire safety rules. So yeah, don't just write the stuff off!



That sounds very, very dangerous.

You can add cork to that list squarefish (hope your having happy travels....)


Love is the law.

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darkpoet
darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish
Member Since: 14th May 2003
Total posts: 525
Posted:Written by: squarefish


" The Darwin Awards, making the human race smarter, one idiot at a time" devil



hug your are so loved right now
but, as with most fuels, when properly used you reduce the risk and get the benifits


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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squarefish
(...trusty steed of the rodeo midget...)
Location: the state of flux
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2002
Total posts: 403
Posted:Aye, happy trails for me and the Helen unit. biggrin
Just landed in Aukland NZ. smile
It's absolutley pissin down rain here. frown
Feels like home. wink

ubbrollsmileI like graemlins ubbrollsmile


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Yamo
member
Location: Pensacola, Fl
Member Since: 23rd Jan 2013
Total posts: 8
Posted:Hmm. I like big flames and long burn times, but I have no idea whether this stuff (White gas/Coleman's) is perfectly safe, terribly dangerous, or somewhere inbetween. I would like to use it, but I would like to make sure it's safe to use.

It seems like this discussion's dead, but hopefully someone replies...

EDITED_BY: Yamo (1361207151)


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beaniebob
casually noob tech poi spinrar
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 22nd Nov 2010
Total posts: 155
Posted:No flammable liquids are safe when you're setting them on fire. All the standard precautions for fire apply: Don't be dumb, have a safety, fire blanket, wear natural fibres and so on.

Coleman's is pretty damn easy to light because it's basically light naptha. It's flashpoint (temperature at which it'll ignite) is less than 0 degrees F. It also burns pretty hot, bright and non-smoky, and is readily available in the US, which is - I gather, the reason so many peeps use it.

Being naptha, it's also a mild skin irritant, but honestly, it's not particularly toxic and you're already setting crap on fire and swinging it around. No matter how "safe" the fuel, you should still follow the general safety precautions for handling flammable liquids, and spinning fire.

However, if you can get your hands on stuff like Shellsol D60 or D70 (also sold as Firesol - at decent prices, that's a "safer" fuel in that it has a higher flashpoint (D60 has a flashpoint of 60 degrees C, D70 is 70 degrees C. See the pattern?). D60 is Heavy Naptha, which apparently means the larger, heavier alkane molecules, and probably explains the higher flashpoint. The "D" stands for dearomatised, which means that aromatic hydrocarbons, such as benzene and the other toxic or carcinogenic hydrocarbons have been mostly removed from the fuel (a good thing in my opinion).


"If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error."

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Yamo
member
Location: Pensacola, Fl
Member Since: 23rd Jan 2013
Total posts: 8
Posted:Right now I use Kerosene, which starts out pretty hot and big, and has a decent burn time, but smells horrible and is otherwise messy. I will look into the Shellsol/Firesol. Can you tell me how long it typically burns for?

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beaniebob
casually noob tech poi spinrar
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 22nd Nov 2010
Total posts: 155
Posted:Burns for pretty much the same length of time as kero, and a little brighter. Kero flame is a little orange compared to Shellsol.

"If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error."

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:Just a quick bit of extra info...

In a nutshell (or a steel wool cage), the coloured stinky fuel sometimes called kerosene is a shellsol/pegasol-3440/D90 fuel with added stuff to it to make it smellier, make it look different to water and less likely to be consumed by alcoholics.

NOTE - different countries give the name kerosene to different chemicals so be careful.

There are definitely plenty of aromatics in shellsol/pegasol-3440/D90 fuels, and even the nonaromatic molecules are still carcinogenic. They are just less likely to be inhaled in vapor form!

so, after all that, as long as the kero being discussed is the one I'm discussing, the fire and flashpoints of kero and shellsol/pegasol-3440/D90 fuels are virtually identical.

ALWAYS get the MSDS sheet for any chemical you are using, and then you can easily compare their flashpoints and other properties.


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