Forums > Social Discussion > Wick dunking and fuel type

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GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Recent threads have brought up the debate over whether it is good for the longevity of your wicks to, immediately they are extinguished, dip them in fuel.

Some believe, myself included, that to do this benefits them by cutting off the smouldering which otherwise would result in damage to the wicks.

Others, most vocably NYC, believe that this is yet another spinners myth.

At this point let me make clear that this thread is intended to be about the post extinguish dunking of wicks, and definitly not about the pre soaking for x number of hours of new wicks prior to their first burn- that has been well covered in many other threads.

Let me also make clear that when I speak of the 'dunking' of wicks, I mean extinguished wicks- sometimes people take the term 'dunking' to mean dipping lit wicks in fuel, and this can cause confusion.

The other main discussion on this subject took place here: -

my position was that my own experiences with burns had led me to think that dunking helped. I reasoned that undunked wicks smouldered and gave off fumes, leading me to believe that damge was being caused.

NYC seemed to be annoyed at claims that dunking helped wicks in the absence of empirical experiments to establish it. Also that, in his experience, his own wicks lasted very well without any post burn dunking. (Not that I'm claiming to speak for NYC here, just stating what I percieved as being his position, I'm sure if I'm off the mark he can put it more accuratly).

I think that others could have some useful ideas on this issue, and I've posted this thread in 'social' because it will attract different, and possibly, more, responses than if it was in 'technical'.

One of the more interesting points towards the end of the previous thread was that choice of fuel could be relevant.

The suggestion being that those, like me, who use paraffin, would be more vulnerable to post burn smouldering due to the different temperature that paraffin burns at; whereas those like NYC, who use (I believe) white gas (or was it Colemans?) don't suffer from smouldering.

So it would be interesting if those who put forward opinions on this issue, stated what kind of fuel they use.

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

"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32

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

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BRONZE Member since Aug 2002


Senator by day, Sith Lord by night.
Location: Suffolk, New York, USA

Total posts: 128
Posted:I use Citronella in general, lamp oil when I have the spare money, or am gifted with a bottle. Making it known that gifts of lamp oil make fire performance far more likely and long running at parties does a lot for ones fuel budget. devil

Not definitive or empirical or anything... but I used to smother and dunk quickly and my wicks were in stupidly fantastic shape for a year. I started getting lazy and letting my wicks burn a little longer before extinguishing and not dunking as quickly, and my wicks started suddenly falling apart in a matter of a month. I notice that a lot of the more established spinners I've met seem to have very shredded wicks which looked more like stacks of cut kevlar squares then cathedral wicks (which were what I assume they were, not absolutely though, I didnt investigate or anything). My wicks were lovely and structurally sound cathedrals for months, and suddenly small bits started flying off while I burned and the bottom layer of my wick (I blind rigged mine) turned grey, got brittle, and started splintering away. This meant lots of little flying burning bits and exposed the metal and I'm not a fan of branding, so I took 'em apart and will use the remaining good wick for somthing else. Perhaps I'm more anal about my wick condition then others, but I figure better safe then sorry.

Whether that was due to the added burning smoulder time or the added extinguished smoulder time I cannot say, but it seems that smouldering did thejob either way. If absolutely nothing else, dunking quells the heavy smoking that recently extinguished wicks do (which I detest) and makes the area a lot nicer to be in.

Hmm I'll be making some equipment for some friends soon, perhaps if I have some extra wick I will do an experiment. I understand NYC's "prove it" attitude and in this case it's worth it if nothing else but to quell the endless arguments. I think every time I've visited this board in the last 2 years SOMEONE's been going on about dunking or smouldering or prefueling or all three at once.

One square of wick to dip burn and leave out, one to do the same and redunk. Do a set number of burns on each (long enough to burn off fuel, not long enough to smoulder) and see which lasts longer. They would go into the same fuel and burn at roughly the same conditions (minus 5 minutes unless someones willing to help) so the effects should be pretty comparable. I'm also in NY, so unfortunately my effective remaining burn time is limited to how nice the weather stays, but I for one am interested to see how this turns out for paraffin products and would love to hear the results if someone does the same with their fuel of choice.

EDIT: I store my wicks in a sealed bucket (in my fuel actually, but thats a matter of convenience at present) so redunking does not add to the petrochemical mess in the least bit.

EDITED_BY: Sterlingspider (1096749158)

"If the human brain were simple enough for us to understand, we would be too simple to understand it"
-Emerson M Pugh


Twisted Clown
BRONZE Member since Sep 2004

Twisted Clown

Location: Croydon,Surrey,UK

Total posts: 102
Posted:I personally leave my wicks after a burn but also have noticed as i use parrafin as well that alot of fumes and smoke are given off after a burn as i live in a built up area any ideas to stop this will be excellent.

I have never thought of dunkin them after a burn to stop this but logically i could see how this would work but am not keen on redunking them in parafin as it could create alot of mess ie within a bag or leaving an odur of parafin around.

oh i dont know but i think that redunking them is a good idea...... wink weavesmiley juggle weavesmiley wink

There may be one for everyone but what if there is two for three would that mean none for someone or did they start off without one....