• All Purchases made this month instantly go into the draw to win a USD $ 100.00 credit to your HoP account.
 

Forums > Technical Discussion > Conditioning new wicks. Why?

Login/Join to Participate
Page: 12
newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali

Total posts: 4030
Posted:Today I went through the process of conditioning the wicks on some lovely new toys.. poi and devil sticks. I'd remembered doing it years ago, and our local Gooble shop had a whole info card on it, so it must be important/ common or recommended. They call it conditioning, I called it tempering... soak, light briefly, douse, redip, repeat....

But while I was happily getting acquainted with my new toys, and enjoying the ritual aspect of it all, I found myself wondering...
WHY do we do this?

I have a memory somone said it was to increase their eventual burn time.
True? Can anyone enlighten me why it's important?
Is it to create a layer of 'soot' in the wick which burns (rather than the Kevlar)?

Hmmmmmm

smile


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

Delete Topic

pj


member
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Total posts: 277
Posted:This is a bit of an interesting question. I've never found any technical explaination for this, and I'm not really sure it makes any difference, but it's easy enough to do that I've always just played along. I've probably made a dozen pairs of personal wicks and I've always conditioned them, and when I make wicks for people I recomend the same.

A couple of data points for what they are worth:

I have a kerosene heater which uses a kevlar wick that looks just like the wick I use for poi, and the instructions recomend a similar conditioning procedure when a new wick is used.

I have noticed that some varieties of wick have a *lot* of difficulty burning when brand new. Some are so bad that even when heavily soaked in kerosene they will self-extinguish after 15-30 seconds of spinning. And I've seen others that need a substantial amount of white gas in the mix even to get them lit. Once these wicks have been "burned in" they do give generally acceptable performance. (I can recall this happening at least once to wicks purchased from HoP)

I've never personally had this happen with any of the wick that I have purchased. I was given six feet of wick that came from Renegade Juggling to make my first set, and I was so pleased with the results that a few weeks later I splurged for a 100 ft. spool. I think I've purchased a total of three 100 ft. spools from them over the years and it's all been the same stuff, although I think the last spool I purchased was probably three years ago at this point. In any case, this particular variety of wick burns good and strong from the get-go.

I've been needing to place another order for a while now, but I've been putting it off because I really want to make sure of my source before dropping the big bucks on a bulk order...

-p.


Delete

Bird
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Bird

now available in "advanced"
Location: Cornwall

Total posts: 6086
Posted:This has been discussed once or twice (or several times).



[url=http://www.homeofpoi.com/ubbthreads/dosearch.php?Cat=0&Forum=All_Forums&Words="soaking%20wicks"&Searchpage=0&Limit=25&where=bodysub&daterange=0&bodyprev=&Name=]Here[/url] is some more stuff from the boards thats you might find useful!



smile


My state of mind is not yours to define!

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

Delete

onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:I think the general opinion on HOP is that 'conditioning' (or 'curing') of wicks is a quaint old custom that doesn't actually improve the wicks at all.



I certainly never bother with it, IMO the best way to extend wick life is, when fire spinning, to extinguish them before they fully go out, and immediately dunk then in your fuel (assuming that your'e using kero (US) or paraffin (UK), DO NOT do this with more volatile fuels).



Reasoning there is that wicks smoulder when put out, indicating that it's the actual wick material burning- dunking stops the smouldering.


"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!

Delete

Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:I treat my wicks like dirt, and they don't seem to be wearing out. I just don't care, if they do wear out, I'll just get more we're talking hundreds of burns here.

My personal belief has always been that conditioning was unimportant, and since I burn straight white gas, I always make sure my wicks have cooled some before re dunking them. I haven't notices alot of smouldering, but if there is,,,,,,oh well.

On the other hand,,,maybe I'm just lazy


Delete

Dragon7
GOLD Member since Oct 2003

Dragon7

addict
Location: Aotearoa (NZ)

Total posts: 625
Posted:Yea u DONT want to dunk them if ur using that type of fuel! I was spinning with these UK boys one time and everytime i went to dunk my poi the whole can burst into flame and they had to keep putting it out (as i was holding the poi) and I came accross as a real amature ubblol

Found out later they were fulling my can up with their fuel which was way different to the stuff i was using. (kero) ubblol I do have to agree with dunking though...its helps keep the wicks good.

rule #? always put poi back into fuel after burn.


Delete

newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali

Total posts: 4030
Posted:OK so.. Thanks for the info so far. (Though, sorry Bird, I couldn't access the previous threads to follow the earlier discussions...)



So, Yep, I am now redunking them when I've finished (and hanging them up on my handy hooks.. at home anyway... making some plastic 'socks' for them for going out.) Luckily I use stinkless Pegasol 3440 so no chance of random flamage or exploding dunkcans!



But is that it.. a quaint old custom that we all just follow?? Nearly all... 'cept Stout... wink



No actual reason?? Naaaaah, surely not!


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

Delete

Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:I'll admit, conditioning one's wicks does have a certain ceremonial value, maybe I'm impatient, rather than lazy

Delete

ado-p
GOLD Member since May 2004

ado-p

Pirate Ninja
Location: Galway/Ireland

Total posts: 3882
Posted:I think it was NYC who actually did the experiment and compared cured and uncured wicks. it was about a year ago when i read that discussion though its a it hazy

the sum of it was that there is no noticable difference.

same in my experience. i've always dunked straight after a burn. mostly coz smouldering wick smells terribly and evaporating parrafin smells kinda nice smile


Love is the law.

Delete

coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay

Total posts: 7330
Posted:Written by: newgabe

OK so.. Thanks for the info so far. (Though, sorry Bird, I couldn't access the previous threads to follow the earlier discussions...)




hi gabe,

try this link instead.

should work smile

i reckon curing is a bit of a myth to be honest.

without any recorded evidence to bck myself up, the only thing i've noticed is that over the first few (maybe 20 or so) uses, the burn time on new poi extends slightly.
so the dip-burn-extinguish-dip cycle that people go through when they first buy, may well stabalise the burn time for longer.

but like i said, its an established fact, but we have no evidence wink


cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

Delete

newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali

Total posts: 4030
Posted:Thanks Cole, I've had a good read now and conclude that..
I've already 'conditioned' them and no skin off my nose either way.
(though not with this '24 hours' stuff i've come across. Just soaking a few minutes, light, put out, dunk, relight etc...the repetition of lighting and putting out quickly was the focus not extensive soaking.

And I will redunk after using...makes total sense to me.

AND I've learned how to do a proper search in the forums.. biggrin
I was trying to search using the Google space at the top of the page and coming up with messy lists that wasn't really getting me anywhere.. When I saw 'your' nicely presented results, I went a-looking to see how you got that.
Eureka,
Cheers mate wink


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

Delete

Dunc
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Dunc

playing the days away
Location: The Middle lands

Total posts: 7263
Posted:Personally I think dunking after a burn is a pure waste of fuel, unless you intend to use that fuel burning again. I think most of what people say is 'theory' and no one has ever offered anything to actually back up their theories....except cole of course wink

I've never dunked or conditioned my wicks and they've always been fine. Infact, my tube cores are now waaay better than they've ever been with no signs of falling to bits or shorter burn times. I would say the same for my monkey fists but someone knicked one before I got the chance to use them many time frown wankers


Let's relight this forum ubblove

Delete

Dunc
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Dunc

playing the days away
Location: The Middle lands

Total posts: 7263
Posted:oh one thing that is useful that Mech showed me, covering the ends of the wicks with pva glue.

Glue on the ends, just enough to cover, leave for 24 hours and light up. the glue doesn't burn at that temperature so as the wick burns the glue just gets harder and harder and is really useful for stopping the ends fraying if you have the habit of dropping them on the floor etc


Let's relight this forum ubblove

Delete

Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:Ive never cured or post-burn dunked, and have never noticed any probs when using Kero, Pegasol or Shelllite over the previous 5 years. I think its all myths. (although I have noticed new wick doesnt burn as well as burned in wick does)

our stuff has always died through abrasion or mechanical failure - rather than through the wicks just 'burning'.

*shrugs*


--
Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!

Delete

bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:i cure my wicks not to make them last longer (which i seriously believe they *don't*) but so that they don't look like gumby new wicks!!

I've don't dunk my wicks after a burn and doubt that they 'smoulder'/age the wicks.

i do however, like vegemite. smile


Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

Delete

darkpoet
BRONZE Member since May 2003

darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish

Total posts: 525
Posted:Written by: Dragon7

everytime i went to dunk my poi the whole can burst into flame




hahahahaha so your saying you made the same mistake twice? doesnt sound too smart to me....KNOW YOUR FUEL!!!
whenever new things are added to the fuel mix it changes its odour...so PLEASE pay attention to those types of little details...fire right next to your fuel dump is a baaaaad thing....spank
and i always...ALWAYS...allow my toys to cool before redunking...thats why ive got 3 pairs of monkies..pair of cathedrals..swords...double wicks...staff...and alternate during shows to give a cooldown period.....and my wicks last much longer than a year before needing replacement...


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!

Delete

quiet


quiet

analytic
Location: bristol

Total posts: 503
Posted:'Reasoning there is that wicks smoulder when put out, indicating that it's the actual wick material burning- dunking stops the smouldering.
'
the smouldering that you can see is condensing paraffin vapour

dunking actually wastes less fuel, since less evaporates [on account of the wick being cooler]

i'm generally sceptical about dunking, *however* i have managed in the past to get the kevlar burning (you can tell when this happens; it keeps glowing red after you put it out). in this case, it's probably worth dunking.

i generally dunk, and never do more than 3 burns in quick succession; the wicks on my first firestaff (built two and a half years ago) are still in working order.


ture na sig

Delete

onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: quiet

'Reasoning there is that wicks smoulder when put out, indicating that it's the actual wick material burning- dunking stops the smouldering.
'
the smouldering that you can see is condensing paraffin vapour




Sounds plausible.

But how do we know?

What evidence or reasoning can we use to show that it's paraffin vapour rather than smouldering wick?


"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!

Delete

Skulduggery
GOLD Member since Aug 2004

Skulduggery

Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales

Total posts: 8428
Posted:Run an experiment. Get a pair of wicks and burn them, then keep one that is dunked and one that isn't and see if they are any different from each other. Remember to swap hands when spinning them so it can't be said that wear and tear is worse on one than the other because it was used in your 'bad' hand.

I think thats the only way you will solve the argument. If everyone on hop does it with one set of poi we should come up with a fair number to give a reliable result.


Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

Delete

quiet


quiet

analytic
Location: bristol

Total posts: 503
Posted:Dave: smouldering wicks just wouldn't generate that large an amount of smoke.

Here's the reasoning: either the 'smoke' is a by-product of burning wick, or it's condensing paraffin vapour. Whichever it is, there's a lot of it. Consider: a cigarette generates a lot of smoke, but you're very rapidly left with a pile of ash. A source of condensing vapour (a kettle, or your breath on a cold day) also generates a lot of visible 'smoke', but without the ash. If it was the wick smouldering, you'd expect a lot more residue, and you'd also expect your wicks to degrade much more rapidly. With the amount of smoke being given off, your wicks shouldn't last long at all.

Furthermore, if it was the wick burning, you'd expect the amount of 'smoke' being generated to decrease sharply at some point, where the wick stopped burning. But instead, the amount of 'smoke' decreases smoothly and slowly, and eventually stops. I grant that this isn't conclusive, though.

What *is* conclusive is that the vapour smells of paraffin. If it was smoke from a burning wick, you wouldn't expect this, since the distinctive smell just is the smell of paraffin vapour. If you don't believe me, try taking a lighter to a piece of fresh kevlar.

Lastly, I've seen kevlar smoulder. When it does, it a) glows and b) vanishes pretty rapidly. The holes in my old firestaff are testament to this; I did a large number of burns in a row, and suddenly noticed expanding patches of glowing burniness.

If you want to test the vapour hypothesis, try getting a piece of kevlar, soaking it, heating it to a couple of hundred degrees (or even less; kevlar starts to degrade at 400 degrees, but it should start to produce vapour _way_ before that) and seeing what happens.

Skulduggery: the problem with that test is that it might take over a year to run (since wicks seem to last at least that long). So whilst it's a decent idea, it's impractical.

e


ture na sig

Delete

LazyAngel
GOLD Member since Jul 2004

LazyAngel

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Cambridge UK

Total posts: 2895
Posted:I always dunk my wicks in parrafin after a burn, and my theory is....

after a burn, the wick is warm and dry.

the warmth and dryness of the wicks ensures that the parrafin is soaked up quickly, and warmed up, which is nice for a quick lighting later.

what you are really doing is making sure that no water or moisture gets into the wicks (at least in the short term), which can cause hassels later on when trying to burn.

Therefore, I postulate that the wick should not last longer when redunked but burn for longer and more evenly.

Disclaimer: this theory applies more to cold, wet countries (like the UK) than warm, dry ones.


Because ActiveAngel sounds like a feminine deodorant

Like sex, I'm much more interesting in real life than online.

'Be the change you want to see in the world around you' - Ghandi

Delete

quiet


quiet

analytic
Location: bristol

Total posts: 503
Posted:lazyangel: agreed

ture na sig

Delete

vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas

Total posts: 3899
Posted:Written by: onewheeldave


Written by: quiet


'Reasoning there is that wicks smoulder when put out, indicating that it's the actual wick material burning- dunking stops the smouldering.

'

the smouldering that you can see is condensing paraffin vapour







Sounds plausible.



But how do we know?



What evidence or reasoning can we use to show that it's paraffin vapour rather than smouldering wick?





well it SMELLS like parrafin for one thing.



I personally think dunking hot wicks is a filthy habit. especially if you keep your wicks wet at the end of the night and store them like that. Dangerous too.


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

Delete

_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast

Total posts: 5967
Posted:Puh, nonsense tongue

That's just cos you're american and your toys don't go rusty in Texas.

(I admit this is total speculation, and for anybody who doesn't get it already, I'm only taking the piss)


Getting to the other side smile

Delete

spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX

Total posts: 2014
Posted:The dangerous also comes into account depending on what fuel you use. Do NOT redunk your wicks immediately if you are using white gas. That can ignite your whole bucket of fuel which is a very bad thing.

umm Firepoise...if our wicks didn't go rusty in TX, wouldn't that mean we were for leaving them all wet at the end of the night. I know you are just talking smack, but it at least usually makes sense.


Delete

_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast

Total posts: 5967
Posted:umm

Christ... humour is just totally lost, eh?


Getting to the other side smile

Delete

Skulduggery
GOLD Member since Aug 2004

Skulduggery

Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales

Total posts: 8428
Posted:I got it hun ubblol hug

Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

Delete

_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast

Total posts: 5967
Posted:Thanks missus hug

Getting to the other side smile

Delete

coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay

Total posts: 7330
Posted:Written by: spritie

umm Firepoise...if our wicks didn't go rusty in TX, wouldn't that mean we were for leaving them all wet at the end of the night. I know you are just talking smack, but it at least usually makes sense.



confused

now that makes no sense to me.

it is not the fuel that causes rust spritie - it is water vapour and oxygen in the air.

dunking wicks after the last burn may well be a factor in preventing our toys from going rusty.

i think miss poise was saying that texans do not dip after the last burn to prevent rust because you don't need to, since the humidity in texas is low enough to not have to worry about rust forming on your toys...


spritie, your uk visit to learn some original brit (and irish redface) sarcasm is well overdue methinks...


cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

Delete

spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX

Total posts: 2014
Posted:Obviously you guys need to make it to TX as well. Houston has 70%+ humidity year round, so rust is inevitable no matter what you do. Having wet wicks will most surely result in a nasty, smelly mess that won't survive long and may even start to grow some mold!

I'll be going to Turkey and Amsterdam in the fall, will that help any? Sadly, us americans get crap for vacation time so I have to plan years in advance to do cool stuff.

I will be getting to see Andy first though biggrin


Delete

_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast

Total posts: 5967
Posted:Thanks Cole, that's what I meant...

Tis ok, I know vance got it anyways smile

(though, he'd probably argue that it is humid in certain parts of texas - being a total stickler for detail)


Getting to the other side smile

Delete

Page: 12