Author Archives: Mike

candles continued

The 2 candles on the bench now are  #1 burning Grain alcohol and #2 burning Liquid Paraffin wax.

#1 is a 5 year old candle and by that I mean it was filled with wax and burning 5 years ago then placed on a shelf in the shop. I took it off the shelf today and put an updated insert and tube (wick holder)  using the same wick, I then lit it and  It has been burning a 1.5 inch long flame for 3.5 hours. You can easily read in the dark with this.

#2 I took a new can put a 1/2 oz. of Grain Alcohol in put the new wick holder and new wick and light it at the same time I lit #1 and it to ha been burning for 3.5 hours with one exception at 3 hours I checked the fuel and it was about half gone so I took a shot glass and poured in 1 oz of fuel and pulled the wick up about 1/8 ” form 1/4″ this took about 1 minute and is burning a 3/4″ flame.


The candle in the for front is candle #1. and yes candle #2 is burning.
2:28p started #4 i dont smell it but josh says raceing fuel (less than 1/4oz) 1 1/2″ flame 1/4″ trim still no smell. 2:43 out of fuel purfect burn out.

2:38  started #1,2 & 3 all trimmed to 1/4″
1-2 1/4″ flame   2- 1 1/8″ flame    3-1 1/8″ flame

3:10 I put 1 under the plain air 42″ from the center of the blade (plain air is a bench fan that we made from parts around the shop and uses a R/C air plane propeller it works as well as a desk fan on med.) the flame is burning at a 90 angle it is flickering between 1/4″ and 3/8″.  it rely stinks of wax down wind.

the wind (plain air)

plain air (the wind)

#1 in the wind

#1 in the wind

3:26 can 2 is warm to touch, no fuel on insert, it is sitting off center of plain air as is 3 and the flame is holding almost 90 angle 1″ same goes for 3 although 3 is not as warm and holding a 1″ flame as well. 3:45 1 is still in the wind and is not showing any signs off drying out 2&3 still holding with no changes in burn so there not drying out ether it  still stinks down wind but i don’t have a headache or feel like i need fresh air 4:05   Time to shut down  1 is not warm at the rim hot at the thread out 2 is hot hot at out the rim 3 not as hot as 2 out.

at 9:00 last night decided to try a boil test I took the #1 candle with a long 1/8by” wick added the warming grill then took a 4 oz can and put 3 oz of 70* water  in it and placed it on the candle  by 9:30 the temp had reached 140*  at 10:20 I shut it down and raised the wick to a long 1/4″ and re lit it the water dropped to 100* by 10:36 it was back up to 175* shut it down at 10:49 because it topped out at 180*.  Will have to figure this out because i have boiled water before.i realy should be making tea I’m using a candy thermometer here.

armchair engenearing

armchair engineering

looked at #1 this morning and it was quite a mess there was soot all over the base of the warming plate, OK History #1 is the first proto made in 2010 the warming grill is a metal pencil holder with the bottom cut off  to fit a threaded ring the warming plate is a hard drive platter the threaded ring screws on to the candle. OK back to #1 the wick was set for high heat so it was sooting pretty good, the plug of soot i’m holding with the tweezers fell out of the hole in the platter that’s close to a 1/6″ thick.

carbon plug

soot (carbon) plug

look at flow pattern on the platter,

base of plater

soot on base of platter

I used a copper heat sink from a computer to cover the hole in the platter to keep the flame from touching the can of water.

copper plate

soot on copper plate

I think the boil fail was due to the copper plate so since im going to do it over I’m going to use grain alcohol and the 2nd warmer grill which is another style of pencil holder with the bottom left on and no copper. so for now i will go on with a thermal crush test the ASTME uses this on liquid glass candles and lamps in there testing, I don’t know if they do this on the plastic liquid candles or not. so i thought well try it , anyway to accomplish this im using a deep fryer to reach the 160 deg for the hot water bath that the can will sit in for 5 min then a maximum 15 second transfer to a 70 deg bath and this will crush the can if it leaks it fails. since the can is 2 pieces the failure will be at the seam of lid. we are going to boil the can with about 1/2 oz colored water(to see leaks) and the lid tight and since the candles float upside down we are holding them down with a weight. well that didn’t work i mean rely there was no change at all no sound nothing. so far the only lesson here is the can did not collapse.  OK now I’m boiling water with the can full to the brim of water in side the boiling water trying to boil the water in the can my temp is 205 its been 7 min and the can water is not boiling yet’ the seal in the cap is still intact not swelling ,nothing the seal is still use able, OK it been 20 min on boil I,m running out of water so since i have to add some water and lose my boil I’m going to go to the cold bath it’s at 54*. The can still did not collapse it did create a vacuum that did suck in the bottom but that was it, there was a hiss as i took the lid off so it was holding a vacuum. what does it take to crush this can? OK that’s it this can has been in and out of both baths 5 or 6 times with different ammounts of water from full (it never did boil) to a capfull over the last 1 1/2 hours and I still cant crush it, the can is finley showing a lot of signs of shrinking and swelling but that’s all, this time i’m going to see how long it keeps the seal

Emergency Liquid Candles

 PHOS in a can

PHOS in a can

From the beginning our candles where designed for use during or after an emergency type situation; such as a tornado, earthquake, flood, or other types of natural disasters where standard candles or lamps could be damaged beyond use. These candles can be used as a daily candle as well. They give off enough light to comfortably read a book.

These types of candles are also called a Liquid Candle they are an open flame candle. Please remember when using one of these candles always:


When using any open flame in a small closed environment you need fresh air so remember to leave a window or door open (till it becomes ajar: LOL) enough to maintain fresh air.

Our candles can be used with different types of fuel which produce a single flame.
Do Not Mix Other Fuels Together In Any Liquid Candle.

With the cap firmly in place these candles are water tight and will float. However they float upside down so if you pick one of these candles up that is filled with fuel and it has been upside down please allow some time upright before lighting.

The Candles body
Is a press-formed steel can with a rolled steel top (like a food can) with a threaded mouth. The threaded steel cap has a permanent non-removable seal. The empty candle weighs approx. 1 ounce and holds 6 ounces of fuel.

The Wick
Is braided fiberglass held in place with a  brass tube soldered to an insert for the mouth of the can. The insert can be removed by pulling the metal ring attached. At this point the fuel can be added and/or wick replaced. This all fits under the lid and is kept water tight.

Our candles can be activated as any other candle would be; by applying flame to the wick.

Extinguishing the candles flame:
We do not recommend using the cap to cover the candled or snuff it out as this could compromise the seal. Just blow the candle out, let the wick cool for 1 or 2 seconds and then replace the lid.

Due to the many respiratory ailments common today I have given some MSDS (manufacture safety data sheet) links for these fuels so you can research them and chose the best for your use. We do not recommend the use of Lamp Oil, Kerosene, or Heating Oils as these will burn with a heavy soot.

Liquid Paraffin Wax / Paraffin Oil:

Denatured Alcohol with a 90% or greater alcohol content – Marine Stove:
MSDS: Fuel

Grain Alcohol: (caution invisible flame)

91% Isopropyl Alcohol – Rubbing Alcohol:

I also suggest that if you use our candles with other fuels paint your candle  (paint is more permanent than a mark) for easy identification. Our favorite fuel is Liquid paraffin or some call it paraffin oil. Recently I have been keeping  one candle for use with Grain Alcohol for lunches at the shop, this way I can cook faster as the flame burns hotter and cleaner although the flame is very hard to see. When warming foods in a can like soup, beans or boiling water use a lid of some kind set so that it can vent or you will never reach a boil.

Filling the candles:
Remove the lid and while holding the candle firmly on a flat surface with one hand, grasp the key ring that is inside the mouth of the candle with the other hand and give it a short, but sharp Jerk; the insert will POP out. Fill the candle with fuel, replace insert pushing it in till it snaps into place, then replace the lid or light and enjoy.

Liquid Paraffin fuel-filled candles can also be stored in many locations for long or short term. Some of my candles have 5 year old liquid paraffin and they still light at the first flame from a match. I keep one out in our storage shed. In the middle of summer, the shed can reach 100 degrees or hotter on the south wall and the candle has never swelled or oozed fuel. While in the middle of an ice storm the temperature can drop to below zero and I can still light the candle. The paraffin is almost a solid but I can take it and light it. If the flame is real low all I have to do is shake it and the flame grows, this will happen three to five times with the flame slowly getting bigger as the paraffin starts to warm, it will continue to burn from there.
We don’t keep these candles on a shelf for decorations as all our decorative candles are glass and their paraffin is five years old and still lights the first time-every time. We store these candles with our emergency kit and camping supplies. We use them all the time in the shop for small heating jobs such as shrinking shrink tubing.

You can even store a candle in the trunk of your car or camper trailer with out the risk of rupture. The theory behind this is that if and when a metal container fails (they will over time if they become damaged in any way), what happens when it does rupture ? In our situation, will the fuel ignite upon rupture from a spark caused by the separation of steal?
Liquid Paraffin Wax is an oil with a high flash-point (200 degrees or higher) and has a low vapor point (the vapor is what lights first then the liquid). Will the vapor mixed with the oxygen in the air ignite from a spark from the can?
This is very unlikely because of the low vapor plus the spark having to be 200 degrees or hotter and have a 2% to 12% mixture to oxygen just to light the vapor making the chances very low that the right set of conditions will exist at the right time.

Here are 2 ways for heating cans that I put together in less than 15 min. The coat hanger made a grate while the hook was used on the tripod,The string is for tieing the tripod and attaching the hook , I used a P 38 can opener to remove the can lid and to put 2 slots in the side under the rim then used a screw to open the slot for the wire handle.




Northern Stars

Why do I call this Northern Stars?

After cutting the wafers out of my blank and seeing one piece looked like it had a bear on it, and knowing that Pecan is a very fibrous wood (it’s end grain looks like Bamboo’s end grain; a lot of little dots) I thought of Alaska with all their bears and all the Northern Stars. I hope I can keep what I see in the wood
. This is the blank of Pecan that I started with. It had damage at one time causing the healthy part of the branch to continue growing around the damaged area. I see a fish mouth in the bark that goes all the way around the branch. I still have that part and will see if I can bring that out, but that is another project for another day.

. Here are the wafers I was able to get.  I like how they look like mushrooms. All the dark colored areas are the older damaged part of the branch while the white area continued to grow till the main branch was killed off due to a fungus that was attacking the tree.

100_9496 100_9495These are 4 of the pieces that will become earrings.  The hard part is trying to figure out just  where to put the eye for the ear post.  Also where is the top?  And do I leave the bark on or not? This is a big question because if no one likes the bark on it will never find a new home and removing it changes the whole piece (remember there are 4 sides to the piece and they all have to be pleasing to the eye).

100_9498 Here is one earring that has been started. I hope that by the time the finish is finished I don’t loose the detail in the small dark spot (at this time, it’s hard to see but the spot looks like a bear on top of or coming out of a crack.  It will become clearer as the finish gets smoother). The large dark area has other swirls and shapes that come out as well. It looks like a bell is starting to come out in the large dark spot.

So please comment below and let me know what you think like or dislike and if you were doing it