Trench Candles

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Surely any over pressure should dissipate through the wick tube?
If the fuel gets hot and evaporate the hole will act as a vent, and you get a blowtorch effect.
I imagine.
Need to go and get some materials tonight...
 

Wayland

Hárbarðr
It surprised me, when I slipped the cap on, that there was enough of a seal to "pump" paraffin up the wick. I thought that there would be sufficient air gap between the pipe and the cap for that not to happen.

Obviously not.

The breather hole should certainly cure that issue even though it was not much of a problem really.

Going on the performance in a lantern yesterday, I don't think these will get hot enough to create a blow-lamp effect.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Depends on the speed of putting the cap back on. Slowly - gives time for the air to escape.

I used to use an old, 1920’s Primus with a worn leather seal.
Pumping quick pressurised it, pumping slow did not.

I assume they made lamps like this in the trenches, from spent cartridges?
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
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Mid Wales
Just spent a productive couple of hours making trench candles from pipe fittings.

This should convert my few remaining candle lanterns over to paraffin in line with most of my other camp lighting.

Sorry Wayland, I just had to have a go at something like this. My stock of copper solder fittings was low so I've knocked up my SP version using compression fittings. The candlestick I've had since I was a kid (two in fact). I may put the nuts in the lathe and take the corners off.

2019-07-11 15.05.37.jpg
 
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Wayland

Hárbarðr
No need to apologise, If I didn't want people to copy my ideas, I wouldn't post them up.

It's nice to see how others do things as well. I made mine for particular uses and was constrained by that.

I think the compression fittings add a different dimension to them. Very "Steampunk" actually.
 

Nice65

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Apr 16, 2009
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I knew I had a couple of these somewhere; 1/2" cal shell and a scrap brass insert from a radiator valve :)

This could get obsessive!

View attachment 54621

Now that is splendid!

I’ve got a few .50 cals in their links that my dad nabbed off a downed plane in WW2. I’d do something with them but the caps are intact, though the propellant used for dads schoolboy fun. During which they set the school shed alight with the phosphor from an incendiary bomb. Blimming kids. :D
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,907
3,095
Mid Wales
Now that is splendid!

I’ve got a few .50 cals in their links that my dad nabbed off a downed plane in WW2. I’d do something with them but the caps are intact, though the propellant used for dads schoolboy fun. During which they set the school shed alight with the phosphor from an incendiary bomb. Blimming kids. :D

Mmmm…. I think the cap's been fired; better check :)
yep, definite fire-pin dimple!

I did have a whole box of them at one time but one of my less-than-ideal employees (actually, probably the only one I ever had) nicked them :(
 

Wayland

Hárbarðr


I forgot to post up a picture of these properly in action so here you go.
 
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Wayland

Hárbarðr
I needed to make another couple of these today so I stopped along the way to photograph the components for anyone interested.



The base, known here as an end feed cap, is soldered on. Note the cleaned up pipe end for a better joint. Wipe it with a little flux , heat the joint with a blow torch while touching the opposite side of the joint with the solder. When the solder melts it will flow into the joint where the flux is.

The top cap is left loose so that it can be filled easily, drilled through with the thin copper tube for the wick holder, pushed through, it could be just a friction fit but I soldered it in as well for durability.

I added a tiny, 1mm, breather hole in the top of the cap to alleviate the slight compression that tended to squeeze paraffin up through the wick when first sliding the cap on. A simple modification but it seems to keep things a bit cleaner.

I just use a twisted bit of cotton mop string for a wick.
 
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Nice65

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Apr 16, 2009
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W.Sussex
Saw this and thought of you. The most steampunk lighter ever. I think it’s by a company called Penguin, and it’s the Duke II Suspension. Whatever...:)

 
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what are you using as fuel?!

copper pipe is unfortunately rather hard to come by over here (not much need for heating in the tropics) but i remember reading a book by Wilfred Burchett about the war in Vietnam and he mentions the locals (Vietcong?!) using a similar idea, utilizing (french) perfume bottles and empty cartridges and kerosene as fuel (unfortunately there was no picture) as it was easier and more reliable than battery operated torches in the jungle...