Gallery, Projects and General > Oooops!

Avoided the house burning down!

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John Swift:
Hi Steve ,

I've not seen a Davy lamp but I guess the fine wire mesh they use has holes about 1/32"(0.8mm)
my be someone has the information

with mesh added to the breather hole and tight fitting wicks it should be OK
 the tubes going almost to the bottom of the tank
it should make it  more difficult for a flame to travel down the wick
but having the inside of the burner filled with wadding will give you a second line of defence and prevent you having a large open space filled with explosive methylated spirit / air mix 

with the small amount of mesh you require you could make your own
or just drill half a dozen 1mm holes in a piece of the brass you made the burner out off 


The container is just neat meths, no wadding inside it, would this help and if so what should I use?

How fine would the gauze need to be as I don't have any at all so will need to purchase some if that will fix it.

For the wadding, I'd experiment a bit - possibly glassfibre household insulation, mineral fibre wool?

For the gauze, visit your local "head shop" / drugs den, they keep fine brass woven mesh as "bong screens" among the smokers' paraphernalia in little packets (5 or so, about 3/4" diameter) for a Local Currency Unit or two! Good stuff, I've used it as a first-line filter on my spraygun to stop lumps clogging the nozzle (honest, officer...)

Dave H. (the other one)

A tea strainer might provide suitable mesh. There's a pic of a big one here
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but the stainless steel one in my kitchen drawer is much smaller, the sieve part being about 50mm diameter. I don't know if SS mesh would work as well as brass, though.


I think the air hole is the problem. I have a bottle type meths burner with a screw type lid for melting wax for dopping stones on when faceting and never had a problem with it. It shouldn't need a vent and I think that was the cause as the flame got inside the burner and caused the explosion.
Just my thoughts Though I've been wrong before

Divided he ad:
I've had this happen... luckily my workshop is out the back and has concrete floors.

I came to the conclusion it was a vapour issue. It does get much worse as the meths boils!

The best way I know of is to make a tank and a long (2-3") feed tube to a wick holder well away from the tank. This is on a small burner with a single wick. Basically, keep the flame away from the vent and associated gasses.

Interesting note about burners you get with chemistry sets etc... Pete's right, you don't see a vent in them?
Maybe we're over engineering them?

Outdoor testing required... Stand well clear and face shield eh!?  :borg:

Best of luck...!



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