Author Topic: Trimming flat wicks...  (Read 741 times)

Offline 19and41

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Re: Trimming flat wicks...
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2017, 01:45:14 PM »
For the chewed up wicks, I would just have a newer spare on hand to exchange it for.  Cotton can deteriorate and break down.  For the ones that are physically stuck, sometimes the varnish that forms in dried up fuel can do it, as can rust spots formed where the humid wick contacts the channel.  try a good solvent like lighter fluid.  Ifr your burner is lacquered or varnished, anything stronger may spoil the finish. if that doesn't do it, lightly saturate the wick with penetrating oil then pull on it as you work the knob.  Dispose of the wick afterward and use another.  Ebay has all sizes by the yard.
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Offline twocvbloke

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Re: Trimming flat wicks...
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2017, 01:47:38 PM »
Wicks do seem to slide better when they're kept wet, my Aladdinette heater's wick was rather stiff and I didn't like how it felt trying to move it while dry, but once it was wet with paraffin it moved smoothly and worked nicely as it was supposed to, so in my opinion, leaving some fuel in would help keep the wick from sticking & gumming up the mechanism... :)

Of course, if the wick is stuck, as mentioned a soak in some solvent would help loosen it up, just make sure the solvent has fully evaporated before lighting up, otherwise it could have some unwanted consequences... :o

Offline 19and41

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Re: Trimming flat wicks...
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2017, 01:56:05 PM »
It looks like whatever that brown stuff they use for sizing on the Aladdin wicks add to their adhesion to the center stack.
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Offline TelePlay

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Re: Trimming flat wicks...
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2017, 02:03:15 PM »
While I'm here I have a related question... I have quite a few old hurricane lamps where the wicks won't move up or down using the knob on the burner. Two things seem to happen. One is that the wick sticks to the inside of the burner when not used for a long time and the other is the spiked wheel chews a hole in the wick. Is there a way to prevent this? Is it better to store lamps with some fuel in and the wick in place, or should I empty them, take the wick out and dry it? Whenever I've taken a wick out it rarely seems to go back in again and work. Any advice would be much appreciated.

I've worked on some very old lanterns that had the original wick in them and a few have been slightly stuck but tugging on one end and turning the wheel, they all came loose quickly. The fuel used over there may be thicker and over time create a ways or varnished attachment. I'd try a hair dryer first to see if heat helps. If not, wetting the wick with a solvent, denatured alcohol or mineral spirits, should help to dissolve the bond. Carburetor cleaner works well to remove fuel varnish so you could also try that.

I've never had a wick get caught like that until recently. Al_as_needed also had this happen on one of his lanterns. Look inside the wick channel. You may see a corner of the metal making up the chute that is bent inward into the channel and if so, that will catch on the wick and keep it from moving. It will also tear the wick. I think that happens from having a wick "glued" onto the metal and by strongly forcing the wick to move, it actually bend the metal into the channel causing the wick "hook." If so, simply bend the hook back down so it is below the flat metal surface of the channel. Any tool that reaches the hook will work. I use a long, sharp pointed O-Ring removal tool to do the job.

It also pays to clean the burner to remove all varnish and whatever else is in the wick channel off of the metal. Do do without damaging the cogs or bending the cog axle. Once the channel is clean and free of hooks, the wick should move up and down quite easily.

Depends on how long of a storage period. Store them with the fuel in place to keep the tank from rusting if you are talking about a year or so. If longer, I'd dump the fuel and rinse out the tank with soapy water, rionse well with water and then dry the inside using 3 doses of acetone, about 1 ounce well swished around inside the tank each time to absorb the water. After the third acetone rinse, I dry the tank using a hair dryer and a shop vacuum hose inserted in the burner cup (pulls the fumes out created by the hair dryer. For long, long term storage, I'd spray the inside with WD-40 and then remembers to rinse the tank before next use with fuel if the WD-40 is still wet. With any storage, keep them in a dry, heated place to prevent moisture and temperature changes from corroding the lantern.

If and when you remove a wet wick, it will not go back in easily. When wet, it swells. If you want to reuse a wick, thoroughly dry the wick first and then use the tape method. If still thick after drying, you may want to iron it. Wicks are cheap so I never reuse one that was removed from a lantern. Wicks are meant to fit the wick channel tightly for safety reasons. If they swell or stay swelled after drying out, they may be tight in the wick channel. Using the tape leader greatly helps get a used wick back into a channel. I use the old wick from a lantern after the lantern burner has been cleaned (externally) to clean out the inner channel. I put the old wick back in and then put a solvent on the wick. Then, moving it up and down in the channel rubs off the dirt and varnish. I then toss the old wick away and put a new one in for actual use.

Kerosene type fuels last a long time, don't foul, in a lantern. I've noticed that there is some evaporation in that the globe of a stored lantern needs inside cleaning before use to get the brightest light. I suspect that is due to the lighter components of the fuel evaporating from the wick and carrying with it some of the heavier components which deposit on the inside of the glass globe.

I think I covered all of you questions. If I missed something, need a better explanation or have another question, please ask again.
            John . . .

              

Offline andy1702

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Re: Trimming flat wicks...
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2017, 12:56:50 PM »
You've all given me some good pointers there. I'll be going out to the garage to start servicing lamps ASAP. I've got quite a few.
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Offline 19and41

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Re: Trimming flat wicks...
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2017, 01:16:49 PM »
I have another cutting tool that can make short, neat work of wick webbing.  It is the smaller of the two pictured.  They cut with a blade that flatly contacts an anvil and makes a straight cut as long as it's sharp.

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Offline HarrySmith

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Re: Trimming flat wicks...
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2017, 01:47:19 PM »
Those cutters are great, I used to use them to cut automobile hoses. Easy cut and leaves a nice smooth edge.
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Offline 19and41

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Re: Trimming flat wicks...
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2017, 02:00:48 PM »
Stanley has at least once made a similar tool that uses drywall knife blades, full length to do the cutting.
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Offline AL_as_needed

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Re: Trimming flat wicks...
« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2017, 09:42:51 PM »
You guys and your fancy tools.... I just use the classic Fiskers scissors in my desk, the blades are fairly long and thin and do just fine.  8)
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Offline twocvbloke

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Re: Trimming flat wicks...
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2017, 02:27:44 AM »
Yesterday after messing with that hideous lamp, I fiddled with the wick, which I borrowed to use in the lamp, on my blue lantern, and to get a good sized and evenly shaped flame from it, I had to trim it so it was flat on the top, but with some notches cut our of the corners, otherwise it produced a V-shaped flame, and a V shaped cut of the wick produced a teardrop-shaped flame, so I just trimmed the point of the V down 'til I had a nice, straight, flat-topped flame which looked nice and bright... :)

I shall be using it and my two shed lanterns outdoors this evening as it's Bonfire Night (5th November, where we inexplicably celebrate the foiling of Guy Fawkes' plan to blow up parliament, by blowing up fireworks instead and have big bonfires), and of course, a bit of light is useful in a dark garden...  ;D

Offline 19and41

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Re: Trimming flat wicks...
« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2017, 07:22:23 AM »
It looks like each nation has to have a firework night other than new years to get some noise going.  They finally made exploding fireworks legal in this state, reducing the use of alternative means a bit, but not all.
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Offline twocvbloke

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Re: Trimming flat wicks...
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2017, 07:28:05 AM »
Technically it is indeed meant to be a "night", but, the fireworks went on sale a few weeks back, and as a result, every blummin' night since has been a "fireworks night", and will be so until the middle of January, mostly kids running about setting them off thinking it's funny... ::)

Personally I don't care much for fireworks, they have gotten louder and more obnoxious over the years since I was a kid, but I guess other people enjoy them, so I don't have much of a choice but to put up with them, but, at least I have the excuse to light a big fire though, I like fire*...  ;D





(*So long as it's controlled with plenty of fire suppression available!!)

Offline AL_as_needed

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Re: Trimming flat wicks...
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2017, 08:54:59 AM »
In this great debate about wick trimming, I tried to enlist the help of some cheap, non native labor (in true american 1800s industrial fashion). Mr.Bug was asked to inspect the wick both in operation and when extinguished and make some observations. Well I guess my lack of provided PPE and the dangerous task given, Mr. Bug didnt make it..... I will just have to find another willing stink bug.
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Offline twocvbloke

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Re: Trimming flat wicks...
« Reply #28 on: November 05, 2017, 11:06:45 AM »
Not even so much as a high-viz jacket? For shame... ;D