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  1. #1
    Registered User Patrick's Avatar
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    Default White gas bonanza - with pics!

    Got to talking about this on another thread, but thought I'd start a new one.

    We were talking about using white gas in an alcohol stove. I've heard all kinds of warnings -- melting, explosion, loss of pets, etc, so obviously had to give it a whirl.

    I grabbed five expendable models from the big bag of stoves and headed for the patio armed with a fire extinguisher and digital camera (with video!).

    I used a SuperCat, homemade Ion, Anitgravity Gear Pepsi, and two old experimental wedding tin designs of my own.

    In each stove I estimated about half an ounce of Coleman fuel. For the first round, I let them all burn with no pot. After that I picked a couple and used them with a pot and windscreen.

    I have to say I'm a little disappointed with the results. For all but the Ion, the flames quickly shot up to an impressive height, but there was no real damage or even danger. The Ion once again proved to be the most efficient. The flame just shot out of the center hole. It was fairly high, but never got out of control. It burned for more than ten minutes, while the others all burned out in two or three.

    I actually thought the Ion might have a shot at working with the white gas, so it was the first one I tried with the pot (1.3 liter ti). It started out real well, but the back pressure proved to be a bit too much and the flames quickly got out of control.

    I thought the Pepsi stove had the best odds of blowing up given it's thin double wall design. I thought I had an even better chance of it after finding out it was necessary to let it heat up before putting the pot on, thereby increasing my time right next to it. No soap, though. Flames were out of control, but no explosion or disaster.

    So, from now on, I'm going to scoff at anyone preaching certain death and destruction for white gas in an alkie stove. Not something you want to do, but not the end of the world either.

    But enough talk, here are the pics.

    1. The lineup
    2. SuperCat burning
    3. Pepsi burning with pot
    4. Ion burning
    5. Homemade burning

  2. #2
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    Where are the pets? They had enough sence to hide under the bed?

    I think white gas is too uncontrolable in the open, that is why it needs a regular stove. Alchol is much better behaved so you can burn it in little more than a double wall tin can.

  3. #3
    Registered User Doctari's Avatar
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    Ahhh man! No explosions?!?!?!
    I am sooo disapointed

    Way good pictures tho

    Thanks for posting the results, and risking life & limb in the name of science.

    Doctari.
    Curse you Perry the Platypus!

  4. #4
    Registered User Patrick's Avatar
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    I know, man. Total crap.

    I had an alcohol one blow up once, so I figured this was a lock. I feel like I really let the team down.

    I need to put the videos up. The highlight is my girlfriend coming out and screaming for me to put it out.

  5. #5
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    Default White gas & safety

    I hope you had a rated fire extinguisher handy. A good excuse if the local fuzz show up and object might be in order, too, particularly if you've got any neighbors that are easily spooked.
    Me no care, me here free beer. Tap keg, please?

  6. #6
    Doting Membrane Skidsteer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick
    I know, man. Total crap.

    I had an alcohol one blow up once, so I figured this was a lock. I feel like I really let the team down.

    I need to put the videos up. The highlight is my girlfriend coming out and screaming for me to put it out.
    Don't sweat it, man. I nominate you for President of the "not trying this at home is for sissies" club.
    Skids

    Insanity: Asking about inseams over and over again and expecting different results.
    Albert Einstein, (attributed)

  7. #7
    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhCanada
    Where are the pets? They had enough sence to hide under the bed?

    I think white gas is too uncontrolable in the open, that is why it needs a regular stove. Alchol is much better behaved so you can burn it in little more than a double wall tin can.
    One way to control a white gas fire is to fill a small can with sand, and then pour in the white gas. The gas will burn slowly with no flares. However, I've never tried cooking with sand tempered white gas. It was just an easy way to start campfires in wet weather in those bad old days, when my kids and camping buddies demanded a campfire every night.

    We joked that white gas and sand was "an old Indian trick."

    Weary

  8. #8

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    A long time ago...mid 80's...I fired up my Svea123 and started boiling water for my morning coffee. Only somehow I poured white gas into the pot instead of water. I realized my mistake when my pot looked similar to your last picture on the right. Only bigger.

  9. #9
    Registered User betic4lyf's Avatar
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    wow that is the coolest thing ever.

  10. #10
    Registered User Patrick's Avatar
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    Old Indian trick, I like that.

    My best camping buddy is in the Marines, so we always talk about military stuff vs. civilian. When I was talking about making alcohol stoves, he got all excited and said they did the same thing in Iraq. Their design was to take an ammo can -- which is pretty big -- then fill it with dirt and diesel fuel.

    Gotta get my hands on some diesel fuel...

  11. #11
    Registered User gumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by max patch
    A long time ago...mid 80's...I fired up my Svea123 and started boiling water for my morning coffee. Only somehow I poured white gas into the pot instead of water. I realized my mistake when my pot looked similar to your last picture on the right. Only bigger.
    Now that's a picture I'd like to see.

    In the Boy Scouts I had a propane lantern. One night me and my buds filled a 50 gallon trash bag full of propane, tied it up and kind of tossed it towards the campfire. All of a sudden it was daylight and it got quite warm in a flash (pun intended). Of course we got chewed out by our Scoutmaster, but later on he told us that it was the best campout prank he'd ever seen.
    Namaste

  12. #12
    Registered User betic4lyf's Avatar
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    i feel like such a wimp. all ive done is play with lighter fluid, and play with magnesium. magnesium is awesome.

  13. #13
    Registered User Dances with Mice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick
    Gotta get my hands on some diesel fuel...
    Kerosene or lamp oil would be the same. The ChemE in me has to add that diesel & kero are not identical, but in this application they'd behave the same.
    You never turned around to see the frowns
    On the jugglers and the clowns
    When they all did tricks for you.

  14. #14
    Registered User Nightwalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick
    I had an alcohol one blow up once, so I figured this was a lock. I feel like I really let the team down.
    Build a Photon and light it with the screw out of the fill hole. You'll get yer explosion. They pop really good with alcohol when missing the fill screw. Gas oughtta be a real hoot.

    Use a VERY long lighter!
    Just hike.

  15. #15
    Registered User Patrick's Avatar
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    That's interesting. The stove that blew up on me was a wedding tin with only a very small hole in the top.

  16. #16
    Registered User Nightwalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick
    That's interesting. The stove that blew up on me was a wedding tin with only a very small hole in the top.
    It's the very small hole. Same with the un-closed Photon. Huge, fast vapor pressure spike. BOOM!
    Just hike.

  17. #17
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    Default pyromania

    Hey PATRICK, I like your style!!!!!!!!!!!!

    YOU VENTURED YOU GAINED

    great STUFF I'm impressed to give it a try myself. I'm FIREBOY

    We're begining to see an added piece of great information concerning the blowing up of alcohol stoves.

    I had one blow up also, left the screw out of the fill hole. Also had one that the fuel expanded while the stove heated up and overflowed into a ball of fire. These little things can be hazardous to your health and equipment. Be cautious.

    Any one else out there have a similar experience to share about stove blowups?????????

  18. #18
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weary

    We joked that white gas and sand was "an old Indian trick."

    Weary
    In my boyscout days we used to call white gas "Magic Boy Scout Water".

    Best used when the scoutmaster was *not* around...
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
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  19. #19
    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mags
    In my boyscout days we used to call white gas "Magic Boy Scout Water". Best used when the scoutmaster was *not* around...
    With the white gas in a can filled with sand trick, no one need ever know. No flares. So gentle and mild, you can light it with a book match, followed by just a continuing flame drying out wet firewood until it will burn by itself. The only hint when the fire finally goes out is a sand filled burned can, looking like something some litterer left in the fire ring.

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