Jan 22, 2013 at 7:30 pm #1298329Jan 22, 2013 at 8:19 pm #1946345
James ReillyBPL Member
I have never seen those before. Pretty wild. Thanks for sharing.Jan 23, 2013 at 4:23 am #1946384
@maynard76Locale: New England
I totally want one. Someone needs to make these again .Jan 23, 2013 at 5:55 am #1946397
They are amazing. Who would have though a specific metal in contact with alcohol vapor and air would react into fire. I have collected several ever since I saw them on candlepowerforums. Totally cool little lighter for alcohol stoves. Same fuel, why not. HEET in the yellow bottle is the correct fuel.I think I'll get one out today and play. I'll see if I can get the vapors in a Fancee Feest stove to ignite using the ignitor part of the lighter. How cool that would be if it lights it up.Jan 23, 2013 at 7:55 pm #1946624
@oroambulantLocale: San Francisco
Zelph – I take it the dies for forming the double wall can are meant to nest together. Is that for easy removal of the can? Why are there two centers? Different inner walls?
I have got to get my lathe up and running.Jan 23, 2013 at 8:17 pm #1946629
Nathan, are you refering to the Fancee Feest or the cigar lighter?Jan 23, 2013 at 8:42 pm #1946635
@oroambulantLocale: San Francisco
The pix of the dies I found thumbing to the left from the lighter pix. They show a beer can turned into a double wall with insulation inside.Jan 23, 2013 at 9:07 pm #1946637
Those were experimental. Had to revise them. I have so many photos it takes me hours to find some that I used years ago on projects. All the photos I have have been used in threads on differnt forums over the years.Jan 24, 2013 at 5:17 pm #1946942
Does anyone know how these things work? The best I could find on the web was this page:
It appears that platinum reacts with methanol and produces formaldehyde and heat. If you have enough surface area close enough together you produce enough heat to ignite the methanol. It looks like these have a small ball of very thin platinum wire that produces the reaction. The ball seems to be suspended on more fine filaments of platinum wire which are strung between a brass frame. Not sure but I am guessing if the ball touches the brass directly that would dissipate the heat to quickly to cause combustion. It seems like with little (very expensive) platinum wire these would be pretty easy to make.
It looks like the antique lighters run $100-200. Depending on how much platinum they have in them, it might actually be a decent deal.Jan 24, 2013 at 5:57 pm #1946960
Ben, it was an interesting read where you linked us to…thanks. Here is part of what I read there:
How Catalytic Lighters Work
All catalytic lighters are variations of a simple theme – the catalytic process discovered by Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner circa 1823. There is an absorbent material inside the lighter that holds the fuel – methanol (alcohol). There were different brands of this through the years; it may be substituted today using the automotive product Heet, which is primarily methanol. The lighter also uses a little platinum as the "lighter mechanism". Platinum is very resistant to corrosion,which is why many catalytic lighters may still be useable today. On contact with methyl alcohol vapor the platinum acts as a catalyst to convert the vapor into formaldehyde and, in the process, gets very hot. In turn, the heat lights the methanol vapors and starts a flame. In the picture you can see the wires glowing from the heat generated by the platinum ball – in turn starting the flame.
First, the lighter is filled with fuel, allowed to "soak in" briefly, the excess poured back into the fuel container (according to the more frugal directions of the day) or simply pored out.
The platinum catalytic process has been used in lighters a very long time and in many guises. Pocket hand warmers have also used this technology. Lighters such as the Lektrolite also used a platinum piece to work on the alcohol vapors and produce the heat reaction. Other, far older, lighters used a "platinum sponge" – a small ball of fine platinum wires (on the order of steel wool), to the same end.
Over the years I have collected a few "new in the box" lighters. I think I might let loose of one or two. I need some new equipment;-)Jan 25, 2013 at 8:28 am #1947143
Was it able to directly light your fancy feast stove? I don't see why it shouldn't be able to.
Also, do you think you could take a close up photo of the catalyst? I am trying to see if I am missing anything. That fact that these are still working 50+ years after they were made, tells me it is a pretty simple design.
I am thinking of sticking a little ball of platinum wire in the end of a small garolite or carbon fiber tube. If you could get it to ignite a fancy fest stove consistently with less than $10 worth of platinum there is probably a pretty good market for it. How much platinum is needed is the real question mark for me.
I can see it now… I have a $0.50 stove with a $50 lighter designed only to light that stove. But for the weight and simplicity, I think backpackers would buy them.Jan 25, 2013 at 10:06 am #1947177Jan 25, 2013 at 10:41 am #1947189
The photobucket link has been fixed for the above photo.Jan 25, 2013 at 11:00 am #1947194
I see 4 support wires and the little ball, so maybe 6 inches or so of wire. It probably contains somewhere around $10-30 worth of platinum wire. I question whether I fully understand how the catalyst is arranged. It seems to me the little ball should be up at the top of the lighter instead of down at the base. It is possible I don't fully understand how the support filaments are used in this arrangement… Where is Dave Thomas when you need him?
For some reason I am getting excited about this… I went and bought some 0.003" laboratory surplus platinum thermocouple wire I found on ebay for $1.75/inch. I don't even have an alcohol stove! I have to go and get a can of fancy feast…..Jan 25, 2013 at 3:34 pm #1947271
Gregory SteinBPL Member
@tauneutrinoLocale: Upper Galilee
It looks like it's sold out on ebay. Any other source for thin platinum wire? Maybe some electronic parts?Jan 25, 2013 at 3:44 pm #1947274
Gregory SteinBPL Member
@tauneutrinoLocale: Upper Galilee
This might be more effective as it has greater area of contact: http://www.amazon.com/Platinized-Titanium-Anode-2-x3/dp/B0050F2WS8/ref=pd_sim_sbs_hg_5
$34Jan 25, 2013 at 4:16 pm #1947283
I bought the last 10 inches from the ebay listing… sorry :( They have some 0.005" stuff for $2.50/inch.
That anode certainly might be a better deal. I wonder how the plating will hold up to the heat from the catalyst reaction?Jan 25, 2013 at 4:42 pm #1947288
I think you should have gotten the .003 or the .002
If I were to experiment I would get the .002
Ben, was it pure 100 percent platinum or was it an alloy that you purchased?
I was able to get a small custom Fancee Feest style stove to ignite with the ignitor. Still have not found my full size FF.Jan 26, 2013 at 11:07 am #1947452
At the link below you'll find some nice closeup photos of the ignitor.Jan 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm #1947462
The titanium anode probably wouldn't work well. It probably has to much thermal mass and as a result might not get hot enough to ignite the fuel. multiple thine wires have enough surface area and the wire will get very hot very fast due to it's low thermal mass.
Omega does sell platinum thermocouple wire for about $2 per inch. They sell it alloyed with 6%, 13%, or 30% Rhodium. The 6% wire is available in 0.002" diameter while the 13% is available in 0.001" wire. I don't know if the 30% wire would work but I suspect the 6% would.Jan 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm #1947472
Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
First get platinum wire
Then, in order to get a Fancee Feast can you'll have to get a cat – I have several, maybe I can send you one
Maybe take your platinum wire and wind it around a rod multiple times to increase surface area in small volumeJan 26, 2013 at 6:08 pm #1947531
Jerry, be sure to include a wire form of protection around the coil of wire.Jan 28, 2013 at 10:08 pm #1948314
According to the ebay ad I bought pure platinum thermocouple wire, though the ad was thin on details. Standard high temp thermocouples use a pure platinum wire with a platinum alloy wire to form the junction. I'll find out when I get it.
I couldn't find plane wire on Omega's site… do you have a link? If they are selling single strand uninsulated wire they should be offering pure platinum as an option.Jan 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm #1948490
This is the link for the platinum thermocouple wire I saw. According to the TC color coding chart pure platinum is frequently not used for thermocouples. It's commonly platinum / Rhodium alloy with the percentage of Rhodium the only difference betweeen the + and – sides. Platinum and Rhodium are both nobel metals and both are used as catalysts.
I also learned over the weekend that platinum will cause a reactio with methonal, ethanol, and isopropanol alcahols. However from my reading I get the impression the methonal reactio is the fastest while ethanol and propanol are slower. Unfortunately platinum will not light butane and propane at room temperature.Jan 30, 2013 at 7:09 am #1948761
As far as I can tell, your link is for pure platinum wire for use as the negative terminal in type R and S thermocouples. I am pretty sure the stuff I bought off ebay is equivalent to omega part number sppl-003. Am I confused about something?
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