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Author Topic: Any hobby candliers?  (Read 976 times)
MoonShadow
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June 18, 2012, 05:36:21 AM
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I've been having a thought that's been nagging at me for a couple of days.  I'm bit of an obsessive compulsive learner, which was much harder before the rise of the Internet (and both Google & Wikipedia are my two best friends).  I'm also a bit of a 'prepper' in the sense that I am the kind of person who deliberately stocks up for a winter storm before the leaves on the trees turn to fall colors.  For some reason that I can't really recall, my brain got locked onto the subject of off-grid/power outage lighting.  As in candles, lanterns, etc.  When I get this, I keep revisiting the subject over several days, and this is what has been happening to me.

Over the past several days, thus, I have learned much about how modern lanterns work (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_mantle) as well as historicly how we got there (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limelight) and the scientific process that such lighting depends upon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candoluminescence).  (Just to give you an idea how my mind wanders across these broad subjects)  I also learned that candles, although they are the most basic of lighting technologies, are terribly inefficient as a light emitter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candles#Light) (although pretty good little heaters at roughly 80 watts heat output per flame) despite still being in wide use on a regular basis across the "third world" along with lanterns, etc.  In such places, lanterns are favored for their superior white light compared to the yellowish light of a standard candle; not to mention the flicker of a candle.  Yet like many other simple & cheap technologies, candles persist even in first world countries because it's sledgehammer simple and will always work when we need it to.  Said another way, when the power fails and the batteries in the emergency flashlight haven't been changed in four years, a simple candle and a match will not fail you whether or not that candle was bought for just such an emergency or because it looks pretty on the mantle and smells nice.

And all this brings me to what has been bugging me.  There are many 'rare earth' minerals that have a high candoluminescence that we in our modern world are aware of, meaning that they glow whiter, brighter, with less emissions in the infrared spectrum (meaning less energy lost as heat) and at much lower temps than were ever known in the days that gas lamps dominated London, New York or Paris.  The best modern choice being thorium oxide, which is used in almost every modern lantern mantle mass produced in the world, including every Colman propane camping lantern ever produced.  So why don't modern candle wicks have a thorium-oxide coated thread of metal in them?  I understand why the candles intended for looks or nice smells or comforting background noise (such as Woodwicks) don't include such a simple improvement in luminous efficacy (and potentially light quality, since it would likely be a whiter light) but why not include them in candles made for the purpose of producing lighting, such as those deliberately marketed as emergency candles or those sold in regions of the world where candles are still regarded as a regular light source (as opposed to a medium for perfumes to be atomized and sent airborne in a controlled manner)?

If there are any hobbist candle makers around here, let it be known that I would certainly be willing to buy a custom made emergency candle that included the above simple feature, although I have no idea how one might go about getting thorium-oxide in any useful form.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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June 18, 2012, 05:54:28 AM
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That sounds like a fine idea. Give a whole new meaning to "candlepower"

I worry a little about the radioactivity of the thorium, though, the wick would burn, and that thorium would then be out in the air...

Also, FYI, I believe the correct term is "chandler". I thought you were looking for candy makers. Wink

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June 18, 2012, 06:06:23 AM
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That sounds like a fine idea. Give a whole new meaning to "candlepower"

I worry a little about the radioactivity of the thorium, though, the wick would burn, and that thorium would then be out in the air...

I seriously doubt that would be an issue, or Colman would already have one hell of a lawsuit. 

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Also, FYI, I believe the correct term is "chandler". I thought you were looking for candy makers. Wink

Okay, but how many people would know what a chandler was either?

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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June 18, 2012, 06:17:45 AM
 #4

That sounds like a fine idea. Give a whole new meaning to "candlepower"

I worry a little about the radioactivity of the thorium, though, the wick would burn, and that thorium would then be out in the air...

I seriously doubt that would be an issue, or Colman would already have one hell of a lawsuit. 

Does the gas mantle actually burn, like the wick, or does it just get hot and glow? If it actually burns, I retract my concerns.

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Also, FYI, I believe the correct term is "chandler". I thought you were looking for candy makers. Wink

Okay, but how many people would know what a chandler was either?

I donno... there's gotta be some other people out there as pedantic as I am.Smiley

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June 18, 2012, 06:30:50 AM
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That sounds like a fine idea. Give a whole new meaning to "candlepower"

I worry a little about the radioactivity of the thorium, though, the wick would burn, and that thorium would then be out in the air...

I seriously doubt that would be an issue, or Colman would already have one hell of a lawsuit. 

Does the gas mantle actually burn, like the wick, or does it just get hot and glow? If it actually burns, I retract my concerns.

A gas mantle is a little cloth baggie that has been soaked in a thorium-oxide solution and let dry.  The cloth is just a structure for the thorium-oxide, and once installed the cloth fibers are burned out from under the thorium-oxide leaving a brittle mineral mesh that resides in the direct path of the gas jet, which would look exactly like a small propane torch otherwise.  The loss of the cloth structure is also the reason that one can never remove the mantle and keep it intact.  Thorium is mildly radioactive, but it's much safer than just about anything else that is radioactive.  Your cell phone is more of a risk, even if you actually swallowed a mantle.  Thorium is in everything.  Every rock & body of water on earth has detectable trace amounts of it, which is why it's so ironic that it's classified as a 'rare earth' mineral.  If it can safely remain in a gas jet stream at 1500 degrees F., I'd wager that a thin steel wire coated in thorium-oxide would manage to do as well in a open flame while a wick burned away around it.  Thorium has one of the highest melting points on the table of elements, and thorium-oxide can't burn because it's already an oxide.

But you are free to stress over whatever hazards you feel are worthy.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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June 18, 2012, 06:44:53 AM
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But you are free to stress over whatever hazards you feel are worthy.

No, I think you've explained it well enough to allay my fears. I just didn't want something putting out radioactive fumes... harmless or not, that's bad publicity. But since it would just end up as part of the wick ash, yeah, I think that's a great idea. I wonder how much more light that would put out?

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June 18, 2012, 06:56:04 AM
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But you are free to stress over whatever hazards you feel are worthy.

No, I think you've explained it well enough to allay my fears. I just didn't want something putting out radioactive fumes... harmless or not, that's bad publicity. But since it would just end up as part of the wick ash, yeah, I think that's a great idea. I wonder how much more light that would put out?

Considering that a regular candle is only about 1% light efficient, it shouldn't be hard at all to triple or quadruple the lumens of such a candle.  Although this would be a relatively small improvement in overall efficiency, and still suck even compared to incandecents, the relative improvement in the cost effectiveness of a candle on a per lumen basis would be huge.  Particularly with respect to those who buy candles for regular domestic lighting.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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June 18, 2012, 02:24:16 PM
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Would the flame burn hot enough to make an appreciable difference in light output? I'm guessing (didn't research) that the increased light output from the thorium may be due in part to the heat of the gas flame, which might not be applicable in a candle scenario. Wonder if you could make Sterno cans work with such a wick?

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June 18, 2012, 03:54:36 PM
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Would the flame burn hot enough to make an appreciable difference in light output? I'm guessing (didn't research) that the increased light output from the thorium may be due in part to the heat of the gas flame, which might not be applicable in a candle scenario. Wonder if you could make Sterno cans work with such a wick?

I'm not sure, but a candle peaks at about 1000 degrees F.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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June 18, 2012, 10:50:15 PM
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The thorium doesn't burn, it just glows.  It would be a completely uneconomical waste if it were actually consumed.

Besides, no one uses candles for lighting.

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June 18, 2012, 10:54:42 PM
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Besides, no one uses candles for lighting.

Bullshit.  There are a billion people in this world that don't have regular access to electric lighting.  I can't say that it's all that lucrative of a market, but it's still a market.

And there are many campers & preppers who actually do buy candles for lighting purposes.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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June 18, 2012, 10:58:28 PM
 #12

Besides, no one uses candles for lighting.

Except in emergencies, or power outages... And it may seem odd to you, with your cheap electricity and easy access to light, but some people actually do use candles for lighting.

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