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Just a precautionary finger-wave to all here present.

I got a call yesterday afternoon from an acquaintance who was at a collector's fair in the midlands.  He was looking closely at an Aster 'Schools' loco in pretty good condition apart from a LOT of scorch marks around the cab area - ie. the burners.

He admits to knowing nothing about steam locomotive models that are not gas-fired  [he has three or four Roundhice], so, in the mistaken belief that I could offer him advice on anything to do with Aster, he called me up while he was actually looking over the model, which was otherwise in good condition.

Basically, he wanted to know if it was correct to run this model on kerosene, as that was was still in the half-full fuel tank./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blink.gif  

I advised him to buy the model at the very cheapest price he could get it down to, throw away the wicks, and get himself some new bits and pieces - better still, get one of our Aster builders to give it a thorough going over.

The seller, who seemed to have all his eyebrows and accoutrements, would not budge from his original pretty exalted price, so my pal walked away, but not before finding out that the seller had 'always run it on kerosene, as was a lot cheaper than alcohol [meths, as we call it here]..../DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif

tac
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Well, kero will likely work, but it will be one grungy engine, with enough creosote buildup to pave a driveway... :)
 

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Well, you have to wonder if this nitwit actually used distilled water. He probably figured that tap water is cheaper, so....
 

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The old saying "Buyer Beware"

Always try to get an acknoledgement on these forums, most of the guys selling asters , someone or another knows him. If not, then its your risk hehe. Pull that slot machine handle.


-Andrew
 

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Like the old wise engineer sitting in his locomotive's cab high above was fond of saying... "if you don't know what you're doing... don't."
 

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If memory serves TAC, aren't distilled water and quality (burnable) meths almost impossible to obtain in the UK?  I have heard this from more than one soruce.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Posted By Spule 4 on 03/03/2008 6:27 PM
If memory serves TAC, aren't distilled water and quality (burnable) meths almost impossible to obtain in the UK?  I have heard this from more than one soruce.


Totally unobtainable, which is why there are probably, almost certainly, more Gauge 1 live-steam models here in UK than anywhere else in the world. :)

Seriously, we DO have sources of either or both - my BIL is very useful in that regard - but for the average Joe I'll admit that finding the stuff can be pretty difficult in small amounts.  Most Gauge 1 groups have bulk-buy facilities for the members, but those outside this community have to find their own way, particularyl those many who model in 16mm scale and use distilled water - gas is the preferred fuel for 99% of the sixteen-millers and the famous makers.

You are viewed with great suspicion if you try and buy more than one teeny bottle from a pharmacy, and our local drug-store expects you to ask the head pharmacist for it.  I go so peed off back a few years that I walked in with a net full of lemons, asked for my single one-pint bottle of meths, as it is called here, and when the pharmacist asked me what the lemons were for, I told her that they were used to improve the taste of the meths, and that she was welcome to join me if she cared to on a nearby bench in her lunch break - I would be underneath, comatose.

A total sense of humour failure ensued. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif 

Distilled water CAN be dearer than vodka here, as well.  Don't ask me why.  This is UK, and you'll get all kinds of conflicting answers to explain it.

tac
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Discussion Starter #12
Posted By timhum on 03/04/2008 2:37 AM
or what about using that wet stuff that falls from the sky:D

Tim

Where WE live, all that falls from the sky is very thin mud.

tac
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Tumbly dry-eee thingy. Id have to ask P for the Technical name, she puts our kecks in damp and they come out dry... Very versatile, some times she does socks too...
 

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Does the UK not sell methyl hydrate (denatured alcohol, or methanol) as a solvent in whatever passes for a hardware store there?
 

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What WILL they think of next!  Presumably this device runs on electricity?  

Sadly, us poor peasants here in East Anglia use all our electricity to drive these HUGE windmills that are popping up all over the place.  None to spare for us hut-dwellers...neither room nor power, y'see.

tac
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Discussion Starter #16
Paul - certainly it may be available at certain licensed premises, but I have never seen it.

Please be advised that here in 'merry old UK' a pint of meths CAN cost up to $7.50. or even more, I'm told.

The government over here has an excellent and easily-learned mantra - 

'Everything not compulsory is forbidden.'

Especially if it has fun connotations like meths - either from drinking it or burning it in your tin trainset.

tac
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Tac

So thats why we get so much windy weather here in Suffolk, it comes from those massive turbines, I always wondered about their purpose.
 

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TAC
I am a pharmacist (chemist/druggist) and I totally appreciate your sense of humor. Unfortunately our profession today is becoming quite humorless or as you put it so well "humor failure ensued". As for distilled water....A good copper pot, a coil fro copper tube, water jacket, and vola a distiller for produciing distilled water. Also a good quality of rye, yeast and water soaking together for a few days and the distiller equals good quality ETOH..burns better than meth....did I say that? Just don't let the govt folks know...did I say that?
Also I am a shooter and retired gravel aggitator. When in the field rasins, sugar and a little inginuity rusults in a pretty darn good martini. AIRBORNE!!!
Noel
 

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You know, Noel raises a really good point about alcohol-fired locomotives. You CAN make your own fuel and water for them.

Not so with butane-fired engines. If the Ronson valve should disappear from the market, or the supply chain or any of the other little bits that fuel depends on, we are sunk.

But you can always burn "Everclear" in your loco, if it has wicks instead of a gas jet, or you can make it yourself.
 

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Ok, another approach - can you buy shellac in UK paint stores? What do they sell for thinner/wash for shellac? In most parts of the world that's...yup, methanol. I don't get the over-regulation of wood alcohols. Ethanol I can see, sort of, and they regulate the **** out of it here, too, but you can buy methanol (labelled here as methyl hydrate) at about 6 bucks per 4L at any home improvement store.

I think petroleum paint thinners (not turpentine) like Varsol (trade name) could be made to work, certainly better than kerosene. It has a fairly high flash point, but more volatile and less viscous than kerosene. The downside is you'd have to get more air to the burner, and maybe even an air pump, but I think it could be achievable. Please don't tell me Brown won't let you play with oil based paints anymore either... :)
 
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