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Now that I have a couple of good smoke units I'm realizing the cost of keeping them smoking. Anyone use mineral oil for their smoke unit? I can get about 10 times the amount of mineral oil for what I pay for smoke fluid. Would it cause any issues? If it makes a difference the smoke units I have are the Aristo and the TAS.
 

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Never have tried mineral oil but have use a lot of other products including lamp oil. Later RJD
 

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Posted By jimtyp on 12/22/2008 9:17 AM
Now that I have a couple of good smoke units I'm realizing the cost of keeping them smoking. Anyone use mineral oil for their smoke unit? I can get about 10 times the amount of mineral oil for what I pay for smoke fluid. Would it cause any issues? If it makes a difference the smoke units I have are the Aristo and the TAS.

do a search in the MLS archives using "make smoke fluid" and the member name "Clay Fugitte" and you'll find an ton of information about smoke fluid and making your smoke fluid, by the Doctor of smoke Clay Fugitte

http://archive.mylargescale.com/forum/search.asp?mode=DoIthttp://archive.mylargescale.com/forum/search.asp
 

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Make sure you select the Public Forum... the search only seaches one forum at a time... tedius if you don't know where to look, but searching all the forums causes lots of timeout errors so Shad disabled that function.
 

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When you do the search of the "archived web pages" you must check the "archive box" and yes it is in the public forum....
Here is what the search box should look like....
 

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Using lamp oil for over a year ,i have not noticed a degrading in smoke performance on all three Aristo smoke units.I used up 2/3 rds of an large lampoil bottle in that time!

Manfred Diel SA # 1313
 

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Another good product to use is Propylene Glycol. Its used by the folks that make the Mr Christmas train displays that smoke. You can buy it in pint bottles for $11 and only at a true drugs store. I have used this for several years now and no real smell.
 

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I don't mean to sound harsh, but when I read these kinds of things I always start to wonder.... Whether it's smoke fluid, or steam oil... How can somebody spend several hundreds of dollars on a locomotive, then want to take a chance on ruining it by using who knows what in it just to save a few pennies?

Could somebody please enlighten me? I'm truly curious....
 

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When I was doing this research some time ago, I looked up the MSDS on the lamp oil Walmart sold (Lamplight farms) and one of these other train smoke fluid sellers and they both had the exact same chemical hydrocarbon formula. (i.e. C40H or something, don't remember exactly) So, at least some are using the same base stock as lamp oil.

Wikipedia 'Mineral oil' to get a better understanding how all these fluids are related.

I've tried both versions of the lamplight farms oil the ultra pure (in the yellow label), and the Medallion (in the blue) and the yellow label smokes better and lingers.. the blue label smells better, doesn't smoke as well and dissipates better.

Another issue I don't hear folks talk about is being plastic safe... I feel these lamplight farms ones are but anything that would contain a solvent I would think could attack the plastic on your engine. I would be very careful using ligher fluid as I wouldn't think that would be good for the plastic. If you wouldn't use it to lube your engine for fear of not being plastic safe, then I wouldn't put it in your smoke unit.

I also feel that putting anything with a color in your unit is also probably not a good idea either, anythign you add other than the mineral oil is likely to not entirely vaporize and be left as a deposit on your wicks/heat elements.

Another good point I heard made about what a smoke unit does is it's actually creating a fog, not burning it so the term 'smokeless' lamp oil in this case really does not apply as we are turning it into a vapor.


Raymond
 

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Ray if you had read what I posted most manufactures of smoke use Propylene Glycol in there products. They may ad some sort of scent and dullute to make the formula go further. Later RJD
 

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RJD, I read your post... you said most. I said one. Where's the conflict?

The Chemical Formula for Propylene Glycol is CH3CHOHCH2OH. The Chemical formula for the Lamplight oil and one of the other train smoke fluid makers were the exact same as each other(don't remember exactly what it was) but it wasn't CH3CHOHCH2OH. (the lamplight MSDS doesn't appear to have the chemical formula listed any longer) If that other train smoke fluid co used PG it would have listed the chemical formula for it or by name, but didn't. We've both attempted to provide useful info.


Raymond
 

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A couple of comments:

1. because a manufacturer recommends a certain fluid for their smoke unit, it does not mean it's the best, but you can assume it at least does no damage to the unit.
2. many manufacturers actually do not manufacture their smoke units, and even more have stateside people who do not know squat about their own product.
3. I have heard a lot (and tested a lot) about different smoke units, but often many people commenting do not use their units much, i.e. really enough to know the long term effects of the fluid they use.

On the Aristo forum, several people went to great lengths to test and understand their "prime mover" smoke unit. We even measured the volume of the fluid chamber with and without wick. To this day, Aristo still does not have the right data on this (the chamber is 4.5 ml), and still no specs on how long it should smoke, and how to fix it if it does not.

Regards, Greg
 
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