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A few days ago Leon had posted a thread about wrapping a bottle or a jar with twine soaked in acetone, burning it and quickly submerging it in ice water to get a clean break. I believe Roy posted a follow up to that thread suggesting that any flammable liquid would work as it was the quick change in temperature that caused the glass to break. As I recall, the post from Leon was to let the twine burn until the flame went out. (I may be confusing Leon's post with a YouTube video as I watched a few afterwards to study up on what he was talking about. - Sorry if I got that wrong.)

This evening I decided to do a couple experiments...

I do not have any acetone on hand, so I could not try that. But I did try four others: isopropyl alcohol, kerosene, denatured alcohol, and mineral spirits. I decided to use Sam Adams beer bottles since I seem to have an abundance of them tonight. I also chose to try to break the bottom off the bottles, rather than the tops, since any successes would allow Mrs Inor to use them as watering funnels in our gardens.

I measured each bottle up 3/4 of an inch from the bottom to avoid the thick, inconsistent glass that congregates at the very bottom. I wrapped each bottle four times with butchers twine, then measured out one more round for wrapping the previous four. In other words, each test was within an 1/8 inch of the length of twine of the others. For each test, I filled a six inch diameter ashtray 1/4 inch deep with the flammable liquid, let the twine soak for 30 seconds, flip it over and soak for 30 seconds on the other side (obviously I took the twine off the bottle first). For the cooling tray, I put one quart of ice into an igloo cooler with one gallon of water. I also added two tablespoons of salt to drop the temperature (and increase the temperature differential as much as possible). I used the same water bath for all four experiments. (As an aside, I am pretty sure Mrs Inor is going to be really pissed at me because the cooler has some black stains in it that I do not think will ever be coming out. - Oh well, this is SCIENCE!, Mrs Inor will just have to deal with it.)

So here is what happened:

The isopropyl alcohol burned for only about 45 seconds. As soon as it got down to the twine, it went out. Submerging in the ice water had no effect. In short, I think isopropyl alcohol burns too fast for breaking glass.

The kerosene was next. It burned FOREVER (I did not time it, but it had to be close to three minutes.) By the time the flames finally went out the glass was VERY hot. When I submerged it in the water, it broke clean on the bottom but there were also cracks all up the sides of the bottle. I think if I had submerged it right when it started burning the twine it would have worked perfectly.

The denatured alcohol burned fester than the kerosene, but slower than the isopropyl alcohol. It also burned MUCH hotter than either. After about two minutes (while there was still flame) I submerged it into the ice water and basically had the whole bottle shatter below the long neck. While I do not suggest it for a prepper thing, it was pretty cool and something that you should experience.

The mineral spirits worked the best of any of them. (I offer this side note: mineral spirits and kerosene are almost the same thing. So I took that into account with my test.) I burned the mineral spirits soaked twine until the twine just started to get black. Then I plunged it into the ice water. It broke cleanly with no cracks.

Conclusions: Since kerosene and mineral spirits are very similar, I expect kerosene would work equally well. I think denatured alcohol will work, but you have to be REALLY careful not to let it get too hot. Isopropyl... As they say in New Jersey - fuggedaboutit.
 

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Good info Inor, something on my list of giving a try. For the past few days, I have been making some charcoal. Now I am trying to prefect a tin can cooking stove. The charcoal I made is from red oak, the good news is it burns almost totally smokeless, but I am having trouble keeping it lit. My goal is to make a stove with homemade charcoal that I can cook a small meal with, without any smoke thereby without bringing attention to myself. Also, last night I made my first batch of char cloth, pretty kewl stuff if you've never messed with it.
 

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Inor? You bored buddy? Me too. But I'm gonna' try it just cause you did. :D
 

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I didn't see the last post but you are supposed to use Emory-cloth to round the sharp edges if you want to make drinking glasses.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good info Inor, something on my list of giving a try. For the past few days, I have been making some charcoal. Now I am trying to prefect a tin can cooking stove. The charcoal I made is from red oak, the good news is it burns almost totally smokeless, but I am having trouble keeping it lit. My goal is to make a stove with homemade charcoal that I can cook a small meal with, without any smoke thereby without bringing attention to myself. Also, last night I made my first batch of char cloth, pretty kewl stuff if you've never messed with it.
Please post your process. Every attempt I have made at charcoal, smokes like a 3 dollar Memphis whore.
 

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Please post your process. Every attempt I have made at charcoal, smokes like a 3 dollar Memphis whore.
Try a West Memphis whore. I did. She didn't smoke at all. :lol:
 
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Please post your process. Every attempt I have made at charcoal, smokes like a 3 dollar Memphis whore.
Not really all that much to it, I use a paint can with a single hole (about 1/4") in the lid, I heat it on top of a brick rocket stove [video=youtube;P9cNcN5jkfU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=BJOktWCFhy8[/url] I pretty much use the same method as describe here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9cN...ket stove; [MEDIA=youtube]BJOktWCFhy8[/MEDIA]
 
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