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being safe with ether

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being safe with ether

Post  cox24711 on Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:20 pm

I have been wondering of converting one of my cox engines to diesel. Mum has 1 problem with it and that is ether Huh... ....... please could you explain to me what safety is required to make it safe to use.Thanks a lot. I know not to sniff it lol! and do anything stupid with it, just mum is concerned because since 1880s it was use as anaesthetic. Wink


Last edited by cox24711 on Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: being safe with ether

Post  Ken Cook on Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:07 pm

In the US ether is pretty much unobtainable. In addition, your not supposed to possess it in it's raw form unless your certified and licensed to do so. Store it in a metal can with a good sealing lid. Don't be tempted to mix diesel fuel inside. The vapors are heavier than air. In order for myself to obtain ether, I have to retrieve it from certain starting fluids. This is extremely dangerous in itself. My question to you is how pure is the ether your able to obtain? Certain starting fluid here is diluted with a lot of chemicals limiting the true amount of ether but a fair increase in harmful chemicals which can readily be absorbed into your system through skin contact and also breathing. These chemicals can cause skin dermatitis and also nervous system problems if exposure is long term. Kerosene is equally dangerous and should also be treated with respect. It can cause damage just from breathing it. All of this seems overkill to most, but I have seen situations where one or more individuals have been overcome by fumes. Your sensitivity to certain products can have a very negative impact on your health as all of this is accumulative over the course of time.

So the basics apply, don't get it on your skin, clothes etc. Keep it in a metal container preferably in a cool location. Wash your hands after use. Storage shouldn't be in your house and it shouldn't be near a heat source or ignition source.
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Re: being safe with ether

Post  smooth_bill on Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:14 pm

Greg,

When I was younger than you are now (pre-teens) I had ear surgery in hospital, and Ether was the anesthetic. It was a very pleasant experience, as I don't remember any discomfort breathing it, and actually woke up after the surgery laughing about something.

I mix all my diesel fuel using John Deere starter fluid, and the Ether hasn't bothered me in the least. I rather like the aroma.

I'd worry more about a Cox engine converted to diesel, as they are not stout enough to handle diesel stresses. The diesel crank from Bernie helps, but the rod and ball socket still take a beating.

Strongly recommend you look for a good used purpose built diesel engine, and go from there. There are bargains out there, and I'm sure you can always re-sell one, if you don't fancy diesel handling.

Bill
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Re: being safe with ether

Post  ian1954 on Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:23 pm

The ether is Diethyl Ether.

It is a colourless, highly volatile flammable liquid. It is commonly used as a solvent and was once used as a general anesthetic. It has narcotic properties and has been known to cause temporary dependence, the only symptom of which is the will to consume more, sometimes referred to as etheromania.

Diethyl ether has a high cetane number of 85-96 and is used as a starting fluid, in combination with petroleum distillates for gasoline and diesel engines because of its high volatility and low flash point. For the same reason it is also used as a component of the fuel mixture for carburetted compression ignition model engines.

It is very flammable so don't do what I do and smoke near it. Don't sniff it and only use it in well ventilated areas.

A typical warning for its use is:-

Diethyl ether is extremely flammable and may be explosive.

Since ether is heavier than air it can collect low to the ground and the vapour may travel considerable distances to ignition sources, which need not be an open flame, but may be a hot plate, steam pipe, heater etc. Vapour may be ignited by the static electricity which can build up when ether is being poured from one vessel into another. The auto ignition temperature of diethyl ether is 160 °C (320 °F).

Ether is sensitive to light and air, tending to form explosive peroxides. Ether peroxides are higher boiling than ether and are contact explosives when dry.Commercial diethyl ether is typically supplied with trace amounts of the antioxidant butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), which reduces the formation of peroxides.



Keep it in a cold and dark area in a well sealed container.

The anesthetic qualities are for idiots. Safe storage and handling is very important.

Due to its application in the manufacturing of illicit substances, it can be difficult to obtain.

I must emphasise that the problem is not really the anesthetic properties but identifying somewhere to safely store it an handle it. I mix my diesel fuels outside in the not so fresh air (I live in London). I store ether and fuel in sealed cans and don't put them away until I have sealed them and they have stood in the open air for a while (I am clumsy and dribble the stuff every where). It is then stored in a cupboard in my garage and not in the house.

Keep pets away from it. While I place a low priority on the anesthetic qualities pets are much more sensitive.
I know a chap who left the top off his can of diesel fuel on a table and, because he couldn't smell it, didn't realise the fumes were collecting on the floor. He had a very dosey pussy cat.

As with all the volatile substances we use for fuels - take care! - ether is probably the most dangerous if mishandled.

I just noticed the previous posts and agree with both of them.
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Re: being safe with ether

Post  roddie on Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:00 pm

I noted in two posts; the transferring of Diethyl Ether from one container to another can be dangerous because of the chance of ignition from static electricity. How does this compare with gasoline? If it's more dangerous than transferring gasoline between cans.. or filling your lawn mower.. then maybe it would be smart to take some simple ESD prevention measures when handling? Maybe wearing a wrist-strap (suitably grounded) would be a good practice?

I've heard that it's wise when fueling an automobiles gasoline tank, to use a free hand to touch the tank's metal filler-neck.. before you insert the nozzle from the pump, to discharge static electricity. There's usually postings at gas station pumps; warning against using any electronic appliances (cell phones...) while fueling with gasoline.



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Re: being safe with ether

Post  cox24711 on Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:16 pm

thanks soo much guys this has really helped
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Re: being safe with ether

Post  cox24711 on Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:21 pm

now should I get a cox conversion kit with heavy duty crank or buy a diesel engine? mills, frog ,Russian mk17 any others? which one would be the essayist to start?
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Re: being safe with ether

Post  NEW222 on Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:44 pm

Just my opinion. Buy an actual diesel engine. They were designed for the purpose. I too was in your situation last year and ended up with a nice little diesel engine on loan from a friend at work. I had it going in about five minutes after a bit of cleaning and playing around with it.
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Re: being safe with ether

Post  smooth_bill on Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:58 pm

Don't forget the PAW engines.

The Mills .075 would probably be the easiest starting, but they can be expensive.

There were a lot of European small diesel engines, and many of them were easy starting.

Read the diesel engine reviews on Sceptre Flight, as most include comments on handling.

http://sceptreflight.net/Model%20Engine%20Tests/Index%20Diesels.html

I always wanted an ED Bee, or Baby, but never found one here in the USA.

My first diesel engine was a McCoy .049 diesel, and it was a gem. They run quite well if you replace the O-ring with a Bunna-N, or Nitril one from the hardware store. The original soft rubber rings turned to mush in very few runs. Nasty mess to clean up.

I've heard the OK Cub diesels were OK, but they handle a little differently with their shock spring mounted contra-pistons.

If you still want to try a Cox conversion, I recommend a Mecoa diesel head rather than the ones that use a Teflon disk for a compression seal.

Hope this helps,

Bill

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Re: being safe with ether

Post  Oldenginerod on Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:08 am

cox24711 wrote:I have been wondering of converting one of my cox engines to diesel. Mum has 1 problem with it and that is ether Huh... ....... please could you explain to me what safety is required to make it safe to use.Thanks a lot. I know not to sniff it lol! and do anything stupid with it, just mum is concerned because since 1880s it was use as anaesthetic. Wink

Greg.
This lot have ether, and just down the road from you in Logan, south of Brisbane.  Not cheap though.  $40 a litre.
http://www.rcfuelsupplies.com.au/index.php?_a=viewCat&catId=76

They're good for glow fuel & ingredients as well.  Their castor oil is pretty cheap.  I use it.  

As for using ether, just handle it somewhere cool and well ventilated, away from any ingition source.  Don't store it in plastic.

Might pay to ask them if they can mix some diesel fuel up for you, to keep mum happy.  They have the ether, they have the castor, just need some kerosene & they're set.

Rod.
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Re: being safe with ether

Post  ian1954 on Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:24 am

I would also recommend staying away from the Cox conversions. Just fitting a converted head is not enough.

The "Cox" diesels that run as I would expect a diesel to are manufactured by Ronald Valentine and the cylinder has been made from scratch with a contra piston.

I have also found that in order to get one close enough - the venturi size has to be reduced. I have spent hours fiddling with conversions - even my own creations. While I got close, I still found that they drank too much fuel.

I expect a sport diesel to run 50% longer on the same amount of fuel than a sport glow of the same capacity.

Get a real diesel and move to the dark side. (Sorry that is electrickery motors) .

I don't know if this chap is still dealing in engines.

http://oea.modelenginenews.org/pricelist_2013-12.pdf

The PAWs are still being made and spares are available.

MP Jet still make the Classic 040 but not the diesel 061BB s.

Redfin still produce diesels and carry full spares.

http://www.redfinengines.com/product-category/diesel-engines/

PAW, MP Jet and Redfin ship worldwide. Redfin has an Australian distributor.

Ian Dixon
Perth Art Glass
311 Stock Road
O’Connor
West Australia
6163
e-mail: ian@perthartglass.com.au






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Re: being safe with ether

Post  balogh on Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:40 pm

My first encounter with model engines was with a Carl Zeiss diesel around 1972, and it did not take too long for me, the son of a pediatrician mom and laryncologist dad to get ether in the local drugstore.

I did not actualy know all those dangerous features - other than its medical use in surgery - that you quoted above, and luckily, when running that small 1,5ccm diesel on a make-shift bench, avoided any harm.

It does not mean that I would question all or any of the useful hints and warnings above. While methanol and nitro in glow fuel can be equally dangerous if mis-used, I still prefer glow engines to diesels today.

I have a diesel conversion kit from Bernie but could not as yet persuade myself to sacrifice any one of my used COX engines for a diesel conversion, simply because my experience with cranking the heavy-compression diesels just tells me COX pistons and rods were designed for a lighter use i.e. for glow fuel, no matter if the crankshaft is replaced for a stronger, conversion design..
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Re: being safe with ether

Post  fredvon4 on Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:04 pm

I actually would like to play with the easy starting diesels in my retirement...BUT...I owned a few diesel powered trucks over the years a moved back to V10 powered Gasoline trucks as I and my wife both would get nauseated from the diesel smell.... it invaded our home and the interior of the fairly expensive vehicles

For those of you who like the smell...I can relate.... as to this day in the winter I like the smell of a coal fed fireplace and when I pas a re-roofing operation with new tar being applied I actually pull over and enjoy the stink for a few minuets..... some smells are just good to some people and many bring back memories of times past.... but for me it is NOT diesel

For a young man needing to convince mommie that there is a safe way to explore this aspect of the hobby... well done...my own mother would have read the well provided pluses and minuses and supervised me accordingly and let me play with it


This site and the folk here are first class!
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Re: being safe with ether

Post  balogh on Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:13 pm

Fred,

I am not sure about the smell of diesel trucks but I can confirm that passenger diesels of today are as silent and smell-free as gasoline cars. I am driving a company Audi A6 with a 3 liter diesel engine and it sounds/roars/purrs like a big American gasoline car - that I love to drive when renting one in the US.

Ever since I had my first diesel car in 2001 I decided I will not go back to gas engined cars...diesel is just brute force and high fuel economy in my opinion.

But of course this is just one of the various tastes and beliefs of a billion car drivers around the world...
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Re: being safe with ether

Post  ian1954 on Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:38 pm

Please don't confuse the smell of garage diesel and the exhaust fumes emiitted with those of model diesel fuel. They are definitely not the same.

I hate the pungent aroma of car diesel fuel, not that it would stop me using it, and the sooty exhaust of older vehicles but I adore the smell of model diesel fuel.

Ether, paraffin and castor oil - a delightful blend!

I have to have a license for nitro fuel 35% +, not that I use it so potent, but I like to blend my own. Nitro is considered high on the dangerous list in the UK for fear of it being used to manufacture explosives.

It is not illegal to have ether but difficult to get because of associated illicit uses.

Methanol is poisonous to the central nervous system and may cause blindness, coma, and death. If as little as 10 ml of pure methanol is ingested, for example, it can break down into formic acid, which can cause permanent blindness by destruction of the optic nerve, and 30 ml is potentially fatal, although the median lethal dose is typically 100 ml (3.4 fl oz)
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Re: being safe with ether

Post  balogh on Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:51 pm

Sure, diesel in the common sense of vehicle engines is different and drinks different fuel than a diesel model engine. I remember the old diesel cars my father had in the 1970-s - including French Peugeots that the famos Peter Falk aka detective Colombo had in the American TV series, albeit with gas engine - that smoked like hell and dripped diesel fuel in every possible joint of its fuel line, and smelled horrible indeed. But car diesels of today are way cleaner.

When first smelled, I also loved the aroma of the ether-petroleum-castor blend burnt in my small diesel engine.

What I liked even better and still intoxicates me (in the positive sense) is the aroma of glow fuel that I first saw burnt in the COX Stuka engine my lucky German classmate had in 1974..and still remember those days with nostalgia whenever I feel that special scent when I burn glow fuel by the liters in my own COX-s nowadays.
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Re: being safe with ether

Post  fredvon4 on Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:05 pm

balogh and Ian

as with everything there are degrees.... I agree that model airplane diesel has a unique smell...but when I am at the airfield it still makes me slightly nauseous .. not sure why, very few other smells cause this reaction

No argument from me on the use of diesel fuel for vehicles.... my first diesel was a 77 VW Golf that went 370,000 miles with out narry a problem when I sold it

I still smoke cigars and some are nice and aromatic, others have my wife banning me from the entire two and a half acres if I lite one up...

I love pipe smoke but never was able to smoke a pipe

ALL of our hobbies have some nasty component to learn about and take precautions... not sure how much life span or liver damage I caused by breathing Dope, MEK, or bathing my bare hands in methanol fuels... I am certain none of it was ever good for me and today I take much better caution...but for a decade as a kid MY hands were constantly bathed in what we now know as very bad chemicals

For any reading this, I highly recommend a lot of barrier and caution....your future life depends on NOT accumulating a lot of bad things in your system. We know enough now that it is very easy to wear a proper mask and the proper gloves and not spill the stuff all over...at least make sure you work in a well ventilated place
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Re: being safe with ether

Post  ian1954 on Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:31 pm

I still smoke cigarettes, cigars and a pipe. I keep burning my tongue with the pipe but keep on persevering. I would have stopped smoking a long time ago if they hadn't banned it everywhere.

All chemicals have inherent dangers. Modern petrols with the high benzene content, the weird concoction that catalytic converters produce, the unseen NO2 from modern diesel (car) engines, the uses of limonene in air fresheners, anti bacterial cleaning compounds and bio detergents. The list is endless!

I have given up worrying about it but you are right Fred about barrier and caution.

This is a useful site for advice for us UK chappies.

http://www.colinusher.info/model%20aircraft/fuel.html

Although not always necessary but assists in starting - you may find the nausea is caused by the kicker in diesel fuel - iso-propylnitrate, iso-propanol, amyl nitrate or Ethyl Hexyl Nitrate.

Amyl nitrate is particularly nasty stuff.
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Re: being safe with ether

Post  robot797 on Tue Feb 09, 2016 5:09 pm

i love the smell of model diesel
that is why i build myself a cox diesel generator (crosspromo!)
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Re: being safe with ether

Post  getback on Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:25 pm

Quack :: Amyl nitrate is particularly nasty stuff. lol! lol! They sold that stuff in little bottles in the 70s for a instant rush/high in the Yea those stores It was taken off the shelf's a year or so later I cant remember - later getback
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Re: being safe with ether

Post  Oldenginerod on Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:06 am

getback wrote:Quack :: Amyl nitrate is particularly nasty stuff.  lol! lol! They sold that stuff in little bottles in the 70s for a instant rush/high in the Yea those stores It was taken off the shelf's a year or so later I cant remember - later getback

I bought some diesel ignition improver (for trucks) and added it to my home-brew diesel mix.  It has the right sort of ingredient to replace the Amyl Nitrate, only I had to calculate the % factoring in the major componant of the DII being equivalent to the kerosene.  (Naptha)
It took some calculating, but it worked out ok and runs fine in all my engines.
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Re: being safe with ether

Post  Surfer_kris on Wed Feb 10, 2016 3:34 pm

For anyone that has not tried diesel engines before I would strongly recommend commercial fuel and a dedicated diesel engine. There are plenty of options for dedicated diesel engines, eg. PAW and MP Jet etc., both RC and CL versions. They also come with mufflers which makes it very easy to clean of the model after flying.

The reason for using commercial fuel is that you can rest assure that there is nothing wrong with the fuel and that the blend will minimize the wear on the engine from the beginners abuse. Same goes for using a dedicated diesel engine, these are made much stronger than glow engines and can take most of the beating a beginner can come up with...

Once one has understood how diesel engines work and how to care for them, then Cox engines can make lovely diesel conversion subjects too. Make sure you use a proper diesel conversion head though, those teflon disc styles are no good. Been there done that, bought the t-shirt, will never go there again...

For those who haven't seen, or heard, the sweet QB conversion, here is the link again;

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Re: being safe with ether

Post  jmcalata on Wed Feb 10, 2016 3:35 pm

Certainly now Amyl Nitrate is very dificult to find, I use a diesel improver called Cetane booster is cheap and work well, I add 2-3 %

I think also Comercial Fuel is good option.

http://www.modeltechnics.com/diesel.htm
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Hi Jmcalata !

Post  hikikomori89 on Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:44 pm

Nice to meet you here !

I am Dafnys3 on the Bay !
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Re: being safe with ether

Post  jmcalata on Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:52 am

Hi J.Morel!
How are you?
I write here for a long time...
Now I´m testing italian diesel engines.

Regards
Jose Maria Calatayud
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