Burn Candle Smoke

About: Professionally I have been a summer camp counselor, a Draftsman/designer, salesperson, bicycle mechanic, laminate flooring machine mechanic, teacher, and designer of the OP Loftbed. Personally I am a human...

Using a candle, and a tube, you can burn candle smoke.

FIRE IS DANGEROUS If you do not know this, you should not attempt this instructable, or any like it.

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Step 1: Materials

To perform this experiment you will need the following items:
1. a candle (any type will do)
2. a tube (I used a 1/4"O.D. 5 32" I.D. copper tube like the one used on https://www.instructables.com/id/BUTTONHOLE-PUZZLE-POCKET-SIZED/) you could also use aluminum, brass, steel, and even glass.
3. a lighter or match
4. Something to hold the tube, it gets hot. (I used a helping hand tool)

Step 2: Set Up

Place the tube over the lit candle. You want to get the bottom end of the tube close enough to the wick to produce a stream of white smoke out of the top end of the tube. Too close to the wick, and the candle will go out, too far from the wick, and the stream of smoke will not be thick enough.  You may have to try different types of tubes and placing the tube at different angles.

Step 3: A Little Bit of Candle Science

The white smoke coming out of the top of the tube is condensed wax vapor. A burning candle is a bit more complicated than you might think. If you think about it too much, it might drive you mad. Here is the short version....The burning wick melts the wax. The wax gets wicked up the wick. The wax vaporizes. The wax vapor (combined with oxygen and other chemicals in the surrounding air) burns. You will be splitting this vapor, so it will burn at two places.

Step 4: Lite the Smoke

Once you have your stream of white condensed wax vapor, you are ready to lite it. Start with the lighter about two inches above the top of the tube. Notice how the stream of smoke does not continue above the flame of the lighter. Move the lighter lower until the flame connects to the top of the tube.

Step 5: Enjoy

As with all instructables, enjoy. Sit back and let your mind wonder. See how hot the tube gets. Play with the setup. See how big you can make the top flame. Get as many candles with as many tubes all focused into one giant top flame. Do something artistic. If you want to share your creation, send comments with photos or make your own instructable. I would love to see what this inspires.

Thanks for reading.

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    5 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Kewl! I wonder if this could be considered a steam punk candle. To me it looks the part. Thanks for sharing!

    2 replies

    Probably. I am thinking of making something along the same idea, just permanent and a bit more elaborate. Once I come up with something, there will be an instructable.