very silly question about meths

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On Mon, 15 Sep 2003 15:19:41 GMT, Peter Ashby wrote

I'll bookmark that; at the time -- 15 or 20 years ago -- it seemed to be the simplest way to get a non-industrial-sized amount of the stuff.
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Cheers, Harvey

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An elegant solution indeed.
Peter
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Peter Ashby
School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Scotland
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Yes, aftershave contains a lot of alcohol as does perfume. I once got a 'phone call from Sheffield plod when I worked at M/Cr medical school asking if perfume was a known treatment for a bad back. The cops had stopped a man drunk driving and he claimed that he had been advised to drink a bottle of perfume a day to cure his arthritis.
I took my degree in Leicester and New Walk in Leicester was famous for "The Lacquer Lads". A bunch of local drunks who bought cans of hairspray and bottles of lemonade then sprayed the hairspray into the lemonade to make a refreshing summer[1] drink.
[1] or spring, autumn or winter.
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On Mon, 15 Sep 2003 16:58:30 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@malloc.co.uk (Steve Firth) wrote:

Wouldn't these be more expensive than the authorised stuff?
.andy
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The perfume certainly would be and I can't imagine what it may taste like. The hairspray used to be very, very cheap. Back then beer was around 35p/pint. Hairspray could be obtained in enormous cans about 1 litre in size and cost about the same. However hairspray contains 90%+ alcohol, beer around 4.5%.
I think the other attraction is that off-licenses refuse to sell alcohol to drunks but supermarkets sell hairspray to anyone.
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wrote

An additive in wine?
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Alan
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Gives it body
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geoff

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Removing some types of self-adhesive label glue remnants. White spirit is also useful. Removing biro ink. Degreasing microscope slides.
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M Stewart
Milton Keynes, UK
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me spill my meths by writing:

Some info here: http://www.birdbrand.co.uk/meths.htm
I used to use it in the burners of small steam engines but mainly now only for a Trangier Stove. Adds a certain piquance when the meths bottle has been stored in the cook set for a while :)
I suppose it had many more domestic uses back in the days when dustbins used to contain mostly ash and we stood up for the National Anthem at the cinema.
All the best
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Wayne Davies - Mobile 07989 556213 - Harrogate, N.Yorks, UK

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Indeed. I used the last of my present bottle to brew up a cup of coffee in my Trangia yesterday at the coast.
Can be a bugger to light in the middle of Winter, though.
It's impossible to buy it in the US, by the way.
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666 snipped-for-privacy@hack.powernet[dot]co[dot]uk (Simon Gardner) wrote:

I think they call it Denatured Alcohol, and its certainly available some places. May be banned in some individual states? Not usually coloured purple in my experience though.
David
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David Micklem wrote:

clean the innards of a knitting machine. It was clear and colourless.
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made

was stood standing still at the cinema, that required meths?
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May wrote:

Used to use it in the burner that came with my chemistry set when I was a kid! ;-)
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Usually for burning or as a solvent. It is highly flammable, so a small amount can be used as a starter for paraffin in primus stoves or the like. With a dash of washing up liquid, it makes a good additive to a car windscreen washer bottle.
Colin Bignell
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Lots of things it's not desperately good for.
Meths is:
- mainly ethanol (drinkable)
- methanol (not drinkable - makes you sick, blind, mad and dead in about that order)
- pyridine (stinks)
- purple dye (just to annoy french polishers)
It's not hard to get clear meths. It's increasingly hard to get unstenched meths, but you still can. If you're working with it all day in this summer's heat, you'll be glad you bothered.
It burns easily and the combination of vapour pressure and flash point mean that it's very safe to do so. Unlike petrol, it won't produce a fireball. Unlike paint thinners or paraffin, it won't stink if you use it to light a barbecue.
It's a fairly poor cleaning solvent, but handy. Acetone or isopropanol are usually better.
Most of mine gets used as a solvent for shellac in french polishing.
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wrote:

This thread has led to quite a few memories for me of my school science lessons.
Our chemistry teacher told us of an incident involving a pupil of his when he was a young teacher. The lad was lighting a bonfire at home but the bonfire wouldn't go well. So the kid went and got a can of parrafin, but it wasn't parrafin it was meths. The flame shot up the jet of meths and ignited the can in a fireball. He said he went to visit the child in hospital but there wasn't much point. He was so badly burned he didn't last long. He said the most striking impression was the bluebottles swarming over the netting around the bed.
I remember little actual physics or chemistry from those lessons.
Matt
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Matt wrote:

As one who has blown themslevs up with petrol, that sounds far more like it than meths.
Alcohols ARE dangerous, but mainly because the flame lacks soot and is almost invisible in daylight.
Hot alcohol vapout will ignite - try a goodgle search on teh eath of John Foulston (Foulsom) who used to own Brands Hatch curcuiot - who was burnt to death when a methanol fuelled car caught fire. He never noticed till it was too late.
However petrol is far more dangerous, because it actually detonates. Well alomost. It flashes over. Methanol and ethanol seem far slower to propagate flame.

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Yes, same here or was when I last worked with wet stuff on a bench. You have to watch out for the sugar content of the 95% stuff though. Much of it is simply the raw alcohol sold by Distillers (the company) which they use as the base for vodka, gin, etc obviously a little sugar in there doesn't bother them but it does leave nasty residues when using alcohol for drying sections.
I think what I was trying to say (but failing) was that in much of Europe you can buy the same quality of alcohol over the counter at reasonable prices, for home use. In the UK I've not found it possible to buy the same stuff unless it's sold as "Polish Spirit" which costs about 24 a bottle.
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