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Home brew diesel

Home brew diesel

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Rich Griff13/01/2021 15:18:34
71 forum posts
3 photos

Anyone using home brew diesel ?


Anyone know where I can get medical castor, medical parraffin, ether and ipn ?


Would 99percent rubbing alcohol be a good substitute for ipn ?


Any chemists on here ?


Will reread the fuel thread as someone mentioned ether less homebrew...

Edited By Rich Griff on 13/01/2021 15:21:46

Shaun Walsh13/01/2021 15:51:02
530 forum posts
62 photos

It's been a looooooong time since I used model diesel fuel but I'm not sure that you need medical grade materials if you are just going to run an engine on it and not drink it smiley.

Paraffin should be available from your local hardware store (the old fashioned type, not B&Q).

Castor oil, Diethyl Ether and Isopropyl Nitrate are available from laboratory suppliers such as Fisher Scientific but you will need to shop around for the best prices.

Edited By Shaun Walsh on 13/01/2021 15:53:58

Alan Gorham_13/01/2021 15:52:00
1405 forum posts
147 photos

You can buy medicinal grade castor on ebay.

You don't need medicinal grade paraffin,

You will struggle to get ether (DiEthyl Ether) and IPN generally.

Rubbing alcohol is nothing like IPN. PAW recommend trying hexyl nitrate instead of IPN.

If you live near Southern Modelcraft fuels in Tonbridge then they sell either: (a) perfectly serviceable ready blended diesel fuel, or (b) Some of the components.

Alternatively, some mail order model shops stock Model Technics range of ready blended fuels and will be able to courier a can of that to you.

Some people in the colonies use John Deere Starter fluid as an ether substitute.

Doug Campbell13/01/2021 16:41:00
119 forum posts
2 photos

You can get castor oil ok, still used for kart racing. Synthetic and mineral motor oil is also suitable. Parra fin is easy to get, as is white spirit which is a good substitute for paraffin. Ether is going to be your problem. Cetane boosters are readily bought online. Don’t use alcohol in diesel fuel

Rich Griff13/01/2021 18:46:42
71 forum posts
3 photos

Thanks for the replies, will do some more research. Trying to find a cheaper way for fuel. Financially restricted.

J D 813/01/2021 18:57:19
1750 forum posts
88 photos

If using castor make sure it is pressed or better still first pressed oil. Some modern castor is recovered by chemical methods and no good for engines.

Alan Gorham_13/01/2021 19:01:41
1405 forum posts
147 photos

I would suggest that if you want to mix fuel yourself, then some of your raw materials will have to be bought in larger quantities than a small tin of ready mixed fuel. Therefore while the cost per tankful might work out cheaper in the long run, your upfront costs will be higher, to say nothing of storing the components to keep it in good condition until you get round to flying it!

Malcolm Fisher13/01/2021 19:46:36
671 forum posts
7 photos

Many years ago and article in Aeromodeller gave a recipe for etherless diesel fuel. From memory the oil used was modified rape seed oil and the mix was 20% oil and 80%paraffin with an addition of up to five % of , I think, IPN. Starting was a bit difficult but helped by using a prime of normal diesel fuel. Again from memory engine ran a bit hotter than with ether fuels and compression needed to be slightly higher. I remember that with ether fuels compression needed backing off a bit once the engine was running and not doing this seemed to do the necessary for the higher compression of the etherless fuel. My engines run on this mix made my C/L models of the time somewhat faster than with conventional fuel and started more easily when still hot from a previous run.

I believe the article was by an industrial chemist called Robert Dulake.

Will try to hunt up the rape oil modification if anyone is interested.


Jon - Laser Engines13/01/2021 20:52:38
5738 forum posts
275 photos

I believe you can use 2-ethylhexyl nitrate in place of IPN. Its used commonly as a cetane booster for automotive diesel. Its easy to get too on ebay or amazon.

Beyond that paraffin is easy enough, ether a little more of a challenge, and as the other guys have said if using castor make sure you get a good one.

Also, and i hate to be all nanny state, but mixing fuel can be rather precarious and it would be sub optimal to blow yourself up or knock yourself out with ether fumes so it might be safer/easier just to buy it from SMC or Model Technics.

Michael Kulagin13/01/2021 21:02:20
31 forum posts

Got to agree with Jon. Back in the early 70's (in the days of my youth) I was messing about with combat control line using Copeman Oliver Tigers and PAW 19's. We tried mixing our own fuels trying to get the edge. We realised that the commercial fuel, KeilKraft Nitrated diesel, did just what it said on the tin and we didn't have to hunt around local chemists to find the ingredients. Class 'B' team race with ETA 29's was a different matter.

Peter Miller14/01/2021 08:39:02
11758 forum posts
1416 photos
10 articles

Various types of Ether are listed on Ebay.

Pricy but it should help you out

Engine Doctor14/01/2021 10:11:42
2711 forum posts
44 photos

You can also use Jet A 1 instead of parrafin in the mix. Its more refined kerosene and according to a friend is easier to start although it does smell a bit more . Any small airport that support small jets or helicopters might be able to sell you some , worth a call . You will have to fill a form in with all of your details for custom excise . Getting proper parrafin here in the south east is nigh impossible as all the good old fashioned hardware shops have gone.

Eric Robson14/01/2021 10:47:01
542 forum posts
124 photos

Re. the nanny state, when I was 13 back in the late 1940's I used to buy my ether and castor oil from the local chemist( no questions asked) and the paraffin from the hardware shop. I believe it was equal measures. It worked ok on my Frog 100 and had no ill affects on meeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzz.

Graham Davies 314/01/2021 10:52:37
189 forum posts
57 photos

Interesting article here...


Peter Miller14/01/2021 11:14:52
11758 forum posts
1416 photos
10 articles

In the 50s you could also buy all the ingredients for gunpowder in the chemist.

IN a pre 1950s Aeromodeller gadget page there was a descriptipn of how to make a bomb that could be dropped from a model and the very simple ignition system for the charge.

Perhaps luckily mine didn't work!!!

Edited By Peter Miller on 14/01/2021 11:15:15

Edited By Peter Miller on 14/01/2021 11:15:35

Stuphedd14/01/2021 11:58:52
767 forum posts
393 photos

I have been making up Diesel fuel for the "lads" of "our" club for a good few years now .and they say its as good as commercial stuff. You need to make it for a few people to make it commercially viable , but the way I do it , about 1/2 price

Castrol M 25% a gallon lasts a life time !!

Ether 35% from Southern Model craft at Show

Parrafin 40%from Garden center

and up to 3% Da Nitrate from Southern Modelcraft at show

Parrafinthe alchemist 001 (small).jpg

Alan Gorham_14/01/2021 12:07:48
1405 forum posts
147 photos

Source for Castrol M then please? I believe it has been discontinued.

Also, I specifically did not mention buying from Southern Modelcraft at a show as a) There were no shows last year and b) There's a good chance there won't be any this year. Also, the OP is on a budget, so he would have to factor in the cost of getting to the show and show entry.

Stuphedd14/01/2021 12:22:50
767 forum posts
393 photos

I bought a 5 gl drum of M way back in 70s ! and I still have about 6 pints left !! As a club we bought R and M by the 5 gallons to make our own glow fuel , as this is the remnants of those days .

did not know it was no longer availiable ! So "my" fuel may soon cease ! Cos I have run out of "R"totally.


Alan Gorham_14/01/2021 12:28:49
1405 forum posts
147 photos

That'll be helpful for the OP then.

Denis Watkins14/01/2021 12:37:44
4684 forum posts
135 photos

Reading through all the posts

It would seem the most cost effective and safest way of getting diesel fuel is to

But a £16 Can of ModelTechnics as and when you need it.

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