Frequently Asked Questions

How can I optimise the performance of the Thermomotor?

Mainly by using the adjustment lever to raise and lower the tealight, but you can also centralise the flame by gently rotating the tealight basket so that the curl of the wick points towards the central spindle.

How fast will it go?

The motor is designed to rotate gently at approximately 10rpm (i.e. 1 revolution every 6 seconds). If the machine is rotating significantly faster than this (e.g. 15 rpm) then it is possible that the machine may overheat and stop rotating altogether. See below for a solution if this occurs.

The flame is alight but the motor has stopped turning.

If the machine has been rotating well but has come to a halt it is most likely due to overheating. You can blow the tealight out and resume with a fresh one or you can try lowering the tealight and very gently wafting the flame for a minute. This should dissipate sufficient heat for the machine to resume normally.

Can I re-use a tealight in the machine?

You can but unfortunately the flame a re-lit tealight produces is often very small and usually insufficient to turn the Thermomotor satisfactorily.

How can I clean spilt wax from the machine?

Wax on the slate base can be left to fully cool and then picked off with the point of a sharp knife. Wax on the mesh of the basket is trickier but watching this video should help.


What can I do if the rotor has been accidentally damaged?

If the rotor has become damaged or distorted due to accidental mishandling, the machine’s performance will suffer accordingly. Please contact us to discuss the possibility of repairs or replacement.

I noticed the wick move when I removed the tealight basket.

We always advise waiting for the tealight wax to cool fully before lifting off the basket. The adjuster post contains 2 small magnets which help keep the tealight’s steel wick anchor from drifting during operation. This magnet may cause the wick to move if the basket is removed before the wax has fully cooled.

Did you invent this machine?

Yes and no. In 1888 Nikola Tesla patented a reciprocating engine based on the same principle. However we believe we were the first to make a fully rotary version in 2011. After an extended period of development we became patent-pending in November 2018 and hope to secure the full patent in 2019.

Is everything made in the UK?

Mostly. The crystal globes are from Hong Kong and the slate for the base is Spanish. Everything else is manufactured and assembled here in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. This includes the smelting of the bespoke magnetic alloy at the heart of the machine.

Are these machines Limited Edition?

Each one we produce has a unique number on its Certificate of Authenticity. We plan to produce new designs and variations and so we are likely to stop making this initial design after the first few hundred.

Do you produce one-off and bespoke machines?

We are very open to working with individuals, artists and organisations to create new work and we will consider any proposals seriously.

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Forest Innovations
Unit 5, Ladygrove Business Park,
Gloucester Road,
GL17 0DS

Telephone: 07926 210 579