Help me build a FIRE CANNON P-L-E-A-S-E!!!!!

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks for making installations of all sizes or making smaller pieces and jewelry.
Post Reply
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 6:30 pm
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Zonerhill
Location: Pacifica

Help me build a FIRE CANNON P-L-E-A-S-E!!!!!

Post by mjs94080 » Sun Sep 02, 2007 6:46 pm

My barrio name is Cricket.
I need help learning how to build a fire cannon...
I'd like to start out with a small fire cannon and learn the schematics until i am comfortable perfecting it to build a much bigger fire cannon.

I have seen some of the diagrams here but they make absolutely NO sense to me.....

plus out on the net, theres nothing by way of building a fire cannon. I only find these complicated propane cannons to scare birds away or home made flame throwers.......

PLUS....I have NO MONEY to go to an expensive place like The Crucible in Oakland.....all those classes are for rich kids........

I am working class...and although I cant ever really afford to go to Burning Man events, I am sincerely a pyro with a genuine interest in fire and industrial art......

So PLEASE...someone help me with this project.

I just need some mentoring, advise and some bonehead diagrams....

For your info....I live in Santa Cruz and visit my folks in San Francisco every other I am a str8, single 37 y/o male looking for my female counterpart.....I am educated, and employed. My interest are skateboarding, surfing, motorcycles, silk screen t-shirts and photography. I like industrial and fire art. I like all music, but Psychobilly, Rockabilly and ethnic electronica are my mainstays. I am not a hippie but I do not limit myself to one type of crowd. I am also a liberal conservative or a conservative liberal........not to mention that I am not political in anyway....Politics BORES me....... I am also clean and sober...........

I am not looking for big egos, or pre-madonnas that think theyr're the shit.....

Just reaching out to make new friends with down to earth, kind hearted eccentric folks with talent and a creative lifestyle.

cheers to all.


email direct: [email protected]

User avatar
Posts: 40313
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 9:28 am
Burning Since: 2017
Location: In Exile

Post by theCryptofishist » Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:49 pm

Just making sure that you know that volenteering at the crucible brings you discounts on classes.
I don't know if that's enough, but volenteering and hanging out there will put you in touch with people who have the knowledge.
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

User avatar
Posts: 781
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2006 11:14 pm
Location: Oakland, CA

Post by chiefdanfox » Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:38 pm

there is an open house September 8th. :)

User avatar
Posts: 2065
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 6:01 pm
Location: Las Vegas

Post by Dork » Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:51 pm

You could also volunteer for a group like the Flaming Lotus Girls and get some on the job training if you're willing to put in some serious work. Go to the next fire arts festival or the open house cdf mentioned and start talking to people.

Unfortunately the active season is over for many people, but offering help early could get you in good with someone already planning for next year.

User avatar
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 10:46 am
Burning Since: 2001
Location: Hoquiam, WA

Post by Remark » Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:13 am

you'll shoot your eye out..

User avatar
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 2:10 pm
Burning Since: 2006
Camp Name: Tiki Fuckos
Location: Tiki Fuckos, Upland CA

Post by MikeVDS » Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:48 pm

You should probably take some classes on these things or start hanging out with people who do them. I would not recommend trying to build something someone tells you to build on here. For one, some of us think we know what we're talking about, but we don't and another is that we all make mistakes and if you are building it and cannot personally verify our design, it's not worth the danger you could put people in. That being said I'll give you some information to start thinking about. I think you should design your own cannon and have people verify that it will work. They are pretty simple so you should not be intimidated by putting some ideas down on paper.

The basic idea with a fire cannon is that you will release flammable gas and ignite it. Propane is the typical gas. Keep in mind that propane is usually a liquid in storage and evaporates off of the top and comes out a gas. This means that you have to keep your tank upright or else you may get propane liquid in your system and it may not work as intended and could become very dangerous.

Propane comes out of the tank relatively slowly, so burning it directly out of the tank is usually not an option since you end up with small flames on the order of your typical BBQ grill. So instead of letting the propane gas out directly to be burned people fill up an accumulator, which is a fancy word for a tank. By filling the accumulator with gaseous, pressurized propane you can then open a large valve releasing large amounts making a big flame when ignited. This means that you need a valve and a pipe coming out of your accumulator. Typical ones range from 3/4 to 2 inches.

Having done this you will have a tank that can release blasts of propane but you still need something to ignite it with. You can use anything that will keep a flame in the line of the propane coming out of your accumulator. A lot of things will burn out or blow out. There are a lot of good ways of doing this, but the most typical I see is people modifying a weed burner to ignite their cannon. You can find them at most hardware stores and are set up to run of a propane tank already. They are nearly impossible to blow out and come with a BBQ igniter as well.

You will probably need to do a little welding and make some trips to hardware, hose and fitting type stores. Trying to lay a design out yourself will probably teach you as much as any class could teach you.

Another note of caution. You do not want to put an oxidizer (like oxygen or air) into your accumulator in any large amounts. Doing so could allow a flame or spark in side or traveling down the barrel to ignite the gas inside possibly causing it to explode. More advanced cannons do this or increase the pressure inside using an inert gas, but I would not recommend this for a first timer.

Post Reply

Return to “Building & Making Art”