Flame throwers and propane canons

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks for making installations of all sizes or making smaller pieces and jewelry.
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Megaflow
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Postby Megaflow » Tue Apr 19, 2005 5:07 pm

The term flame thrower is a general term for liquid fueled gun types that were used in the war and also the propane fueled burst devices that we are talking about. From what I understand the liquid fueled units that shot over 10 feet were always illegal. Now they are looking at any liquid fueled devices like this to ban in California.

The propane fueled devices like I make and the bonefires should still be legal.

Here is a recent story on why I think that.
In January one of the people that I built a flame device for wanted to use it so bad he chose a secluded beach in SF. No one around except far far in the distance a park police man which he didnt see. He shot it off a few times and the park cop came over and freaked out and confiscated it (flame device, propane hose, padded case and propane tank) and gave him a ticket for creating a dangerous situation. He didnt want his $800 device to go away so he fought the ticket. If February he appeared but it never went to a judge. He met with the Federal DA (Federal because it was a state park) said it really wasnt a dangerous situation but it did cause some un educated people to freak (meaning the cop) and it could cause the unnessesary use of resources (the cops time) and that a state park wasnt the place for a fire show at least without a permit. He got off with a $75 fine and went to get his fire device back. The park police property master told him that he had to check with the ATF (Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tabacco and Fire Arms) before he could release it. The owner wrote a letter to the ATF and the response was that the ATF did not consider it a dangerous device or a fire arm and it could be returned to him. This was in late February. He got back his device and was quite happy and learned his lesson.

I dont think they would have given it back to him if he was illegal at that point in February in California.

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Postby Dustdevil » Tue Apr 19, 2005 5:14 pm

Another reason a person might purchase a flame effect device rather than build one is his or her personal skills. I constructed my device "El Diablo" myself. I am very comfortable working with metal. Each time I have attempted to build someone out of wood, I get angry, nails bend over, the wood splits etc. I will always pay someone to do something that I can't do myself.

El Diablo in transport mode: http://pufendorf.org/flame_fx_pics/flam ... age10.html
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Badger
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Postby Badger » Tue Apr 19, 2005 5:43 pm

This reminded me. Someone posted a comment on another board that flamethrowers were now illegal in California, but still legal in Nevada.


No cite here. What I'd be interested in seeing/reading is if the statute defines in some detail what constitutes a flamethrower. I'd hope that some general description is included somewhere else it seems to me that a flame spraying weed killer that you get at any household supply center might fall into the category of dangerous and subversive fire spitting weapon of mass destruction.
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crazybuthappy
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Postby crazybuthappy » Tue Apr 19, 2005 6:21 pm

Spectabillis I have much respect for you too... I know we exchanged emails last year. Good to see you're still firing things up. I didn't mean to start an internet fight, I just wanted to point out there are differences between a home built project and something you can sell to the general public. I think we can agree that difference is somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 or whatever the market will support.

I am interested in the legality of flame throwers and flame devices in general especially in California. I did a quick google search but so far I have not been able to find conclusive guidelines or regulations.

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Postby crazybuthappy » Tue Apr 19, 2005 6:25 pm

Is anybody willing to do this? Excerpt from www.ATF.gov in their FAQs...

(A30) How do I obtain a classification from ATF for my "potato gun"? [Back]

ATF is unable to respond to e-mail requests for classification of "potato guns," "spud guns," or other similar devices. Any person desiring a classification of such devices must submit a written request to the Director executed under penalty of perjury and include a complete and accurate description of the device, the name and address of the manufacturer or importer, the purpose of and use for which it is intended, and such photographs, diagrams, or drawings as may be necessary to make a classification. A final determination may require physical examination of the device. Such requests for classification should be submitted to:

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Chief, Firearms Technology Branch
650 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Room 6450
Washington, DC, 20226.

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Megaflow
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Postby Megaflow » Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:47 pm

http://www.spudgun.com/BATF.HTM

this is a link to a spud gun site where that guy asked the ATF and this was their answer.

I will see if I can get the letter to and from the ATF regarding fire devices that the guy who got his confiscated and then returned after a letter to the ATF.

Chances are that the ATF isnt going to be the governing body that would restrict something because they are federal. I think it would be up to each state and municipality to govern.

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Badger
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Postby Badger » Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:58 pm

Um, potato guns are going to be TOTALLY frowned on should anyone bring them to the playa. They'll be no more welcome than paintball or BB guns. BLM will cite - assuming they get their ticket books out before the local LEOa.

There was a time when folks brought them and to GREAT amusement. That was also well before the density of the BRC grew to its current levels.
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spectabillis
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Postby spectabillis » Tue Apr 19, 2005 9:30 pm

crazybuthappy wrote:I didn't mean to start an internet fight...


Oh, no, you didn't.

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Megaflow
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Postby Megaflow » Wed Apr 20, 2005 10:28 am

I don't think anyone was considering bringing a spud gun anywhere. This was more about the legality of such devices but mainly flame throwers not spud guns.

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Postby Another Happy Burner » Fri Apr 22, 2005 11:10 am

Spud guns aside, I've been following this thread for a long time and I just needed to put my 2 cents in.

Can you make a flame thrower (excuse me, flame art device) for the cost of parts? Sure you can. Just like anything else, you could build it yourself. Better? Maybe, maybe not. (ever heard of the word, Prototype) But you really should know what you're doing or else, at the very least, it will look like crap and perform poorly out on the playa. Worse yet, it could be dangerous to you and those around you. (Big fire always seems to draw a crowd)

I did a lot of research on these devices and I am very capable of building one myself (probably more so than most people). But I'm very anal when I build anything, and like most people I have a busy life, so I realized that I probably wouldn't get around to it before the next burn. So I fall into the category with many other people, I'd need someone else to build it for me. I settled on the one that Megaflow offers. Cost is more than that of the parts alone. It's the time and effort that someone puts into something they build, and it shows in the products that Bonefire and Megaflow offer. I love mine, it looks awesome and works great. It's a work of art in itself.

I don't think they are gouging the public with their prices. Everybody needs to make some money to get out to the playa. We all need money to get there and be part of this gift-society, the money goes right back to the community. I just get a little ruffled when someone's "burnier than thou" attitude tries to draw the line on B-man etiquette. We've all seen the guys out at the burn who have nothing, brought nothing and are just there to "test" the gift-economy (a whole other thread for somewhere else on this forum). If you see me out there with my "flame art device", just ask, you can play with it too. Fire good... AHB

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Postby robotland » Fri Apr 22, 2005 11:14 am

Another Happy Burner wrote:
I did a lot of research on these devices and I am very capable of building one myself (probably more so than most people). But I'm very anal when I build anything,


So I guess we know what your fuel source is!
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Why reinvent the wheel?

Postby camengine » Tue Sep 13, 2005 1:30 pm

Bob is the master at making flamethrowers. He is a nice guy. If you really want a good, safe unit, atleast talk with him about your design concept. It may safe you time/trouble/energy/and someone's life. There were a few other designs present at the playa this year. But, Bob's still ahead of most designers.

Do as the original post says go to www.bonefire.com

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geekster
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Postby geekster » Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:42 pm

What a campmate is working on:

Image

Don't ask the details ('cause I don't know) ... but he says that the flame thrower actually has recoil.

Be afraid!
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Token
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Postby Token » Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:18 pm

Now this kind of design scares the kilt off my ass.

First rule when building fire aparatus: Never ever solder anything. Only compression and threaded fittings allowed.

Looks cool though.

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geekster
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Postby geekster » Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:43 pm

I will pass along your observation. Thanks for the input.
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Postby geekster » Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:57 pm

FYI for future reference of anyone browsing this thread:

Any fuel gas lines installed using copper tube must be brazed using a filler metal containing less than 0.05% P (phosphorus) and a melting temperature greater than 1000 degrees F. The only filler metal (trade and industry standard) that contains less than the 0.05% P would be an AWS BAg type alloy (according to the American Welding Society’s AWS A5.8 specification). In no case should solder or “soft-solder” be used to join copper tube and fittings in fuel gas systems.


From: http://www.copper.org/applications/fuelgas/fuelgas_faq_all.html#solder
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seelivemusic
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Postby seelivemusic » Wed Aug 09, 2006 2:38 pm

I think a combo flame thrower/seasoning spud gun could make for some damn tasty snackin' around Friday or so.

"Be the guy to catch a fry." or "Be the bud to catch a spud." or "Be the chick who loves her fresh fried potatoes shot from a combonation flame thrower/seasoned potato launcher and catches them her in mouth all sexy like."

dani4reel
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Please Help !

Postby dani4reel » Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:11 pm

I am working on a flame thrower right now and can't figure out why it won't fire. I am using a 4 in steel barrel, larger than most, but it is what I have to work with. I have the propane the valves, I have put airholes in the can and am using a spark plug to ignite. Is the spark plug too weak? Any suggestions would help immensly. Thank you in advance!

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oneeyeddick
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Postby oneeyeddick » Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:58 pm

Show us pictures and we might have something to say about it.
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Postby Dustdevil » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:29 pm

Now I have a better idea about what you pm'd me about. I am guessing that you are using full tank pressure, no problem with that. My first question is, what are you using to excite the spark plug?
With that size of pipe you will have a massive rush of gas when you open the valve. A spark plug is less than desirable for your system. It can be made to work, but you may need several spark plugs and a high energy source to fire them. If the gap is too great in the plug(s) the blast of propane will blow out the plugs before ignition occurs. I found that by using an MSD 6A spark amplifier and an MSD diagnostic module, you can produce a continous spark that will have enough joules of current to fire almost anything. I use that system to start the engine on El Diablo. A modern solid state gas turbine exciter will work also. These all require a good battery and the current draw is quite high.
I think it would be much simpler to use a pilot light. You could use something as potent as a propane weed burner angled into your discharge path, but a simple copper ring with holes drilled in it and covered with STAINLESS steel wool will work just fine. Run a second line from your propane supply and regulate it. It is simple and effective. If you have any more questions, PM me again.
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TomServo
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Postby TomServo » Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:14 am

Im not saying this is the correct way, as i didnt really read the previous posts, but a brazing torch makes a good spark plug.
anything worth doing is worth overdoing..

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oneeyeddick
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Postby oneeyeddick » Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:38 am

As does a hot surface ignitor.
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Snow
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Postby Snow » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:02 pm

Did I just read 4" pipe :shock: what the heck is supplying this and what is going on in this can? I just got done making a toy out of a can, but that's all I'm saying about it.
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EspressoDude
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Postby EspressoDude » Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:43 am

sounds like a Burns-o-Matic torch head / weed burner on steriods.

can you light the gas flow with a torch?

mixture is likely way off. too much gas not enough air.
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Postby Foxfur » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:08 am

Dustdevil wrote: I found that by using an MSD 6A spark amplifier and an MSD diagnostic module, you can produce a continous spark that will have enough joules of current to fire almost anything.

CapitAl idea.
I don't have anything I can justify using it on yet but I have their 6T circle track box with the remote timing adjustment.
With an Accel supercoil it makes the nicest screaming zap.
After the burn I'm sure I'll have some new ideas and a healthy list of contacts.

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Snow
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Postby Snow » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:12 pm

Hot plate is much simpler and more reliable. The zapping is a neat effect though.
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