I purchased one of those cheap fog machines (30$) for Halloween this year. It works fine, and it even comes with an IR remote for stealthy operation! It did what it should, it spewed out some fog, but it was hardly as satisfying as I had hoped. The smoke dissipated quickly and didn't have a whole lot of substance to it. It was wispy, thin, and light, and I was starting to think to myself that I should have splurged on the more expensive model. Some reading on Google let me know that the secret to good thick billowy fog that clings is chilling it down. Blow the smoke over ice or dry ice. Well I cannot readily get my hands on dry ice, and initial tests of placing an ice pack in the path of the fog jet worked great. It really does improve the quality of the fog. I quickly set about looking through my junk bins to slap together a cheap chiller. I am pleased with the results.
Step 1: Gather Your Junk
There are only two key components for this project, and even those are flexible.
You will need :
-Something that will serve as a cooling chamber. (I used an old cooler, you need something that can withstand the ice and the heat of the fog)
-Something to direct the fog safely from the nozzle of the machine into your cooling chamber. (The thing to remember here is that fog machines get hot. I used 1.5 inch Diameter PVC pipe.)
Step 2: Fit Your Pipe
First thing to do is get the fog pipe fixed on. This particular machine has a nice little extrusion around the fogging nozzle that is a near perfect mate to the PVC. Lucky stuff! A little adjustment with the Dremel will give a nice pressure fit for your fog directing tube.
Step 3: Cut Some Holes Into Your Fog Chamber
Now you need some holes in your fog chamber. I used the pipe (fitted to the fog machine) to get the proper height, and then used a hole saw to cut out my holes. You are almost finished making your fog machine awesome.
Step 4: Seal It Up Tight
Now it is time to seal it up good as you can manage, and secure your fog feed pipe to your chamber. I just used whatever I could find to do the job, but I don't think this step is all that critical. I used foam tape to make a better seal around my cooler lid, and I used hot glue to seal around where the pipe enters the chamber. Some angled fittings came in to my design, but this was because I wanted to have a modular fog exit where I could change the dispensers at will. Once you are satisfied, fill your chamber up with your ice of choice, attach your fog machine and start making some thick clingy fog. I decided to omit pictures of the fog machine creating fog because it would be like spoiling a good movie. Try it out, it is a 15 minute hack, it works great. Now go incorporate it into your next Halloween Project. Happy Foggy Halloween!
If you really want to see it in action, here is a link to a video of it.