Introduction: How to Make a Small Flaming Vortex of DOOM!

Picture of How to Make a Small Flaming Vortex of DOOM!

Thats right, of DOOM!

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

You will need;

Computer cooling fan (as big as possible)
square by rectangular box
duct tape
packaging tape
paper towel
twelve volt thingy
small alligator clips
motor oil (gas is too combustable)


box cutter
wait... wrong list, ignore the last three

Step 2: Cut the Box

Picture of Cut the Box

on the right side of each face of the box draw a rectangle really thin by really long (your box is probably differently sized than mine, for me it was 1/2 in by a foot)
you should use a wood spacer to make it a whole lot easier

on one side draw a rectangle semi wide by really long (for me it was 3 1/2 in by a foot)

in the center of the top draw a circle the size of the fans blades

cut out what you drew

Step 3: Finish the Box

Picture of Finish the Box

duct tape the fan on top

put packaging tape on both sides of the big rectangular hole

Step 4: Rig the Power

Picture of Rig the Power

attach alligator clips to the red and black fan leads

attach the red alligator clip to the top of the jack and the black to the bottom

Step 5: Vortex Time!

Picture of Vortex Time!

soak a wad of paper towel in motor oil but leave a corner unsoaked (I used penns oil)

put on plate and place in the box

light the unsoaked corner, and after the oil is burning turn on the fan

watch the awesome flames

don't leave the fan on for more than a minute or the blades will melt


2muchtimeonmyhands (author)2009-08-01

In my youth I made one of these a couple of times on the river but didn't use a box , just 1/2 gallon of gas and a whirlpool in the river . Whirlpool created by tree roots that grew out into river . Was huge about 50 foot high . Will never do that again . Caught friend that was in tree above it on fire . He was fine . Not a mark on him . He did have cold ride home from jumping in river in late October in Ohio to put himself out .

Dude! That is not good. You poluted the environment.... :(

you can also use nail polish remover, better for enviornment

lol i live in ohio to... swiming in october is a bad idea


RoddyTheGreat (author)2009-07-29

Went up in flames but was excellent while it lasted!

music is my lfe2 (author)2008-09-15

can u use a small fan instead of a computer fan???

i am using a small computer fan and it works perfectly fine, i am also going to make a holder so i can leave it on without the blades melting lol :D

MteamyMcHotsauce (author)2009-05-31

that part about cutting the holes was unclear

Arbitror (author)2009-03-25

Now that's cool!

Plasmana (author)2008-12-01

That looks freaking cool!

music is my lfe2 (author)2008-09-15

sik vortex

MrAngryPants (author)2008-09-04

I already made a vortex generator for a science fair project, so could i modify that to "spin around, flaminatin' and what not"

teh uber spinnin link =>

Zippy_Pyromaniac (author)2008-06-07

i made one they are awesome, but then it melted.....

RUMP3LSTILTZKIN (author)2008-03-16

what if you had a fan with metal fan blades, then could you leave it on longer?

Yeah it would be I'm pretty sure it would need a metal case as well...

blugyblug (author)2008-04-02

AWESOME Post video plz. I have to see this.

razzah (author)2008-02-18


GorillazMiko (author)2008-01-26

Oh man... nice job. I might try this soon most likely. +1 rating. (added to favorites)

omziG (author)2007-11-04

i think im goint ot make one of these with my friend, cuz i told him only Bill Nye could do it

AlexTheGreat (author)2006-07-24

I wanted to make a giant Flaming vortex of doom, by directing 8 huge room fans around a bonfire, but i only have 2.

You mean like this?

Hit up and click "Fire Vortex" then "Burning Man 2004" for more pics.

rose_red (author)fungus amungus2007-08-15

i think they did something like that at the fire arts fesival at this place in oakland called the crucible. it was awesome.

rplatter (author)2007-04-25

[HTTP://SRL.ORG SRL] If you like this, check out the one the guys at 'Survival Research Labs' did. Lots of other loud dangerous stuff there too. SRL.ORG They bill themselves as "Producing the most dangerous shows on earth"

a6t1wzbk0tb (author)rplatter2007-07-13

Survival Research : Explosives + Giant Hydraulic ROBOTS fighting Closest thing to to an real Battle , just this side of deadly Mark Pauline , in the workshop , once , during assembly hammered solid propellant BOOM not much left of a Hand

toogood (author)2007-05-19


lemonie (author)2006-12-26

I think this needs to be scaled-up from 12v to mains, with a vacuum-cleaner motor(?)

ILikeScience (author)lemonie2007-03-31

DO IT...and show us pictures :)

lemonie (author)ILikeScience2007-03-31

I've got the motor, would need some steel and a welder perhaps? If I do I will show you the pictures.

sumplesnoob (author)2007-03-19


gizmomaster (author)2007-03-05

thats awesome

Ben.land101 (author)2007-02-09


15zack15ace (author)2006-12-25

You are insane man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

zack17 (author)2006-11-22

that is an awesome project but, i like anything with fire (of course)

thrutraffic (author)2006-11-15

The Heat n Glo site has some beautiful (expensive) vortex fire displays. Wow! I found a link with instructions for a (cheap) dry ice fog vortex display at A Tornado In A Box Display

gerg (author)2006-07-25

I've seen this done with a 1 foot wide plexiglass cylinder topped off with a metal plate with a 3 inch hole in the center. The flame was produced by a dish of alcohol. The spin was created by the vacuum of the hot air pulling fresh air in slots on the plexiglass. Cool stuff.

Scurl! (author)gerg2006-07-25

DAMN! i was just thinking of a way to do this almost exactly like that! i was thinking that you could just drill a few holes into a metal pipe at an angle and the air being drawn in would make it cyclone naturally....maybe try this with clay? poke the holes around the base before you fire it...hmmm....

Yours sounds like a more elegant design. Cheaper, simpler, no moving parts, no melting plastic, etc. I wonder if it'd be possible to shoot a flaming torroidal vortex from a vortex canon. Imagine filling the smoke chamber with a flammable aerosol and shooting this past a piezo-electric spark at the mouth of the canon. The result would be awfully short lived, I guess. I guess for fire vortices you need a continuous flame, not a discrete one. hmmm...ever seen a swimmer blow a bubble ring at the bottom of a pool? As it rises, the ring grows larger because atmospheric pressure on the bubble decreases. I read about Navy divers ascending from depth with no scuba equipment - just full lungs. As they ascend they continuously exhale at a rate which under normal circumstances would empty their lungs fairly quickly. But because they took a full breath of pressurizerd air at depth, it expands in their lungs rapidly as they rise. If they didn't exhale quickly, their lungs would burst from the pressure. So anyway, the divers reach the surface just as they're finishing one very long exhalation. So does anybody see where my pyro's wet-dream is going? Can you produce a pressurized bubble ring and ignite the flammable gas filler and get everything measured out right so that a rising, expanding and continuously burning bubble is formed, and then dissipates when it reaches the surface of a liquid pool? Who here has funding and can take responsibility for writing this instructable? Anybody here from Seattle that can bring me a pack of smokes?

i'm from seattle.

I am a crackpot, by the way.

leevonk (author)2006-08-01

someone is using rising air vortexes in a controlled setting to generate energy. (read it in a tech mag a while ago, forgot where).

bowakowa (author)leevonk2006-08-10

How can you tease like that? You must remember..THIS IS AN ORDER!.........please.

leevonk (author)bowakowa2006-10-30

might have been the economist, not sure. I don't read other magazines..

power (author)2006-10-22

finally i tried your doesn't need that box to do it because it burns easily.but you can replace the whole thing with coiled metal sheet from hardware shop.remember to throw away the fans as it will melt when the fire needs air so it sucks up from the gap and swirl just like the box technique

AlexTheGreat (author)power2006-10-24

cool. show pictures please

power (author)2006-09-19

there are many people use water vapour,smoke,dust,powder and they really work?

AlexTheGreat (author)power2006-10-08

yeah, but they aren't nearly as cool as fire, and dust will statically stick to the tape window

psyteknology (author)2006-10-03

I'd like to try with a standard room fan and a fog machine. Maybe put it in an acrylic box so I can put a color changing light under it. Nate Smiths Fire Vortex was AMAZING! Saw it this year at Burning Man. Nice job on this design alex! I'd be the one burning the box! lol

Brobru (author)2006-09-17

Awesome, I have to build this.

id love to do this but i dont reli wanna take apart my pc to do it

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