Jack-o'-lantern on Fire
Nothing is more mesmerizing than fire. So what could be better than a Jack-o'-lantern on fire! The dancing flames just add to the atmosphere and mystery surrounding Halloween. This instructable will show you how to build your own 'propane pumpkin'.
There have been several instructables published over the years that use a kerosene soaked toilet paper roll as fuel inside a jack-o'-lantern, and they look really cool. However, this project, unlike the others, uses propane gas to fuel the flames.
This has several advantages:
1) No messy flammable liquids to store, spill or clean up,
2) The burn time in not limited by the fuel in the pumpkin. This project will run for hours and hours on a 20lb propane tank and not just the 45 minutes as many of the kerosene fueled jack-o'-lanterns do. No need to refuel during your festivities.
3) The flame is adjustable so that you can have it burning at a low 'simmer' or crank it up to a 'blow torch'!
Let's be smart, we are playing with FIRE - Let's not get burned.... Or burn anything down, or catch anything or anyone on fire.... etc. OK?!
Of course with propane gas you need to be careful to not allow it to collect (propane is heavier than air and will seek to collect in low lying areas) or mix with air to become an explosive atmosphere or displace air and create an environment without sufficient oxygen to breath (suffocation/asphyxiation).
CAUTION - This is a project utilizing fire! This and other open flames need to be kept away from flammable materials and people need to be physically kept away from the flame. It may be necessary to erect barriers, locate the flame out of reach, or use other means to prevent people from coming near it. Consideration should be given to the determination of children to come near the flame and plan accordingly to prevent their access. The open flame should be supervised at all times by a competent adult that can quickly turn off the fuel source. When locating this flaming display you need to consider the potential flame size when 'on full' and wind blowing the flame toward or onto flammable materials. Also consider the radiant heat projected from the flames - Adjacent surfaces can get hot and ignite. Fire fighting materials (water, fire extinguisher, water hose, etc.) should be readily available.
Making a mistake can result in property damage, personal harm or even death to yourself or others. You need to be familiar with fire, propane gas and its hazards. If you are not knowledgeable and comfortable with this project do not attempt it. You take full responsibility for the project you build/assemble. I may be taking risks that are acceptable to me, but may not be acceptable for you or your circumstances. Build/assemble at your own risk. If you do not understand or have questions consult a professional. Sorry for the disclaimer, but if you burn something down or kill yourself or someone else it's your own fault, not mine. :-)
Jack-o-Lantern (Willing to be sacrificed to the flames) - Use a real carved pumpkin, not a plastic decoration!
Propane Regulator, KING KOOKER Model# 00502 (10psi, Not inches of water output)*
20 ft 1/4" OD vinyl tubing
2 ft. 1/4" copper tubing. Use at least 2 feet so that heat can't transfer from the burner to the vinyl tubing.
Tuna fish can
Brass hose barb 3/16" ID x 1/4" MIP
20 lb propane tank
Tea Light Candle
*Many gas regulators output gas at very low pressure, measuring the pressure by the column of water that the gas pressure can lift. Hence, the pressure rating in "inches of water". This is a much higher output regulator that can output gas at 10 pounds per square inch pressure.
Awl or drill
Pumpkin carving 'utensils'
Match or lighter
An over abundance of caution, and appropriate fire fighting materials as noted in the text.