Pocket-sized Multicolored Flamethrowers and Sorcerer Staff

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In case no one told you, flamethrowers are really dangerous. This is NOT an instructable for kids! This is for educational purposes and if you attempt this you are doing so at your own risk. I am not responsible if you get hurt attempting this. The responsibility for your safety depends on you! I try to discuss how to do this safely throughout the instructable so, READ EVERYTHING CAREFULLY, but realize I can't think of every safety problem. HAVE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER HANDY! If you do not have a high level of understanding of the chemistry and physics involved you really should not do this.

That said, science and learning without danger would yield no cars, no fireworks, and no disease cures. So, I'm going to donate my body to some dangerous science!

Maybe some of you experienced a common flame test lab in high school. The one where you try to identify the presence of different metals by dipping little sticks in alcohol mixed with salts and observing what color the solution burns. This is basically like that on super soldier serum. This little baby can shoot up to 5 feet of flame and shoot two colors at once (three colors are possible if blending the fire streams). This thing can produce impressive flames for up to twenty seconds. To me, that's pretty sweet for a pocket-sized flamethrower holding maybe 20 grams of fuel.

No. In this case the fuel canister is made safe with self pressurizing butane fuel. In order to have fire you need fuel and an oxidizing agent such as O2 (makes up ~20% of air) or N2O(nitrous oxide) or one of many other oxidizing agents (oxygen may not even be involved). Since the canister is full of fuel with no oxidizer, it is not going to explode. If this were not the case, bic and other butane lighters would all be potential grenades in your hands. Their fuel sprays directly from where it is stored, into the flame. Some may say, but I've seen videos of lighters turned into little explosives. True and this could blast fire everywhere too if the plastic canisters melt and release the fuel. The container can explode if there is a second hole in the container, as this could cause air to get sucked up into it. You still have to be careful here.

To achieve colored fires another fuel, 100% denatured alcohol, is added to various fire coloring ionic compounds and mixed in with the butane. Some of these ionic compounds are toxic (very small amounts are used though), as is denatured alcohol. Yet another reason to be cautious.

Why do the chemicals used produce color? As the metals in the ionic compounds get hot, their electrons get bumped up to a more excited orbital state. It is an electron's nature to not want to stay in this excited state. So, to go back to the way it was, it rids itself of energy in the form of light. Due to different metals having electrons in different orbital states, the different metal's electrons emit different colors of light when excited. Since the alcohol and butane don't really emit much visible light, when burned efficiently, (like with the high pressure nozzle used here that mixes in a lot of oxygen with the fuel ) you see the colors emitted by the metals clearly.

How does it fire? I just simply push the little clear plastic tabs down onto the butane tanks' valves and out comes the pressurized fuel over a flaming pilot light wick. Each tab activates one tank making multiple colored blasts possible.

Make sure to read all the picture notes too.

You can't be a convincing pyromancer/pyrokinetic without fire! Turn an ordinary walking stick into a WIZARD STICK OF DOOM!!!

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DoxxRoxx1 year ago
Much voted!
Now, to just figure out how to fit this into a bra...
Don Juan De Pyro (author)  DoxxRoxx1 year ago
Ha! Many thanks! I too have had similar ideas. I don't know why I can't find a willing test subject... "C'mon baby it'll be like being Iron Man, but with double chest-piece firepower!" Never works.
Bryce B10 months ago
I meant what ingredients are use for colored flames because I don't care about the colors and I don't want to buy something I don't need
Don Juan De Pyro (author)  Bryce B9 months ago

sorry for the late reply. It totally depends on whether or not you want to refill the tanks yourself or just buy a bunch of little ones in bulk. The bernzomatic ones I used are hard to come by now. There are lots of other ones on the interwebs though, but the dimensions are different. They are cheap if you buy like 20 they are only like 50 cents a piece. If you are capable of doing this instructble knowledgeably and safely I think it is adequate at telling you what is used for what. I suggest finding a knowledgable adult for help though as it is easy to get burned by liquified petrol. Just look at how Colin furze got burned on YouTube.

Bryce B10 months ago
hi I want to do this but I don't want it colored could you please list what is needed for colors because were it has materials you need it doesn't specify and I can't tell what they are but I don't not want to buy a needed material
Afro Ninja10 months ago

THAT IS SO COOL!!!! I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanna make this! do u think its possible to make a hidden version? like, tied to my wrist or something maybe. Thanks for the ible'!

Don Juan De Pyro (author)  Afro Ninja10 months ago

Thx! A hidden version is certainly possible. I have made a more ramped up palm mounted version that works well (it can be hidden on the wrist). I'm in the middle of doing an instructable on how to make glowing blue fire and I think you will find a lot of other ways of doing mini flame shooters in it. I've been working on some crazy stuff that's related to this for the last six months that is getting really close to done.

OYG thanks so much!

wusupworld1 year ago
Make a video tutorial please!!!
Skyriam1 year ago
Great Project! Is it true that when you burn this color-making chemicals, it itches your nose, it smells really bad around the flames, and other toxic con's of using chemicals to make colored flames? Thanks!! Voted!
Don Juan De Pyro (author)  Skyriam1 year ago
If that last wall of text wasn't enough I added this to the instructable too concerning these reactions.
I can't say that I completely know what all the products are that are produced by burning all of this stuff together. You are burning a mix of butane, denatured alcohol (which can be a mix of several things), and ionic compounds in air. That is a lot of chemical reactions occurring at once. In a standard scaled down version of this that a teacher would conduct in a chem lab, a butane burner may be used to burn these chemicals mixed with methanol alcohol, but a very small amount is used. So, there is a certain unknown risk in all this to be aware of.
Don Juan De Pyro (author)  Skyriam1 year ago
Thanks! I don't smell anything that bad, but I'm using fairly dilute concentrations here (I wouldn't huff the stuff). Some of the chemicals used are not good for you if ingested or diffused through skin. You want to avoid inhaling them too. I tried to use colorant chemicals that were not horribly dangerous to humans, but still require caution. There's fire colorant chemicals out there that are really bad for you like paris green a.k.a. copper(II) acetoarsenite (another blue colorant). It's important to only operate a device like this in an outdoor area in such a way that the fumes aren't spraying your face. Read the included MSDS sheets and look up info on the chemicals from good internet sources to learn more. Read this to better understand some of what's on the MSDS:

The chemicals used here are at about a health level 2 (Fire Diamond classification). Surprisingly, the denatured alcohol is only at health level 1, but I think the fact that it is being mixed with stuff you don't want in your body like boric acid makes it more dangerous than that. Understanding what the LD50 of a substance is and means is also important for gauging safety.
Dr. dB1 year ago
Are there some who call you... "Tim"?
Don Juan De Pyro (author)  Dr. dB1 year ago
No I am not he. But I know of this man and I too know the secrets for summoning fire with neither flint nor tinder. Beware of the rabbit good sir!
fozzy131 year ago
I highly approve of this project. Good work!
Edgar1 year ago
Went a note about it, to my Blog, along with a less than $200 3D Printer:
Don Juan De Pyro (author)  Edgar1 year ago
Thanks! That 3d printer looks sweet! Always happy to find another cool tech site. MUÁHÁHÁHÁ!
I subed to you on Youtube
Don Juan De Pyro (author) 1 year ago
Don't forget you can still vote for the Halloween props contest through November 14th. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
It is a instructable for kids like me who are allowed to use plasma cutters
Can you please make a video tutorial!
There's one in the works.
lilly71 year ago
technokaur1 year ago
I will try it if it yields functional i certainly will
Words of wisdom, everyone. Are you taking notes?
I bow to you, O master Pyromancer. I would totally build one of these, but I would end up on fire and poisoned at least twice before I finished, and then I would blow my hand off with butane.
I don't get how you like fire it or get it to shoot farther
You just push the clear plastic levers down on the tank valves with your thumb. The harder you push the more fuel spits out.
technokaur1 year ago
Pretty awesome, do you think the "color sauce" solution would work if you put it into a zippo lighter?
Don Juan De Pyro (author)  technokaur1 year ago
Are you thinking of doing an instructable on this zippo topic? It would be a good one.
Don Juan De Pyro (author)  technokaur1 year ago
Thx! It should for most colors. I've noticed the copper acetate color does not seem to show up as well until it is really well aerosolized though. The boric acid and strontium sauces color well if I use them on the wick/pilot light section of the device. But, to work on the zippo, the original zippo fuel will have to be completely evaporated or else it will overpower the colors.
rimar20001 year ago
WOW, this is very interesting!
Don Juan De Pyro (author)  rimar20001 year ago
¡Gracias señor por el patch!