Introduction: Swiffer Flamethrower
This flamethrower building method prioritizes safety (relative safety of course, it is a flamethrower) without sacrificing the impressive effect. Unlike many butane or gasoline flamethrowers, there is no risk of the flame sucking back into the fuel container, and it uses cheap rubbing alcohol as fuel. The advantage of using rubbing alcohol is also that it burns at a low temperature and is far easier to control than butane or gasoline. All you need for this project is:
-A Swiffer Wet Jet
-A small syringe
-A WD40 head
-Assorted tubing, including standard aquarium tubing
-A rubber kitchen glove
-A wooden popsicle stick
-Rubbing Alcohol and Rubber Cement
-Zipties, hot glue and duct tape
The concept is that you connect the Swiffer’s hydraulic motor to the syringe full of rubbing alcohol, so that it sucks the rubbing alcohol out of the syringe and through the WD40 head to create a spray. The spray blows through a wooden Popsicle stick with lit rubber cement on it to generate the flame. I chose to mount my system on an L shaped piece of wood so that I could operate it with one hand like a gun. For the switch, I taped the black wire from the switch in the handle to the fingertip I cut from the rubber kitchen glove, and then taped the other blue wire to the handle of the gun. I chose to do this because this is a pretty difficult trigger system to accidently engage.
To start you have to break down the Swiffer. First take off the battery pack and container that holds the Swiffer liquid. The breaking down of the Swiffer is the most challenging part, and I ended up just sawing through the plastic after I took out the first couple of screws. You can break off the handle (and cut the wires leading to the handle switch) and head of the mop and don’t worry about severing the tubing as you will be replacing it anyway later. Pull out the white innards that house the motor. Also be very careful, there are two needle-like tubes in the middle of the white plastic that are extremely sharp. Now mount the white plastic with the motor inside and the battery pack onto a wood frame. I used a combination of hot glue and zip ties to do this. Now take the tubing that originally went to the spraying head of the mop and connect it to the WD40 head. you may have to use a series of smaller tubes to do this. I got a lot of my smaller tubes (for making the connections) from old pens, spritzer bottle tubes, etc. Then connect a tube to the needle in the middle of the white plastic connected to the motor. There are two needles, make sure you get the one that is attached to the motor. connect the needle with tubing to the syringe (first fill the syringe with rubbing alcohol). then hot glue the popsicle stick onto the tip of the gun. Finally, take the two switch wire and connect one to the handle of the gun (where a trigger would go) and the other to the glove fingertip. To operate, just swab a little rubber cement on the tip of the gun. then push the syringe a little with your finger to get the alcohol flowing through the gun. now just light the rubber cement and put your finger inside the glove tip and push it against the other wire attached to the gun.
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