Introduction: The Accidental Pocket Jet Engine...

Picture of The Accidental Pocket Jet Engine...
Yep, that's right a baby jet engine, it takes in air and uses fuel to heat and therefore expand the air, this particular engine is more a functioning model, it produces little thrust in real terms, it is however a lot of fun and makes one interesting ornament, albeit a dangerous one.

Continue on and see, by the way here's a video to go with it.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials

*File (possibly avoided)
*A lighter

*A metal pen barrel
*The cap of a bic pen
*Some wire (I used bare steel wire)
*A jet lighter nozzle (If you don't have one I'll soon have an instructable showing you how to make one)
*A lighter reservoir (I used one off another jet lighter that had three nozzles, converted it to one for power)

Step 2: Explanations and Safety

Picture of Explanations and Safety

Ok you are dealing with fire and gas here, so at this point I would like to explain that I take no responsibilty for injury or damage caused by the items shown in this instructable, also if you're under 13 I suggest not doing this at all, just because you're under thirteen, fire may cause rash judgements in males under 50 and females under 16.

Well how this happened... I was making a simple bunsen burner for the pocket instructables and as far as I can tell the new design I came up with affords too much slowing of the air/gas mixture, combined with the fact that the upper casing becomes hot, this meant that the flame reached a critical point and suddenly receded inside and turned in to a jet engine, by putting a tiny nozzle on the end after this may be able to create some thrust.

Again, I accidentally made a jet engine out of a pen.

Step 3: The Setup.

Picture of The Setup.

This is dead simple.

basically you have gas and air coming in one end, being burnt in the middle and hot gases coming out the other end...

So the nozzle goes on the bottom of the metal pen barrel, air holes outside the barrel, the pen lid is chopped up a tad and used to make a small sealing ring around the nozzle top, without that you'll only get a weak yellow flame because pressure can't build and also there's too much air to gas.

Step 4: Putting It Together.

Picture of Putting It Together.

So first thing you'll need is to make the nozzle fit tight in to the pen barrel, my way of doing this was simply to cut the end off of the bic pen lid and fit it over the barrel and shape it so that the air holes were open, very important. after fitting it to the nozzle you slide the nozzle assembly down the pen barrel and then grip the bottom part of the nozzle and pull and wiggle the nozzle down until the air holes are at least halfway clear of the barrel bottom.

Step 5: Stand It Up...

Picture of Stand It Up...

I used some wire and a bit of speaker mesh to create a decent collapsible stand for the rest of it, I then used some wire to hold the gas tank in place on the mesh aswell, after this I connected the nozzle up to the gas tank.

Step 6: It Lives!!!

Picture of It Lives!!!

So after pulling the little lever bit to start the gas flow I held a lit lighter to the end.

At first there was a nice flame out the end and after three seconds or so the was a small pop and the a strange wooshing noise, holy moses I made a jet engine out of a pen and lighter...

Step 7: Now It's Better

Picture of Now It's Better
So after some more modifications and using a different nozzle I've managed to avoid plastic parts and give it more power, also with a video...

Second pic shows the engine in it's new shape, different stands.

Hopefully you'll be able to hear the engine in this video, it's hard to tell when you already know what it sounds like.

In the video it's running really hot and is burning the powder coat on the pen tube a bit, the actual barrel is made of brass so it's pretty safe.


ceraman (author)2010-08-01

is this a really jet engine or just a decorative model? i want to make a practical one. but i think that's not work in this way.

jompon2547 (author)ceraman2017-11-02

i agree with you

this model of jet engine don't event have fan or motor for air compressor

it look like it have a power

but it actually don't have the power

rbetel (author)ceraman2015-05-02

I would say this is more of a small rocket than a jet.

Deckdogs11 (author)rbetel2017-05-01

Actually its the definition of a jet. A jet engine draws air in, compresses it, burns it, then sends hot exhaust gas out in the form of thrust

killerjackalope (author)ceraman2010-08-01

This one won't produce serious thrust, for the size and valveless pulse jets probably the best option, I have plans to build a jet engine with useful thrust but at the moment I'm working on some high voltage projects

Rubens?? (author)2016-10-13

hey man where did u make the air holes

Deckdogs11 (author)Rubens??2017-05-01

If you got your fuel nozzle from an actual jet lighter, then the air holes are already made

Deckdogs11 made it! (author)2017-05-01

Pretty simple set up, bought a propane adaptor for an airsoft gun so was able to fill the lighter with propane which produced the jet along with an afterburner. Pretty cool. Im building a sleeve now because the pen gets red, red hot.

Rubens?? (author)2016-10-13
Where do you make the air hole some one tell me
Rishabh_M (author)2016-07-22

please help me with the nozzle i literally read all of the comments and wasn't able to find any help almost everything of it except the nozzle which connects the fuel(lighter body) to the combustion chamber(pen body)...if you just give a rough design of the nozzle including the air holes (on this and the previous version) will be really a lot helpful...I just wanted to build a small working model showing the working of pulse jet for a demonstration active session to my colleagues...
any help will be appreciated..!!
Thank you

prince Rajesh (author)2013-05-15

how do you ignite the fuel air mixture

leeh80 (author)prince Rajesh2016-04-21

Use electric sparks

Opposedspartan6 (author)2016-04-15

Hey how powerful can u make it and how big

diybomber834 (author)2016-02-14

i am makeing a me 163 rc plane so pls

diybomber834 (author)2016-02-14

make a biger vershon pls

DEEJAY642 (author)2015-11-17

pretty cool but slightly techo

T0BY (author)2015-07-08

Isn't it a blowtorch?

KipH (author)2015-02-12

What is the jet nozzle made of I can't find a video of how to make it.

DatKoolKid2320 (author)2014-11-13

hey this is sweet and I want to build it but im not sure how if I can use a regular lighter or not and I don't know where to poke the holes.

DatKoolKid2320 (author)2014-11-13

hey this is sweet and I want to build it but im not sure how if I can use a regular lighter or not and I don't know where to poke the holes.

freak0vnature (author)2013-10-30

could you add fans or turbines to this

techno guy (author)2011-03-15

Where can I buy a jet lighter that is cheap and durable?

Homedepot in the welding section for 3$

HVahead (author)techno guy2011-07-26

walgreens for 5

I bought one at a local gas station for around 10 bucks. little reservoir though

The funny thing is dollar store ones have pretty much the same innards as more expensive ones - try to get one with a metal body as they tend to have less integrated parts inside.

For your nozzle question, this guy got it before I did...

On the other 'ible you asked about making a nozzle for a lighter - I doubt you'd get one to fit and work in a lighter unless you machined one just like a manufactured one...

coonass (author)2008-03-20

Hot DAMN! This is unreal! Ever tried putting this on a flat bed HO scale rail car, setting the whole thing on HO rail tracks and re-creating a rocket sled? Just curious. You should be able to put a micro scale of some sort in front of the assembly so the jet sled/rail car pushes against it and allows you to measure your thrust in ounces or grams. In fact, you could calibrate a system like this by cutting the explosive charge off of a model rocket engine, putting THAT on your rail car and measuring the thrust as I described - then comparing that to the rated thrust of the engine. That would give you a comparison. By measuring several different sizes of model rocket engine, you could work out a conversion factor to allow you to calculate the actual thrust from the readings on your scale just by calculating ratios of real thrust to measured thrust. If you're serious, of course, you'd need to burn up several examples of each thrust level model rocket engine to reduce the impact of observational error and/or chance mishap on your calculations. Good work, dude!

bluemetaknight (author)coonass2013-05-13

The jet here dosen't put out much thrust. Not even enough to move itself

pastaking (author)coonass2011-07-31

Or use model rockets specifically designed for cars - cutting off the explosive (recovery) charge prevents any thrust, if I remember rightly.

geeklord (author)coonass2008-10-26

carefull what you do with the explosive charge out of a model rocket engine(specificaly C6-3s and higher). Trust me, I would know that a 3rd degree burn all over the bottom of your hand hurts like hell, and takes really long to heal. Just a word of caution :)

killerjackalope (author)coonass2008-03-21

It's not quite at that stage but soon it will be...

bluemetaknight (author)2013-05-13

I built one of these out of some gas pipe fitting. And it was quite successful.

ccopyrites1986 (author)2012-01-11

I was thinking about using an old 30-06 bullet casing cut to size. might be thick enough to handle the heat better?

The Coder (author)ccopyrites19862012-07-09

I'd say a 30-30 round.

Aron313 (author)2012-01-10

Thats sick!! put it on a small plane!!!! or do what coonass said!!!!!!

techno guy (author)2011-03-15

How do you make a jet lighter nozzle?

bio-logical (author)2010-11-27

i can't seem to find any kind of tube in some of the devices you have said like a jet lighter or what not, so is it possible to find them in bar-be-que lighters?

jbman840 (author)2010-10-29

sarey for the spelling i have dislexeya
your desine is intresting and prity cool i am going to make a jet engine useing and plasma torch you see plasma is som would say is the 4th state of matter and i will spin the plasma with magnetick felds and at the rite speed i will reles it and if all gos well it willl give a woping 66% afishinsee

Ki1o (author)2010-10-26

I wonder if it would be possible to make a mini afterburner to add thrust to it.

Tobor 2.0 (author)2010-09-28

every try adjusting it so it creates more thrust

tzq33tdq (author)2010-09-24

i've been wondering how to make a jet engine for some time now and i have finally found out how.

killerjackalope (author)tzq33tdq2010-09-24

There are a lot of better options than this one, it's more or less just a model, no serious thrust...

Pulse jets are a cheap way to start...

115494 (author)2010-07-25

since you know how to make a jet engine i was wondering if you know how to make a mini gasoline engine because i am trying to make one. thanks.

killerjackalope (author)1154942010-07-26

Look at two stroke engines, the simplest type of piston engine if you're going to build one from scratch that's a good place to start.

zfolwick (author)2010-07-21

^flagged for stupidity

fly_boy_bc (author)2010-07-21

Um... Jet engines have thrust. This is NOT a jet engine it is a camp stove or cigarette lighter. Suggestion :read read read. There ARE working jet engines AS SIMPLE AS THIS ONE but they actually produce thrust. No moving parts required. It's called a ram jet but I would reccomend a pulsejet since it has STATIC thrust.

For Better Or Worse (author)2010-07-17

Why are the pictures not showing!!!!!!! I'm trying to build one but I cannot see how you did yours.

Pyro-crazy (author)2008-10-16

Here are the new nozzle pictures again. Do you think these will work?

Pyro-crazy (author)Pyro-crazy2008-10-16

the images

rug (author)Pyro-crazy2010-07-15

how does those work if u could have a look and answer a questain i posted on how does a jet lighter work . thanks

About This Instructable




Bio: A Northern Ireland based maker with a propensity to cause trouble and freshly constructed family.
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