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How does the Magic-Flight Launch Box vaporizer work, and how can I make one? Answered

A challenge to all you rebellious Instructablers: There is a pretty neat small herbal vaporizer called the Magic-Flight Launch box (check it out here: http://www.magic-flight.com/). It looks like a very interesting device, the only problem is that it comes in at a whopping $100. I'm willing to bet that someone out there can design something like this for much less. Can you?


Hello, I have the magic flight and removed the screen to clean the insides, after assembling it back together it is not getting hot anymore. What did I do? The light still lights up, there are two little wires coming out of the light hold i believe... then the two rods... i noticed there was a mini piece of wire that came from somewhere but not sure where. When I was playing with it, it burnt in half touching the light bulb.. but i truly can't understand where it came from or where the disconnection is. What is exactly that heats up the rods and therefore screen? Or is it the screen that activates the rod charge in result heating it up? Pardon me for my engineering skills but i'm boggled and want my vape back! Please help if you can!

Hi to all, I've been very interested in making one of these since I found out about them. I'm a joiner by trade so it seemed right up my street. I've made one to the exact dimensions of the original, used the correct mesh (304), bought some 2700mah rechargables, but had trouble finding the copper clad steel rods. I understand that coaxial cable contains this but it is only 1mm thick at best and the rod used on the MFLB seems to be 2 or possibly 3mm thick. I managed to find some Nichrome 2mm wire, which I used in my unit. The screen does heat up to the touch, tried it with some weed but not sure if it is working properly or if the screen is getting hot enough. Didn't really see any noticeable vapour when I exhale (which on some YouTube videos is very visible). The weed in the trench did seem to slightly brown after a few goes on it but just not sure if the effect is the same as the original as I've never tried any other vaporiszer before.... I suppose my question is, would the Nichrome wire work in the same way copper clad steel wire does? I really want this to work because I think this design is amazing and seems a shame to have to spend my hard earned cash on something that I actually enjoyed making... Any help would be greatly appreciated. ?

You can not use nickel chromium wire in place of the cooper contacts. Nichrome has a very large unit volume resistance in comparison to copper. So based on ohms law p = i^2*r, you want your maximum resistance at the heading element so that it and only it dissipates the most energy. The rest of the circuit should be free current flowing. Also, you don't not have use copper clad steel. I use full copper 12 awg romex wire. Since copper has a very low unit volume resistance, the bigger the diameter of wire the more energy can flow through it without it heating up very hot based on newton's law of thermal convection and ohm's law.

Hope this helps!

Hello, I have the magic flight and removed the screen to clean the insides, after assembling it back together it is not getting hot anymore. What did I do? The light still lights up, there are two little wires coming out of the light hold i believe... then the two rods... i noticed there was a mini piece of wire that came from somewhere but not sure where. When I was playing with it, it burnt in half touching the light bulb.. but i truly can't understand where it came from or where the disconnection is. What is exactly that heats up the rods and therefore screen? Or is it the screen that activates the rod charge in result heating it up? Pardon me for my engineering skills but i'm boggled and want my vape back! Please help if you can!

Hey i have a question... How hot do your copper rods get? and how long before they heat up>?

What would you say is the best resistance for the screen to have for the box to work at a similar rate of heating as the original mflb? I'm using a 2300 mAh battery.

Hello all. I will be buying my mesh this week and had a few questions. Will this mesh work: http://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Steel-Perforated-Sheet-Length/dp/B005H3GTJ6/ref=sr_1_6?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1362366268&sr=1-6&keywords=stainless+steel+mesh

It has a small diameter which is good, but what kind of % open area do I want? Do I want that to be as small as possible? Are there any other factors I should consider? Thanks.

I don't remember exactly the percentage of open area, but I wrote a program to optimize the screen resistance with respect to the screen dimensions I wanted and I determined T316L stainless steel wire mess at 325 wires per inch to be the best. At 325M pollen does not fall through.

What would you say is the best resistance for the screen to have for the box to work at a similar rate as the original mflb?

Thanks. I couldn't find the 325 anywhere in a sample size or for a reasonable price. Do you think the 325 would be best for me? I am going to be putting about 1.2 volts across the resistor with my battery so I may need a slightly higher resistance. I was hoping there would be some way to determine whether a higher or lower open area would be better intuitively. If you have any mesh suggestions/good places to buy from please let me know. Thanks for your help!

First of all, the voltage across the heating element is not the total voltage of the battery. This vaporizer circuit works like a simple bridge circuit. A battery has an internal resistance that is in series with the second resistor or heating element and causes the voltage across the heating element to be less than the total battery voltage. Because of this phenomenon a normal alkaline AA will not heat the screen to 375 - 400 degrees Fahrenheit because it's internal resistance is too high. Theoretically, if the internal resistance of a battery had a value of zero it would work like an ideal capacitor; having the ability to discharge all it's stored energy instantaneously.
In your case, look around and see what you can find. My only recommendation to you is to use a screen that is fine enough that doesn't allow anything to fall through...or else you will breathe it in.

So since I am not going to get the full 1.2 volts, how can I determine how much voltage is dropped across the internal resistance? Do batteries have some kind of data sheet with this kind of information? I plan on using a NiMH Cell, but am still struggling to find the proper mesh. As others have stated equipment that is capable of measuring the resistance across the mesh is not available to me, so would I be best off just buying a mesh that I thought would have the highest resistance? Do you know of any meshes that might suit my needs? I might just use the one you suggested and see what kind of temps I get with it... Sorry for all of the questions. Thanks for your help.

Also if the multimeter says the battery is outputting 1.2 volts then the voltage dropped on the load must be 1.2 volts (despite the internal resistance), correct? Thanks again.

My "prototype" turned out decent I guess. ;) Not much that I could improve on it except using something besides lumber :$.  Perhaps getting a negative loop, the battery hole has a area that about one cm squared that makes contact with the battery thus completing the circuit. Have any questions or anything, hit me up.  Oh yea...pictures 


Does that screen work for you? I'm using the same stuff, and getting NO heat with a AA, and very little with a 5v .8 amp power supply. am I doing something wrong here?

I am having the same problem has anyone figured this out? Mine is completely built I used 14ga copper rod for the battery terminals and a stainless steel screen. The screen would kinda get hot when i would press it hard into the copper rod. I thought i would solve this problem by soldering it to the screen but now it wont get hot at all. I cannot figure this out i think the copper rod i used could be the problem because it is not the same used of the mflb?? PLEASE HELP

Get a chisel tip for your soldier iron/gun.

You will also need some soldiering flux (preferably the gel type /or brush on type) that is intended for stainless steel.

Brush the rod (don't get it all over the wood, it doesn't take a lot). brush the mesh. Now load the tip of your iron, lay the mesh in and apply soldier as needed along the rod.

It may help you to "Tin" (apply soldier to this piece by itself first) the copper rod before you start. I tin mine. Again, try not to get this Flux all over the wood, you'll never get it out of the wood if you do.

Soldier on the other hand can be flaked off after it cools so don't worry so much about it, just let it cool then flick it off.

I know this is an old one to dig up for you, but, i wonder what you mean by silver soldering?
What kind of silver solder are you using?
Generally even an easy silver solder needs to be 700 degrees to melt, but soldering irons will generally only reach 500?
And surely you can't braze it because... open flame inside wooden box = NUH UH.
Can you give more details on this?
I want my DIY flight box to be spankkkkingly amazing :3

Probably your cable, the bigger the best, copper plated steel pipe hooks work the best for this

Anyone know what kind of bulb is inside of MFLB? I think its not a LED, beacouse LED need to work 2,3 V.

Hi guys

I wonder if I when I will use 0,028 mm stainless steel mesh (304) with 0,036 x 0,036 mm MESH HOLES? Eyelet? (forgive me but i dont know how it is called in english) and 2 mm stainless steel rods my vaporizer will work properly?

How should I know will it achieve a proper temperature? Do you us it a laser thermometer?


I made it !! :) But I think is going hot to fast...;/

I'm an industrial designer and i also thought i could make this thing for a whole lot less. So, i made a few prototypes and then settled on a design and method of construction. I made 170 of these little guys dubbed the OakTop Portable Vaporizer and am selling them on eBay. Someone mentioned on this post that Magic Flight uses lead free solder on the mesh but i was under the impression that it was micro welded to the two copper rods beneath. Anyhow, i used lead free silver solder and clamped the soldered connections in shallow grooves between the Oak top and the Maple body. Hope ya'll like it, this site helped a lot when i designed it.

oaktop exploded.jpgcollapsed vape.jpglong nose.jpg

Hi Jaketreefrog!!

Could you tell me how did you bend your mesh to get the original shape. I mean what did you use to make a trench?? I would be glad if you give me a solution to my problem.:)

Wow, this is perfect. No separate tube either. On my way to make one for myself.

Hey there. I really like your design and was wondering what tools/instruments did you use to drill holes with? How is it possible to make for more space on the bottom, so that it's wider then on top? I'm trying to make it with a different screen and do not want it to burn through wood.

I just pulled the trigger as well. Looks like it's possibly a better design. Looking forward to it.

I pulled the trigger. Looks comparable but with a built in draw.

Looks awesome. I just sent you a pm... hope to hear back from you.

Hi guys,

Dumb question...how is the pin that holds the plexiglass in place attached to the wood body? Is it just a nail? Can it be pulled and placed back in? or does it have thread? I need to replace my plexiglass top. A firned dropped my MFLB down my window. The thing survived 20feet! Only the plexiglass top broke!!


On the mini vaporizer I built, I use about an inch long X 3/32 inch diameter brass rod. I deform the S-shape into it, then epoxy it in place with JB weld.

When I said "Dumb question" I did not realize how dumb it really was. I actually looked at it for 2 seconds today thinking about what was coming into my eyes and I see how this works. Can posts be removed? This is actually embarrassing. :) Anyways, on my way to purchasing a replacement top. :)

Why build one of these when they make a cheap Chinese version that i've seen sell for 20-30 bucks on ebay. OK I know this is the instructables site.

Personally I'd actually like to build the magic flight with some slight modifications. Does anyone know where the light bulb can be bought.. I don't know what kind it is. Thanks!


2012-03-17 21.05.50.jpg2012-03-17 21.03.22.jpg

Hey guys I have seen so many that I had to post mine! This is refined and fully functional. It took an expensive setup to build but they are done and the final product is in the bag. Ladies and gentleman this is PV^4! Thank You, questions at thestarsmist@gmail.com


WOW. Good stuff! How you connect mesh with rods? It is some kind of solding or welding? Looks really good:) What's the name of the middle of the last picture? Do you used copper rods ?

I mean what's the name of the tool ;)

so, this is where im at. I'm not using the origional dimensions in this version. Didn;t get very hot using aa's but with a nine volt it got hot when i held it but kept sparking when i didn't. Im guessing i should solder it with the silver stuff for it to work? I plan on buying the correct screen size if available or using one of my tea strainers. ANy input?

2012-12-15 20.04.17.jpg

My Launch box is not heating up properly! :(. I think there may be a connection problem. Is this something I can easily fix? I'm not very handy, but you all seem extremely knowledgable and would love any input you may have. If I take out the screen and rubber gasket, can I fix the possible wiring issue and simply put it back together?

Thanks so much for your help on this!!!

Sincerely needing my box to work,

I am in the process of making my version. Today I silver brazed the screen to copper clad steel welding rod. With a half charged battery I quickly had the screen temp up to 300 degrees. I am sure it would get a lot hotter with a fresh battery and with something other than my fingers holding the battery to the rod. Has anyone else tried silver brazing (hard solder) the screen to the rods? It seems to work great. I used easy solder and white paste flux.

Ok guys I know this is really old and no one will probably answer but here it goes. I have all the parts ready to be used this weekend I understand how it works and I'm not stupid but the one thing I do not get is what is holding the copper rods in place please any answer Is better then none thank you

The copper rods are soldered to the screen and everything is heald in place by the case of the device.

Hi mamajr96,

If you have access to a micrometer, measure the diameter of the copper that you are using (needs to be a solid core; not strand wire).

Drill a hole in the wood exaclty the size of the copper and you may have to tap the wire slightly. You can use your micrometer to measure the base of the drill bit (part that goes in drill) this will tell you what size the hole will be. (yeah some of the large drill bits have a smaller shaft in order to fit into a smaller chuck but we are not using bits that large here).

If you will notice on the pictures of the actual MFLB,  Here:


that there is usually a noticeable wood filler mark on either end where the hole has been filled in a little, for cosmetic reasons.

On the negative side of the post; you drill your hole in the front (mouthpiece) end.

Have a copper rod longer than what you will need.
Push it through from the front,
------> bring enough out the back slot side to make your correct bends for your battery contact
------>then push it back through to the front-
------>I won't go into the exact bends but if you need advice on it let me know
------>basically you have to measure the it will come up just short of the end of the box (so you can have a slight indention to hold the filler.
------>If you would rather make you piece first and then slide it in from the "Kerf" side that you cut then do it from that end, just keep you try part of the rod straight. 

You will also notice from the actual pictures of the MFLB that they have a small piece of metal (like a shim for an axe handle, just smaller) to keep the negative side of the rod from coming out of the back side. 

The positve side should just be straight, drilled through on one end and partial drilled in the opposite, and as with the negative side; slightly shorter than the box so you can fill it. I believe on the original, that they fill it on the back side. remember that it needs to be in the middle or at the point of the center of the Battery's positive node. 

Well I hope this gives you a little more insight, I see it is a little late for your weekend project but maybe it will help someone.

The website where that picture is linked will have a Zoom feature that you can look at a few different angles of the original. This will also give you some detailed insight if you need it.

Post back if you need any help. 

That wood filler thing you said isn't true, there are two holes on the back of the MFLB where you can see the rods were inserted. The "wood filler mark" in the picture is a blemish on the wood.

If that were true, all of the originals would not have that same "Blemish" as you say.

The "TRUE" MFLB's are designed this way.

It is your project, build it in whatever way works for you. You may not have some of the tools that a large Cabinet shop would have.

Report your steps or methods back and maybe it will help someone out with their project.

They don't, lol. Unless the 2012 version isn't a "true" MFLB. The "wood filler mark" is perpendicular to the rods, while both holes on the back correspond to the position and size of the rods. It's in the vaporpedia entry.


I'm not sure I understand what your argument is here on this forum.

Let me ask you this and maybe your answers to this, will clear it up for me.

-Are you preparing to make one of these?

-Have you already made one these?

My situation is this; I DO have the Cabinet shop, all of the tools needed but I do understand that some people do not have access to these tools such as I have readily available. I have made these and I have some originals. They all work exactly the same. One is not any better than the other.

I've been a Finish Carpenter and Cabinet/Furniture maker since 1984 and this is a really simple design. I think you may be making it more complicated than it is and the wood filler, insertion of the copper rods etc. is really a non-issue from my perspective. It is what it is. There is only so many combinations that could be used to obtain the desired result , given the information we have from the actual MFLB's.

If I can help you any along the way, then I will try.