Introduction: Buzz Fire

For our school Howest (education: Industrial productdesign) we had to make a fire construction for a organisation; Bolwerk vzw.

The assignment is to design a system that can be drawn during the "fire festivals" like "Feux d'Hiver". It designs within a specific theme and provides a strong interaction with the audience.

The concept:

The game is about playing with three players. You rush so hard you can with the handle to the middle, without touching the copper tubes.
The person who touches the aluminum plate (at the end of the copper tube) first, wins a kind of Olympic flame as recognition that he won the game.

Makers :

Step 1: Needs for 3 Players


  • 2 wooden MDF plates 244X122 cm X1.2cm ( thickness )
  • electric wire 6 m
  • gas hoses 6 m

  • drill machine
  • drilling of 10mm, 15mm,1.5mm , 16mm, 50mm
  • 2 wooden beams of 2 meters long
  • pipe pliers

  • 3 copper pipes of 3m long

  • candles

Step 2: Making the Boxes

First start to make the basic structure.

For that you will have to cut your MDF plate.

The boxes are 1.2m by 0.3m

Per box you need ( see sketch) :

  • Two plates of 1,20m by 0.30m
  • Two plates of 1.2m by 0.126m => the 0.126 is because of the 2* 12 mm thickness of your MDF plate
  • One plate of 0.30m op 0.15m

Now you did it for 1 box, repeate this 2 more times.

Step 3: Holes

Now it is time to make some holes.

  • 1 hole of 10 mm in 1 plate of 1.20m by 0.3m => this is for the copper pipe
  • 1 hole of 10mm in 1 plate of 1.2m by 0.126m => this is for the gas main
  • 1 hole of 2 mm in the plate of 1.20m by 0.3m

Now these plates are cut, we will be able to drill some holes (diameter 8 and 16)

On the sketch you can see were the holes need to come.

Step 4: Legs

Now we make the legs for one box.

First you have to take long thick wooden beams of a rectangle 4 cm diameter

  • saw four beams from 80 cm
  • now four plates of 0.3m by 0.05 m of the MDF-plate .
  • those plates serves to connect the legs to each other.
  • you have to not them together (or do it with screws)
  • then make 2 additional brackets so that the box can stand.
  • screw them and used some wood glue
  • for extra stability it is best you put between the 2 legs another beam.

=> Do this 6 times.

Finally you will have legs for all the boxes

Step 5: Beveled Plates

Now you need to make another thing in MDF

See on the sketch what size that you have to cut.

  • Make 1 hole of 60mm in the plate of 0.3m by 0.15m
  • Make 1 hole of 10mm and 2mm in the of 0.75m by 0.3m

Then you can assembly it with wood glue and screws

Step 6: Assembly Part 1

Then you need to assembly the box with the beveled part.

You connect those parts onto the box on the side which is open.

You screw them together. Use some blocks if needed to reinforce the connection.

Step 7: Blocks

Cut 6 blocks out of scrap lumber.The dimensions doesn't mattter. Just it has to be higher than 5 centimeters. Drill a holle in the block of 8 mm make sure it isn't all the way through.

Step 8: Beam and Circle

  • Cut a MDF plate into a cirkel of a diameter of 0.16 meter.
  • Also take a wooden beam of 1 meter and cut it like you can see on the first sketch.
  • screw them together so the circular piece sits in the middle onto the wooden beam.

Step 9: Fire Bowl

Buy or find a pan / pot (diameter about 35 cm).

Be sure that they can handle the heat. That's very important!

  • connect the MDF circle with screws
  • drill a hole in the middle of the pan with a diameter of 10 mm
  • at the end you can use epoxy glue to close the hole. So wax can't escape.

Step 10: Connect

Now screw the whole assembly into the main box.

And make some blocks that go on the other boxes so when they are together the pan assenbly whil rest on those wooden blocks.

Step 11: Bending the Copper Pipes

Now you take the copper pipes.

You take a iron bending machine to bend the copper pipes.

Bend them like you can see on the sketch.

After you bend them, you can scour them with sand paper. Then you have a beautiful view.

Repeat this 2 more times.

Step 12: Copper Handle

Take a piece of copper pipes.

0.5 meter will be enough per piece

you will have to bent the end of the copper pipes to make a loop.

Repeat this 2 more times

Step 13: Hole in the Copper Pipe

In the copper pipes of 0.5 meters you will have to make holes of 1.5mm. This is because the gas need to escape and make fire.

You make a 5 hole of 1.5mm into the copper pipes. You can choose the distance between the holes.

Step 14: Handle

For the handle you can buy one or you can turn on one a lathe. (100mm or 110mm)

At the back of the handle you make a hole of 20mm , 65mm deep.

At the top, where you see the iron piece, you make a hole of 10mm al the way through.

Now the gas line will fit inside the handle.

Step 15: How to Complete the Handle

  • First you take the handle and put it over the copper pipe.
  • Cut a 1.8m long piece of gas tubing.
  • Then you try to put the tube over the copper pipe.
  • Solder the wire onto the copper handle.
  • Make the connection secure using some tape.
  • Now slide the handle over the tube and wire
  • Done!

=> 2 more times please

Step 16: Aluminium Plate

You take a aluminium plate of 0.6meter by 0.2 meter

Cut it according to the sketch. Do this 3 times.

Make a hole of 15 mm diameter in the 3 plates.

Step 17: Candles

Buy three candle jars and a garden candle with a diameter of 10 centimeter.

  • take a aluminium plate of 10 centimeter
  • and bend the metal into a zigzag shape ( see first photo)
  • bend another piece of metal in a semi cirkel ( see second photo)
  • hang an iron wire on the semi cirkel ( this is for the electrics )
  • put this in the candle

Step 18: Gas Lines

Before installing the gas line you need to install the gas canisters and the solenoid valves first. To start , install the canisters that are used for the players. They are placed inside the triangular part as shown in the picture.

To make sure they won't move they are placed in a piece of wood with a cavity cut into it, and secured with screws and a piece of metal. This needs to be installed on every box for each different player.

The gas canister for the middel flame is attached to the underside of the main box using the same methode as described before.

To attach the vaves to the canisters you are able to screw them directly onto the canisters. If this solution is not possible for you, I advise to use a small piece of gas tubing to make the connection.

Step 19: Make the Gas Connections

To install all of the gas tubings for the players, you need to take three pieces of tubing that you earlier have cut where the handels are already attached. Slide them through the appropriate holes and connect them to their appropriate valve.

The gas tubing for the middle flame needs to be mesured and cut to size. Then connect the valve tot the pan.

Step 20: Electrical Scheme

Take a piece of wood. Make sure that it is big enough for the transformer and the 7 relays. Use the scheme to solder all of the connections. The external connections are described in another step.

Step 21: Wiring

For the electrical wiring use the diagram and the electrical scheme to put all of your external connections into their places . Use some plugs on the shown location where you can disconnect the wire for possible disassembly.

Attach a wire to the copper path and to the aluminum plate. Now drill a hole through the triangular piece so the wires can go through the hole. Do this for the three pieces.

Step 22: Attaching the Legs

First you glue the legs to the boxes, than you can extra attach them with screws into the legs.

So that it is firmer.

Step 23: Painting and Finishing

And the end of the process you can give it a final touch by painting it in a choosen color.

Step 24: It's Play Time!

Now you have finished all the good works...

It's play time!