Introduction: FIRE BREATHING DRAGON
This years theme at my house is DRAGONS, and no better way to start then with FIRE!
I decided that I am doing my whole house in a dragon theme, with the centerpiece being the fire breathing dragon.
Garden weed burner
Can of propane
High voltage ignition (12v)
High temp flameproofing
Acrylic Dragon Head
Step 1: DANGER, DANGER, Will Robinson!
Before we start, you should understand, we are dealing with High voltage electric, Propane gas, and fire, you can die, or worse (think gender reveal party, where you burn down half the western hemisphere) and you should KNOW what you are doing.
Step 2: Elephant Parts, Wait .. Dragon PARTS!!!
Since I had no idea what i was doing, or the size or scope of this project, I thought the best idea was to start with a dragon head, and then base the rest of the design on that, since I knew fire was involved I wanted something that would not burn (natch!) like paper machete so I looked at stone / steel / and acrylic
and found THIS (picture #2) as the base idea, for the cost it was a great first step.
Step 3: Dragon Dentistry
talk about dragon breath!
I sourced a lot of my parts from eBay, and stuff may be of dubious quality, make sure you test everything before installing it
I purchased a combo weed killer flame set from ebay, that had three sizes, I choose the middle size
and found an appropriate hole drill, and went dental on the poor dragon, making sure that the there was room to embed igniters, and to allow space for air (fire needs air)
Step 4: Getting Into the Head of a Dragon. . .
I had to do a LOT of cutting in the back to give me access into the backside of the inside of the dragon head, The acrylic piece is hollow, but sealed, so there was a large amount of invasive cutting involved.
I didn't really document this part, so you will have to use your imagination, of the sound of a dremel blade cutting and a dragon screaming...
Step 5: Comon Baby, Light My Fire. . .
I purchased a few igniters,
and a High Voltage "ignition coil" from Amazon
you need something that's a bit 'powerful' to light the LP, I had to go thru several versions before hitting on the correct one, a few problems I encountered. My first version, I 'grounded' the spark on the metal tube of the torch, realizing that the high voltage spark could travel down the gas line and ignite, bad jon.. very bad.
I attached a VOM to the ground line to make sure there was no power 'leaking' when the igniters had voltage
Here is the High voltage test of the dragon
Step 6: Fight Fire With.. Fireproofing!
Acrylic won't burn, but it will melt and then burn.. -- not a good look for a fire breathing dragon, so I am covering the mouth with Fireproofing 'chalk' i am adding layers, and mixing in colors to give it a more dragon mouth that find people are yummy with ketchup - adding in extra layers wherever there is a hot spot.
Step 7: Betty Davis Eyes, OK Dragon Eyes
the dragon head had these stick on red eyes, that where OK, but kinda lifeless,
I plucked em out and added red LED's behind the 'stock' eyes to add some life into them, they trigger when I trigger the flame.
There is some electrical stuff to be aware of I have a 12V - 4 amp transformer powering the solenoid gas valve, and the igniter was pulling too much power, so I had to add a relay and a separate transformer for the igniter, I added in a remote switch so I can stand away from the dragon and trigger it.
I am planning on mounting the dragon head on a steel scaffold, with a black fire proof blanket behind it so it looks like a dragon is peering out of the darkness.