Introduction: Mason Jar Vortex Burner

About: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.

I have seen vortex burners along my travels through the interweb. I thought it would be a good challenge to try and make one out of a Mason jar. This project was made from 1/2 gallon jar, cut with a diamond wheel, on a mini mill. The real challenge was preventing the glass from flexing as I finished the cut. The solution I came up with was hot glue. I applied it along the kerf of the cut to keep the jar intact until it was ready to come apart.

The offset of the jar causes the flame to funnel in air as it burns. The double curved shape acts like a swirling fan to the flame, making it spin up out of the jar.

This is an entry in the Mason jar speed challenge. Don't forget to enter, and of course I would love your vote. Thank you, Brent.

Step 1: Mount the Jar

To keep the jar mounted on the milling service, I used neodymium magnets. The size of the magnets had me worried I might shatter the jar when setting it in place. I made sure to wear gloves and safety glasses.

First I placed the magnets on the mini mill. Then, I placed pieces of scrap leather to prevent any hard contacts. I placed two more magnets inside the jar over more scrap leather. I carefully placed the jar in contact with the other magnets. To help stabilize everything I hot glued a bracket on the side of the jar.

Step 2: Vertically Cut the Mason Jar (most of It)

I was able to cut the entire jar with one diamond wheel. It was a slow process. I poked a hole in a water bottle and used it to keep the blade wet. In all, I used a bottle and a half of water to get this done.

I made sure to fill in the gap with hot glue as I cut along the bottle. This prevented the bottle from flexing as I got through the final portions of the cut.

The glass is thickest at the bottom of the jar. The convex shape at the bottom also made the store bought spindle of the diamond blade too short. I made an improvised spindle out of quarter inch bar stock aluminum and an 8-32 tap and die set. I had to cut the rest of the Mason jar at an angle with a rotary tool.

Step 3: Cut the Bottom

Since the bottom is so thick, I had to use the diamond wheel in a rotary tool. I used a thin piece of metal as a gauge to show me where I still had to cut. Make sure to what eye protection and a mask. You don't want to breath glass dust.

Step 4: Clean Off Any Glue and Ground Glass

Use a razor blade to cut away most of the glue. Be ready for the jar to come apart as you remove the glue. Scrape off as much of the residue as you can. Any leftover residue can be cleaned away with rubbing alcohol. Wash everything off and dry it.

Step 5: Finish the Edges

The diamond blade leaves a sharp edge on the glass. I used 120 sandpaper to knock down the edges. This also helps the glass from chipping when the edges hit any hard surfaces. Again, make sure you're wearing your eye protection and dust mask.

Step 6: Prep the Burner

I popped the wax out of a tea candle and repurposed the aluminum container as my burner. Take a few cotton balls and pack them into the container. Soak them in rubbing alcohol, and place your burner within the Mason jar lid. The assembly will sit at the bottom of the offset jars.

Step 7: Ignite!

I made up a long reach tool out of wire to hold a match. After striking the match, I lit the cotton ball on fire from the top of the jar. Now all that is left to do is sit back and enjoy the flame.

Thanks for reading, Brent.

Mason Jar Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Mason Jar Speed Challenge