Introduction: Worlds Largest Bladeless Fan DIY Guide

About: I am looking at the way the world is and all of the potential that exists in the space around us and the space between our ears. Asking questions that range from the ridiculous to the important and engaging w…

I have been a big fan of the idea of bladeless fans for many years now. The theory involved really blows my hair back. The way that they use an impeller to try to even distribute air through a channel to eventually have it exit through a designed nozzle in a continuous flow that is smooth and comfortable. At the same time employing this idea of "entrainment" which utilizes the air flow that is coming for the nozzle to create a low pressure region in the middle of the fan which causes air from behind the fan to get pulled into the flow as well. This creates the effect that more air is being moved by the bladeless fan than what was originally pulled by the impeller.

After trying to make a bladeless fan many times out of cardboard I stumbled onto a YouTube video by Navin Khambhal and watched how he made one out of a plastic bucket. After watching it I thought that this idea would be easily transferable to a larger design using a trash can or larger bucket.

After looking across dozens of trash cans I walked by a plastic bucket in my local hardware store seemed perfect for this project. It was made out of more rigid plastic than most of the trash cans I had looked at and it was perfectly circular without other features to complicate the profile while also providing near perfectly spaced marks to guide cutting.

Take a look at the tools and parts needed and once you have those collected let that bladeless fan wind catch your sails and get started with the build.

FTC Disclaimer: I earn a percentage of the sales through the affiliate links provided through Amazon.



  • Jig Saw (Cutting the corrugated tube along its length easier. You could also carefully use a utility knife)
  • Hand saw (Cut the bucket along the cut lines since it was thick enough to be difficult to cut with a utility knife)
  • Utility Knife (Always helpful to have on hand. Cut off the rope, cut the blower inlet, and other misc. cuts)
  • Ruler (I chose a 18" metal ruler because it is accurate but can be flexible.
  • Measuring Tape
  • Sand Paper (Used to clean cuts and rough surfaces for glue)
  • Marker
  • Caulk Gun
  • Large Clamp (Something to hold the 3" tubing in place while gluing)


Step 1: Cutting Up the Bucket

Taking your bucket the first step that I performed was to cut off the rope handles using my utility knife. This is easily done by grabbing the upper lip of the bucket and using the utility knife be sure to cut away from you. The rope on the bucket that I bought was rather thick so it took a few attempts to get through it.

Once I had those handles cut off safely (Please always cut away from yourself) I marked the cuts for the different sections using my marker. This is where the 2.5 bushel bucket from Lowes really came in handy. If you look at the first picture in this step where I drew the lines with the marker you will likely see that they correspond with small ridges in the bucket plastic. However for those that like to measure and know that they are cutting at the same spot here is the spacing between the lines if you start from the top lip of the bucket:

  • 5 1/2" from the top lip to the first ridge where I drew the line for the first cut
  • ~5 1/4" from the first line to the second ridge where I drew the second line for the second cut
  • ~5" from the second line to the bottom of the bucket. I draw this last line by laying a Sharpie on the table which has a height of about 1/4" off the surface of the table and then spinning the bucket around allowing the marker to draw my line.

With my first two marks made like what you see if the first picture I put on some gloves and picked up my hand saw. The method that I used to make the first cut 5 1/2" from the top was to use the saw to sort of score the line I had drawn and then continue around the whole bucket in a sawing motion. What this did was progressively thin that bucket at the cut line so that once my saw finally cut through on the first line it was smooth sailing. The last little bit of the bucket might be hard to cut once you get all the way through so I finished cutting the last little connection using the utility knife. With the top section cut off I set it aside like I have in my fourth picture and went on to cutting the second line I had drawn.

The second cut was much like the first but a little bit more challenging since the bucket had lost a little bit of its integrity with the top lip cut off. I repeated the same method of sawing around the whole bucket on the second line using the hand saw like you see in the fifth picture until it too was down to the last little connecting piece which I cut with the utility knife. Mark the top of this ring so you can remember which part was pointing towards the top of the bucket. This should be easy to figure out because of how it tapers but having a mark could make it easier to remember. Then setting the two cut rings aside like you see in the sixth picture I moved onto cutting the last ring of the bucket.

The result of this last cut will be another ring of plastic and the very bottom of the bucket that will look like a large plastic serving platter. (Unfortunately I did not get a picture of this line and the cutting process so I will do my best to describe it in detail)

Set you remaining piece of bucket face up so that it still looks like a bucket on your work surface and take the cover off of your marker. Place the marker on your work surface and hold it in place firmly with your hand. Slide the bucket over to touch the marker and then while holding the marker in place spin the remaining piece of the bucket around until you have a marked line around the whole bucket. Now with this last line drawn I repeated the same sawing technique to cut along this third line but it was considerably harder. It will take some patience but carefully saw along this final line until you have cut off the third and final ring and are left holding your third ring and a plastic disk.

Now I grabbed my second ring, the middle ring, and my ruler. I drew a line perpendicular across this ring using the marker and the ruler. Then setting the ring on the corner of my work bench like I was trying to hang the ring on the corner like putting a ring on a peg I used my saw to cut along this line.

With this cut made a majority of the housing has been cut. Look at the eighth picture to see how the first ring with the lip of the bucket and the second ring that we just cut fit together? The way that these two pieces fit together is by placing the top of the bucket with the lip like you have the bucket upside-down. The second ring that we made that perpendicular cut to is placed around our first ring with our top-side mark on the top so it is like the second ring is part of a bucket facing upwards.

With these two rings positioned like what is shown in picture either I used my ruler, which is a flexible metal ruler, to measure the gap that exists in the outer ring. The result is a ~16" gap in the out ring. Taking the third ring that we still had setting aside I measured 17" piece so that I would have overlap to be able to glue the whole system together and made my perpendicular marks like what you see if the ninth picture. Using the technique of resting the ring on the edge of my work bench with the rest hanging below I cut this section out of the third ring.

The last thing that I did in this step was take the output nozzle of the leaf blower that I am using and I traced the outline on this 17" piece so cut out the input port. One of the benefits of placing the input nozzle on this section of the fan is if you make a mistake in your drawing or cutting the input port you still have the permanents of the third ring to try and cut a new one.

Step 2: Gluing Together the Majority of the Main Body

Now that you have all of the major bucket sections cut place them together like the last picture of the previous step. Make a note of all of the places where the pieces touch each other because these are the places where we need to place the glue and so to prepare them I roughed them up with 120 grit sandpaper. You can see in the first two pictures of this step of the regions that I roughed up with sandpaper on the three pieces of the body of the fan. Once you have sanded these surfaces it is important to clean them off from any residue dust from the sanding otherwise the glue will not stick.

With all of your gluing surfaces prepared take the caulking glue that you are using. I am using a Gorilla Glue caulking because it is sticky fast and a quick cure time but not so fast that I can not readjust if I make a mistake.

Note:It is a good idea to take glue the larger piece of the outer housing first before applying glue to the smaller 17" section.

I laid a bead of the glue on one side of the sanded surfaces in serpentine pattern like what i show in the third picture. I found it easier to flip the fan housing over so that the inside section was facing upward like what you see in the fourth picture. This helped with lining up the exposed edges. Placing the larger piece of the outer housing the the top of the bucket first I make sure that the glue sticks and that it all holds in place.

With the two large pieces glued in place I then applied glue to the smaller 17" section like what you see in the third picture and then pressed this piece in place.

With the glue drying I took that housing like you see in the fourth picture and added some extra glue to the seems and smoothed it out with a screw driver.

With these three pieces glued together I let the glue set and cure for a few hours. I then came back and inspected the joints adding glue to any gaps that existed to ensure that the glued edges were air tight and would hold together under stress.

Step 3: Add Your Air Dam and Seal the Handle Holes.

This step is the last step that we take before we close the fan housing up using the corrugated tubing. Using the 1/2" plastic tube I bent it around the inner edge of the housing like what is shown in the first picture and I marked how long the circumference is on the tubing. Using the utility knife I cut on the mark so that I had a 1/2" tube that is the perfect length. Taking this tube I used tape to help hold it in its ring shape so that it would not be fighting the glue by trying to straighten out while the glue was drying.

The purpose of this section of tubing is to help spread the air around the whole housing before it exits by narrowing the channel to exit the housing to encourage the air to spread around using the large sections of the fan housing.

I applied glue very liberally like what you see in the second picture to the edge of the housing. With the glue in place I pushed the large ring of tube down onto the glue like what you see in the third picture. With the ring in place I applied additional glue to fit any gaps. You can see in the third picture that where I have the tape on the tube is sticks out a little bit. I decided to align this section with the input port for the fan housing so that it would restrict the flow of the air from exiting the housing at that section and promote the air to spread around to the rest of the housing.

As the glue on the tubing is drying take some tape to cover the handle holes so that you can eventually fill them up with glue from the outside. I then set the project aside for a few hours to let this glue to set

Step 4: Add Your Air Guide

This step was probably the most challenging of the whole project. The first cut down to size was accomplished by measuring the diameter of the fan housing to calculate the circumference which came out to a little bit less than 70" in circumference but I wanted a longer piece to work with because you can always make something shorter. Taking the measuring tape mark off a 70" section starting from the smooth section at the end of the pipe that is used to help attach multiple lengths of this tubing together. This smooth, narrower section will come in handy when it comes time to glue the tubing in place. Now carefully cut the tubing using either the hand saw or the utility knife.

Then using 4" sections of the leftover tubing I experimented with how large of a section should I cut out of the tubing to fit onto the fan body. An example of this testing is seen in the first picture of this step. Through trial and error with these smaller sections of tubing I found that cutting about 1/4 of the circumference out of the tubing will work well to helping the tub to slide over the remaining open section of the fan body. Then using a marker I measured between a line from the seem that exists along the length of the pipe that was about 1/4 to 1/3 of the circumference around the tubing.

With the lines drawn I took the jig saw and placing the tubing on the ground wearing gloves I carefully cut along the seem in the tubing and along the mark I had made. The second picture in this step shows me half way through after I had finished my first cut.

Now if you have have not given the glue that you used on the main body time to dry it is important that you do so because bending this tubing around the edge will put stress on the glue so it is important that it has had time to dry strong or else it will break which happened to me.

Take the tubing that you just cut and sand the edges because if you used a jig saw like me they will be rough with a lot of plastic burrs that will get in the way of the gluing. Once the sanding and cleaning off of the dust is done on the edges it is time to try fitting the tube on.

It took me a bit of wrestling but starting at the opposite side from the input port and with the smooth edge of the tubing I started to guide the cut tube onto the housing. Once you get the tub placed all the way around you will be able to see how much you will need to cut off so that tube will overlap but still be easy to push onto the smooth section. This took a few iterations of trimming for me but it eventually settled in.

With the tube fully on the housing the first step I took was to apply a lot of glue to the section of the tubing where to two ends meet. I placed glue inside and outside of the merge point and then used the clamp to hold it for a while to let the glue dry and firm up a little bit before I went about gluing the rest like what you see in the third picture.

Once the glue binding the two ends of the tube together had dried a little bit I flipped housing over like what you see in the fourth picture and applied glue liberally along the outside contact of the tube with the housing.

NOTE: DO NOT GLUE the inside contact point where the tub meets the housing because that is where we want the air to come out.

I then let this glue dry and checked to see if there were any gaps which I went back over with the glue to ensure that it was an air tight seal.

Once this is all glued allow it to have time to cure completely before testing.

Step 5: Testing and Finishing Touches

With all of the glue completely dried it is time to attach your air source through the input port that you cut into the fan housing in my case I am using a leaf blower. Slowly power up your air source so that you can test to see if there are any leaks that need to be fixed and that the system can handle the airflow and pressure that your air source is providing.

Once you have tested your system ensuring that it is working order you can do anything that you want with it. Whatever blows your hair back.

I am planning on taking one more step to make it more aesthetically appealing by painting the whole system black so that it would not look as much like a Frankenstein's monster of parts from the lawn and garden section of the local hardware store but the choice is yours. I am hoping to post that picture shortly.

I am also on the look out for a different air source that is quieter so that I can put the leaf blower back in the garage and I can set this up as an enjoyable fan in the shop so I can hear myself think again.

Step 6: Why??

You may be wondering why I made this fan in the first place and the and answer is in another instructable where I use this exact set up to make a bladeless fan fire tornado. The link to that instructable is here:

The video showing the final product is linked here as well starting at about 5 minutes but if you are interested in other ways of marking fire tornadoes I would suggest watching the whole video.

If you like this project or the video I would ask that like you comment on and like the video and subscribe to my channel RyanMake!

Let me know if you make this as well or if you have any ideas for how this could be made better or if you think of any fun uses for this project!