Fire Tornado

This Fire Tornado idea aims to make an air tornado vortex powered and visualized by smoke and fire. The updraft which sustains the vortex is created by the hot air of the fire (the fire creates its own weather).

There are fire tornados in the wild:

This design is based on the less dangerous (fog) tornado but without the need for a fan.

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Step 1: Building the Tornado Chamber

The tornado chamber is constructed from 3 sheets of 3X5 foot Hardibacker material

Step 2: Make Tornado Chamber Walls

Cut two of the 3X5 foot sheets of Hardibacker in half to create 4 2.5X3 foot walls. The concrete sheet can be cut cleanly by scoring both sides of the sheet surface with a scoring knife. Place a 2X4 edge under the score and gently press down until the sheet bends along the score mark.

Step 3: Cut Central Hole for Stove Pipe Exhaust

Measure the center point of the 3X3 foot top of the chamber and score it with a nail. Use a compass to trace a 6.5 inch diameter hole in the center of the top sheet. Put the pen in the center and use the pointed end of the compass to score the circle (yes this is backwards, but the point scores much nicer than the pen).

Step 4: Line Drawings

The line drawings show how the walls, top and stove pipe are oriented.

Step 5: Assembly of the Chamber

Next the top is placed on the chamber

Step 6: A Warning on Running the Fire Tornado With Gasoline

Gasoline is highly flamable. Make sure there is nothing flammable around: gasoline, propane tanks, relatives or anything made from wood. The following sequence of photographs from the video show the ignition of the fuel. Note the way the flames briefly engulf the camera, even thought the spilled gas does not reach the location of the camera (this camera was on a tripod, with all people at safe distance):

The gas fumes are wafting in the air considerable distance from the liquid.

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    21 Discussions


    yeah, that was the point: get the fire to create its own weather. The video dispenses with the four inlets. One large inlet is all it takes to get the incoming air to spin and get a good camera angle.


    But four equal-size vents give you a more symmetrical vortex. You already have the 4 sides. There's even a Youtube video where a guy uses 6 polycarbonate panels and gets a strong, tall tornado.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Do you have a link to that video with the polycarb panels?


    9 years ago on Introduction



    10 years ago on Introduction

    can i use ur line drawings for a site im using?


    Nice job, I was considering making one of these but didn't have anything fire proof enough lying around. By the way you can embed video from you tube on the site or from quite a few video hosts...

    4 replies

    Hi Killerjackalope, Thanks for the comments. I was able to embed the youtube video but the video required a different approach which works better than the first version. Use of the HardyBacker was recommended by the hardware store.

    Aye I'm usually good at substitutions for things here but I just didn't have anything lying around, I have a feel stainless boxes lying around somewhere, they're bent to hell but If I reshape them and cut a few holes I could make one of these... Actually I wonder how small a scale one of these could work on...

    I found the size of the fire needs to match the diameter of the chimney and that a jar cap of about 1 inch radius was enough for a 3 inch diameter chimney pipe. I tried a bottle cap but it was too small.

    I was thinking of making a very small one with a gas supply, it'd be very easy to make, since I can vary the fuel supply as much as I need...