View Full Version : Pyromania

03-07-2008, 08:05 AM
Can anyone tell me where to find the resources as to "how too" make a fire cannon as seen in this video -


03-07-2008, 09:26 AM
anytime you're working with actual fire, it appeases the fire marshal / insurance gods much more if you go with a commercially available item, or at least an item made and certified for said flame throwing uses.

id check out some pyrotechnic suppliers and various theatrical effects companies. im sure you can find something along that route.

i just wouldn't recommend building this item, most insurance agencies will view it as a form of pyrotechnics, and many states/counties require extensive licensing to manufacture those items legally.

just my $2 (adjusted for recent inflation)

Jim Warfield
03-07-2008, 10:22 AM
I read here that they may also require a licensed person to operate that fire device too.
I couldn't afford those two big tanks of propane each night. (Verdun Manor)

03-07-2008, 01:10 PM
Yea I thought it looked impressive and I saw Verdun Manor last year but I guess people + fire could spell disaster. Our local fire marshalls usually hang out with us, but not sure what they would say to that? Was just wondering. Thanks.

03-07-2008, 03:30 PM
they definately do look impressive, and well worth investigating what it would take to have and operate them, i would just reccomend not trying to build and operate one yourself lol.

03-07-2008, 04:00 PM
We use a 100,000 BTU Weed Dragon Torch (northern tools)
In our Moonshine Still Prop!
Works great outdoors , We have the local fire dept volunteers work the prop,
they kinda get off using it, Sure makes people take a step back,when you gas
it! We get 3 nights out of a 20lb bottle of propane.

03-07-2008, 04:02 PM
i would love to see pictures of this moonshine still, sounds like a great concept!

Gore Galore
03-07-2008, 04:38 PM
Most fire effects are done with propane.

I built one for a Kentucky fried Chicken company meeting.
It was a 6' tall chicken bucket with flames licking out the top by 8'.
Finger lickin good!
The only problem is we scorched the I beams in the building.

I also have a propane weed torch from Harbor freight that shoots flames about 6'.
I am sure it could be used to develop such an effect. The question is, should you?

Greg Chrise
03-07-2008, 04:52 PM
The ones on the house shoot 20 feet in the air. They had experimented with a tower in the open field closer to the highway that shot 65 feet in the air. They only ran it a few times as birds came down dead.

It is masked by the house, they are 40 foot long oil drill tubes which are very expensive seamless tubing and valves to match. The propane feed is gas that ha been injected by two 1956 chevy air conditioning compressors run by an electric motor continuosly, which make the gas less dense. In other words very low pressure to fill a large volume, pumped quicker than just open pressure bottle feed and the air left in the tube after the last shot is mixed with a small amount of gas like a giant carburetor. A fence shocker runs a single spark plug on a rod about 12 inchs from the mouth of the tube.

Gas alone probably would not fire. It might burn at the end like the burn off at a gas factory but not blast up like that. Only atomized gas will follow a path.

The main thing they figured out was how to do fire retardant materials to the extent that things could actually have fuel over spills and be on fire but never increase in temperature until the accelerant had disipated. Many times I saw the big dragon in the swamp pretty much on fire seperated from everyone by water in the moat and once done burning there was not even a stain on the prop.

We are talking every thing for 40 feet is covered with Nomex that has been detailed to look like common burlap or jute. Expensive, expensive, expensive.

Verdun had fireworks in the hour as the show opened most nights in the early years. They were pyro guys for movie sets, theatrical effects and could have done fireworks performances.

A real professional carreer license outranks an elected official. Private property means you can tell the public servant to get off your land. Having serious levels of customers allows you to pay for all of this.

None of it was done like an episode of whacked out sports, what happens when you put gasoline in a microwave in a pop can. Only 30 feet from your mother's garage and try to put out the combustion with a shovel. Gentlemen start your injuries.

07-22-2008, 03:44 AM
I've GOT to throw my two cents in on this one. I just can't help myself.

Greg I respect what yall are doing, hell I lvoe anything that goes boom, but WOW is that overkill. It's really quit simple actually, it's called a gas accumulator system. Look it up on wikipedia. You take gas from a high pressure source and step it down to the pressure and volume you want. And if you stay with vapor you don't have to worry about treating everything within 40ft, just where the immediate flame effect will be. You can even shoot it off a piece of wood with wood all around the device, not the head, and it'll be fine.

So you can make one, woohoo, but should you. There is this whole amazing liability thing that goes along with it and a WHOLE crap load of guidelines. In Indiana you're local fire marshals are EXTREMELY paranoid about propane. There was an explosion in the Pepsi Coliseum back in the 60's that killed a few people and some incident about the same time in Indianapolis that has made yall one of the worst states for propane flame effects. But if you must trudge on here is what you'll have to look forward to. Once you build this magical device you're going to have to apply for a permit to operate it before the public. In order to apply for a permit you'll need to have a pyrotechnics license. You'll file for the permit through your local fire marshals office, I can't remember what the fees are in IN, but there will be a fee. Once you have applied for the permit you'll have the local fire marshal come out to inspect your system. He will be checking to make certain your system complies with the guidelines set down by NFPA 160. This is the magical document governing flame effects and can be found at www.nfpa.org. Your best bet is to follow the specs for a temporary system. Otherwise you'll be WAY above your head as if you aren't already. If you make it this far you do a tap dance with the fire marshal, and you better know your shit backwards and forwards by this point, and if you've covered all your bases he'll give you a handful of things you need to take care of and off you go.

Now seriously, if you know what you're doing a good hard hitting 20ft flame can be done for about 2 to 3 grand. Toss in your permits, local license and all the other BS and now you're looking at probably 5k. However this is voiding one MAJOR point. Insurance my friend, insurance. What is the collateral damage if this thing goes belly up, the tank turns inside out and kaboom? And trust me, you're state is rough about this. They might not issue you a permit unless you can prove that you have ample insurance to cover this. And really at the end of the day, you could cover all your bases and the fire marshal can still say no, everything is at his discretion, always.

I'm not saying don't do it. I'm just saying that with where you are in the world hold onto your butt because it's going to be a bumpy ride.

07-22-2008, 04:17 AM
Or you could just buy one. That is if you can convince someone to sell you one. The biggest company for this kind of thing by far is LeMaitre. Another good company is Sigma Services. And as long as you're buying a flame system, why not buy a colored flame system? LeMaitre's PrismII colored flame system while a pain in the ass is pretty killer. The nice part is it doesn't use propane for the effect, only a pilot, which makes fire marshals happy. Plus it is all certified and most local licenses will have seen it before in some context. You'll definitely be able to put a whole two cube system together for under 10k and I swear you'll be the only kid on the block who can shoot blue flames 15ft into the air.
This is WAY easier than building your own, and all you've got to do is get it, get your local license, if you need one in your state, read up on NFPA 160, get a whole new insurance policy, contact you're local fire marshal, tap dance like a cat on a hot tin roof, and off to the races you are.
More food for thought.