FIRE

The inspiration for this project was the Doof Warrior’s flamethrower guitar from Mad Max. Nothing says rock-n-roll more than actual fire entwined with your tunes! This guy was completely ridiculously over the top and I loved it! The the entire movie he only cared about one thing, playing his music and spraying his fire. Even when people were having fist fights literally on top of him, he just wanted his guitar back.

FlameUke

I felt that the scale of the one in the movie was a bit outside my comfort zone, so I decided to build a flamethrower ukulele instead.

I didn’t want to try to replicate exactly what he had, and I also wanted to scale things down to be marginally safer. My version can be built from hardware store parts in a very short amount of time.

Note: This could be upgraded with a microcontroller and servo for flame release. I felt, however, that this silly project didn’t need the complexity added.

Warning: This project is incredibly dangerous. Make sure that you have a functional fire extinguisher ready, you are in a well ventilated area, are wearing ample non-flammable safety gear, and you have friends there to help in case of an emergency.

flamethrower-ukulele

Steps

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Step #1: Modify the Caulking Gun

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  • Begin by removing the small nut on the plunger.
  • Pull the plunger post free of the gun.
  • Remove the tab on the handle that locks the post in place (forcing it forward with each pull of the handle).
  • Put the plunger post back in place and reattach the plunger. Your caulking gun should now push the plunger forward, but it can return to its previous place when you let go (it no longer ratchets).

Step #2: Attach the Caulking gun to the Rear of the Ukulele

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  • Drill 4 holes in the side of caulking gun, 2 at each end. Ideally the nozzle end of the caulking gun should be angled upward.
  • Mark and drill matching holes in the rear of the ukulele.
  • Line up the holes and feed wire or zip ties through to fasten the caulking gun in place.

Step #3: Attach Fire Hose and Nozzle

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  • Tape to the head of the ukulele, allowing enough space to avoid flames hitting the ukulele.
  • Tape the dishwasher hose along the ukulele neck.
  • Optional: add a brass hose adapter to the end for a nice look (as seen in demonstration video).

Step #4: Create Fuel Dispersal Module from Shapelock

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  • Place some boiling water in a heat proof container and add a large spoon full of shapelock.
  • When the beads are clear, scoop out the shapelock with a spoon and use it to completely plug the end of the hose.
  • After the shapelock cools, drill a hole for fuel transfer. Drill a hole that is slightly smaller than the nozzle on the butane fuel. Widen the opening of the hole a little bit by rotating your drill, to allow the nozzle to slip inside a little bit. The nozzle should not fit entirely into the hole.

Step #5: Create Your Spark Gap

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  • Attach the spark leads to the end of the flame nozzle with electrical tape.
  • Bend the wires into the shape shown in the picture. When you press the igniter button, there should only be a spark at this point. If there are arcs elsewhere on the nozzle, you need to shield it better with electrical tape.
  • Optional: you can use a thick wire soldered on to your spark leads for a prettier and easier to shape spark gap (as seen in the demonstration video).

Step #6: Mount Your Spark Ignitor to the Ukulele

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  • Scratch the smooth back of the ukulele and the smooth back of the spark igniter so that glue can hold better.
  • Hot glue the igniter in place.

Step #7: Make Fire!

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  • Prepare your fire extinguisher.
  • Place a fuel canister in the caulking gun and place the plunger flush against the bottom of the canister.
  • Depress the igniter and verify that you see and hear the spark.
  • While depressing the igniter, squeeze the caulking gun handle. You should hear fuel being released and the spark should ignite it as it leaves the nozzle. You may have to experiment with placement of the spark leads for optimal ignition.
Caleb Kraft

Caleb Kraft

Senior Editor for Make: I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity of the masses! My favorite thing in the world is sharing the hard work of a maker.

I'd always love to hear about what you're making, so send me an email any time at [email protected]


  • malik789

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  • trog69

    I don’t really have an urge to make this flame-thrower, though I love how easy it is to make. Instead, I’d like some of those old speakers! I’d have new drivers/x-overs in them in no time. hehe

    • That’s MY collection! You can’t have them!

  • Al Roderick

    Thing is, mount that stack on a big surfboard and put the player in a grass skirt and that’s totally a thing that a Hawaiian dinner show would do. Fire and uke music go together like poi and barbecue.

    • Man, I wish I still had my VW bus, that would have been the perfect back drop, hula skirt dashboard girl and all!

  • Goli Mohammadi

    Yesssss! So awesome, Caleb! High five!

    • DanaPWilliams

      [email protected]

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    • Thanks!

  • philip85

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  • PamelaEViveros

    &^^&^Going Back makezine There’s infoo

  • fish89

    }}{{ top CashRun time with makezine … < Find More

  • Very nice, for a propane, non-liquid device. (Just teasing.)
    Check out http://www.matisse.net/flamethrower/ to see how the big girls and boys do it :-) With gasoline.

  • NathanMRogers

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  • There is an Australian bloke on Youtube , who plays a flame throwing set of bagpipes

  • JessicaSWoo

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  • NeilCBarfield

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  • circustravis

    It looks like you have the caulking gun pointed one way in the video, and the opposite way in the finished product. Is there a reason? Which way did you find was better?

    • Caleb Kraft

      I built mine in Missouri. The green one was built by Tyler, our video guy in California. Both ways work, i just liked how the hose looked on mine! There’s really no difference in the performance.

  • Fernando Gonzalez

    What kind of spark igniter did this build use? Because I can’t find this kind of igniter at my local hardware store with spark leads.

  • Danny Ford

    Nice beginner model upgrade.