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November 17, 2019, 12:29:50 AM

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Author Topic: Hillybilly smoke machine - How to  (Read 829 times)
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Jeepsnbuses
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« on: September 13, 2019, 08:46:21 AM »

@mods I tossed this in the fab section, feel free to move wherever is appropriate

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Quick walkthrough on how I created my DIY smoke machine (smoke pump?) out of some easy-to-find materials.  

Materials needed:

- a mason jar, pickle jar, or the like.  I used a 32oz and it seems to hold a good volume of smoke.  Can be found at Target for under $10.
- one sock (clean) that will take up enough space in jar to come in good contact with your soldering iron.
- one soldering iron (HF # 69060, $3.99).
- quick-set epoxy (HF # 92665, $1.79).
- a BIC round stic pen (don't skimp on this one, this type of pen works particularly well since it's made of a very malleable plastic and can be found everywhere).
- bicycle pump (HF # 37544, 62680, $9.99). This was my big-ticket expense because my pump was missing. Highly recommend foot pump to leave hands free.
- clear vinyl tubing (Home Depot # 714517, $7.89). The size 7/16" OD and 5/16" ID was the perfect size to fit snugly around the pen cap at the pump, and fit snugly in the big brake booster vacuum line to send smoke in.
- baby oil (Target UPC # 381370033202, $4.99), Johnson's Baby Oil 20oz

Total cost if you have zero of the above: $38.65 plus sock and pen.

Tools needed:

- razor blade
- small screwdrivers or punches

Steps:

1. Grab some pliers and pull the ink tube and ball point of your pen out (red arrow below), then take your razor and cut the marked section of pen. This is the end that the bike pump will connect to, and the smaller end of the pen tube more easily fits bicycle pump nozzles. The main section of this pen was too large to fit in my bike nozzle, but this worked.



2. Take your pen cap and punch out the end of it (yellow arrow)



3. Screw your mason jar lid on and punch three holes in the top. To make sure I didn't ruin it, I would punch a pilot hole with a small Phillips head and expand the same hole with a larger Phillips head. Don't overthink this, expand the holes however you want, but I wouldn't use a drill--lids are too flimsy. Make them equidistant apart across the lid with the soldering iron hole in the center. Remove lid and test fit; the soldering iron will have some wiggle room to it (this is ok), but the pen cap and pen tube should be pretty snug in their holes. The end of the pen cap and the small end of your pen tube should be pointing up.  Should look like this:



4. Once these are set, prop your lid up and mix your epoxy. Dump the epoxy all around the openings by the pen caps, and all over the soldering iron where it contacts the lid. Be liberal. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.

5. After letting it sit, you should be able to lay the contraption on its side and start epoxying the underside seals. Again, be liberal.  Once finished, let it sit for a day.

6. When you are ready to go, throw your sock into the mason jar and coat it with baby oil.  I used about this much baby oil (below), most of which was absorbed into the sock.  You don't want a big pool of oil in your jar--you want it going into the sock.  This ended up being 1/4 - 1/3 of the 20oz bottle and was probably too much, but it worked.



7.  Screw your lid back on and carefully attached your bike pump nozzle to the tip of the pen tube.  Attach your vinyl tubing (I cut mine to ~7 feet) to the end of the pen cap, and plug in the soldering iron.

8. Wait 10 minutes until you see a bunch of smoke, and start pumping.



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- Adam
sirjames186
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2019, 12:50:07 PM »

This is awesome! Does the soldering iron burn the sock or just the oil? i.e. Will the sock need to be replaced or just topped off with oil for each use?

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Jeepsnbuses
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2019, 03:52:13 PM »

This is awesome! Does the soldering iron burn the sock or just the oil? i.e. Will the sock need to be replaced or just topped off with oil for each use?

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk



A little burning on the sock, but I don't think it would be an issue to just shift the sock around and add some more oil...if that.  The oil I squirted in for this use that hasn't burned yet, hasn't gone anywhere.  I'd have to play with it a few times to have a for-sure answer to that one.

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2002 TJ Sport
Tow rig: 1973 Thomas school bus RV conversion. It's slow.

- Adam
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