I’ve been a not-so-closet pyromanic for most of my life. I burned everything I could get my hands on (without crossing the line to juvenile arsonist), crafted homemade napalm, and frequently blessed out neighbors with explosions in the backyard. As an adult, I’m become a little more skittish…especially after burning two acres of our property in Easter Sunday a few years back.
But, photographers in general seem to like pyrotechnics, whether it’s blowing stuff up or throwing sparks all over creation. So, what’s yet another way to brighten your life? The Backyard Scientist gives us a few ideas in a recent video.
By dissolving various household chemicals in methanol, he was able to produce rainbow-colored flames, producing a great visual result. But, of course, that wasn’t enough. Crafting a DIY flamethrower from PVC pipe and a bicycle pump, he shows us how to build a rainbow flame canon…which would be perfect for anything from infant photography to engagement sessions.
Most of the products used in the video can be sourced from your local Walmart or hardware store, though pricing will vary based on the specific products you choose and the size/quantity.
“Lithium from batteries burns red, Calcium chloride in Damp-Rid burns orange, Sodium in table salt burns yellow, boron in roach killer burns green, methanol burns blue all by itself, and potassium in No-salt burns purple.”
How To Make Rainbow Flames
This is so easy a bored kindergartener can easily create this stuff in their basement. (My only childhood regret is not having time traveled to experience the power of YouTube.)
- Choose your
poisonchemical based on the color of flame desired.
- Dissolve it in methanol (he used HEET Gas-Line Antifreeze).
- Light it on fire.
- Try not to make the front page of the next day’s news.
How To Make a Manual Flamethrower
I swear, it just gets easier.
- Simply pour your chemical-infused liquid into a spray bottle.
- Spray it into a flame.
- Stand in awe of your magical powers.
Building the PVC flamethrower seen in the video is a bit more complicated but can yield some fantastic results.
So, if you’re looking to add a little more heat (or, HEET) to your photo shoots, or just want a way to amaze the neighbor kids with your Merlin-like wizardry, give it a try. Just remember: If the authorities get involved, you didn’t read about it here.