DIY vaporizer

Here’s a DIY vaporizer build. It uses a 30 watt Radio Shack soldering iron as a heat source that is regulated with a common dimmer switch. This is done by removing the soldering tip and replacing it with threaded rod attached to a brass pipe fitting assembly. This is housed inside of a Mason jar with a copper pipe for air intake and another for output. Not surprisingly the creator tipped us off anonymously, saying that this a “smoking accessory”. A bit of searching and we came across this Wikipedia article about a Volcano Vaporizer which sheds light on what one is used for.

We don’t condone using illicit substances. But even more so, we’re skeptical about breathing through this thing because of the warning that [Anon] included about noxious vapors put off by the epoxy putty when it heats up. Still, it’s an interesting build so we though we’d share.

Comments

  1. heatgap says:

    Watch out using copper/brass for smoking…not the best material for a bowl. I would used stainless steel.

    Someone above said use brass, you really shouldn’t use brass either.

    If you want to be safe with a build like this, buy a BRAND NEW soldering iron (no lead smoke from old solder) and use a steel fitting for the bowl. Don’t use brass/copper they both interfere with taste and can be harmful to your health.

  2. biozz says:

    @M4CGYV3R
    my fired has one to expensive for me

    i have a pocket digital one my friend gave me for my birthday but no bags or chambers so you got to hit it slowwww

    another problem i have with it is without seeing how much i actually smoked its easy to have to much and instead of being high and productive im high and either overly ambitiously trying to cook something or just wasting time

  3. TheAstrogator says:

    If someone made something that maybe helped someone remember to take their pills or whatever, would you give them shit about using illegal substances? Just saying, there are many states that have legalized marijuana with a prescription. Just like any other prescription drug. Oh, and vapor isn’t really smoke, now is it?

  4. anon says:

    I would be hesitant to smoke from brass. It does bad things to the brain. Have a glass blower make you some stems.

  5. TheAstrogator says:

    You know, there is many opportunities for the entrepreneurial engineer if they catered to those who have prescriptions. Or if it were legalized. There is a lot of potential for people working with LED based growing lights. The ones that are sold right now are hell’a expensive for just a bunch of LEDs. And, there are many other opportunities I’m sure.

  6. bzroom says:

    @biozz that does not sound like a problem.

    Where does he expect the vapor to go when there’s no pressure vent down there? Volcanoes work because the volume starts as a vacuum.

    “Smoke weed everyday.” (And then make some new things to smoke it with.)

  7. man with no name says:

    i think it’s better to use lasers than this for vaporising purposes. however, it needs some skills and probably a safety glasses too..))

  8. Gnarp says:

    Nice work.

    As you can see,
    Weed smokers are regular people that can build stuff like any other non smoking!

    Maybe i should share my homebuilt blue rebel LED array!

  9. anon says:

    @bzroom

    You put one tube in your mouth and your thumb over the other one. Remove thumb, breathe.

  10. Xb0xGuru says:

    @anon – the fact you had to spell it out to some people indicates that maybe they should stop typing and learn to live a little :)

  11. strider_mt2k says:

    I was under the impression that Copper is the dangerous metal being used here.
    I’ve seen brass and aluminum used for smoking gear but I’ve always heard NOT to use copper under any circumstances.

    Still a neat build, and kudos to HAD for maintaining an open mind on the subject.

  12. leafy says:

    volcano’s heat the air, this heats a plate, you’ll get scorched bits of whatever substance you put in there – negating some of the health benefits. Heat air in some clean glass, pass over substance, breathe vapours! That’s the way to do it

  13. Wes says:

    “(To those who will scream about hacking rather than buying I ask if they making medicine at home too or biying it)”

    Given the subject matter, I’d say they’re making it at home.

  14. Harvie says:

    What about simply adding thermostat from old iron (not the soldering one) or apartment heating controler?

    They are simply adjustable (just small screw) to any temperatures between approx. -20 to +300 degrees of Celsius.

    BTW be sure to run it for tens of minutes on maximal temperature before first use to make sure that all plastic parts, colors and everything have properly evaporated and you will not inhale it in future during usage. trust me – i know what i am talking about :-)

  15. therian says:

    By the way soldering hot air station have already temp control, just use a test tube as heating container and some rubber pipe to mouthpiece and you got a decent vaporizer

  16. Munden says:

    There is a little more than just THC in that dude’s vaporizer.

    “30 watt Radio Shack soldering iron as a heat source”

    mmmm, I can just taste the mica flake insulation now.

  17. not a pot head says:

    Ungh, that looks exactly like mine. Except the JB Weld I tried on the first one smelled like stinky fish guts- I friction fit the 2nd model together, using steel cigar tubes for the screen, sucking air over the entire soldering iron and through a copper heatsink wrapped around the tipless head of the device. Base is screwed to wood where would be the handle, and the bakelight handle was turned into the mouthpiece :)

  18. Mike says:

    I call this build no good. The product isn’t compressed so the outsides are heated. The materials aren’t really used in way of safety.

    This is a stoner who doesn’t know what he’s doing trying to be a builder. I would ask this guy to open a book instead of high times next time he wants to build a proper vap.

    Im going to one up this man.

  19. anonymous says:

    I’m pretty sure one could make an entire blog with these particular “hacks.” HAD, let’s not slide down that slippery slope.

  20. I’d advise people who want a healthier method of smoking to avoid using this style of vapourizer as they are very inefficient and produce a horrible burn taste (which is surprisingly worse than actually burning the substance). Even with temperature regulation there is no way for it to heat the substance universally to the same temperature and thus efficiently releasing it’s desired molecular compounds without destroying them. Much of of these compounds are destroyed when over heated. Not to mention the original substance always comes out burnt to a crisp. Trust me, I’ve built my own and used store bought ones, they’re crap.

    With the use of a proper convection style vapourizer, the air is heated to the proper temperature and then that air is drawn through the substance vapourizing the desired molecules without destroying them. The original substance is left slightly discoloured, but not burnt. I would advise looking at the Aromazap or Volcano for an example of a proper vapourizer. The Aromazap is relatively cheap, and I’ve owned one for about 5 years now and have nothing but good things to say about it.

  21. biozz says:

    @anonymous
    whats the slippery slope? 95% of comments posted are in support of this

    a fair chunk of the population will use marijuana on a weekly basis and just under half will use it in there life and as we can tell many geeks here use it or support it

    i use a reflow toaster posted 2 years ago and i use a bong
    i use the DIY network switch posted 6 months ago and i want to make a joint roller machine
    and i use my HaD http://hackaday.com/2010/08/11/snapping-pics-at-the-right-moment-with-a-pressure-plate/ and i want to know how to make a vape

    there getting at all audiences and weed is apparently big among today’s DIY community (along with society as a hole) and HAD is adapting to that just as HBO did just as FOX did just as CS did exc
    its part of today’s society live with it XD

    HAD its time to post more!

  22. bob d says:

    Yet more evidence that drugs do bad things to your judgement.

    (And seriously, why does simply the word “pot” or the mention of paraphernalia get every pot smoker to come out of the woodwork and comment? Makes pot smokers look hysterical and giddy. If you calmed down and stopped acting like stoned teens it would be legal already.)

  23. Obvious says:

    “Is this what Hackaday is coming to?”

    Apparently most HADers are potheads, as this post has gotten more interest already than most ever do…

  24. anon says:

    omg, I regret submitting this.

    I have to say I’m getting a kick out of all these “health experts” coming out of the wood work.

    I would never design a smoking accessory that wasn’t absolutely safe.

    And as for the “experts” saying this doesn’t compare to a $500 volcano. NO. FUCKING. SHIT! This is a vaporizer that can be cobbled together in your garage or kitchen as demonstrated.

    Well I guess I got my get-your-project-trolled-on-Hackaday cherry popped. My only regret is I didn’t use an Arduino to control the soldering iron and a blinking light to tell you it’s on.

  25. NatureTM says:

    @anon
    No biggie, there’s a lot of pretentiousness amongst pot-smokers. ie “I only smoke dank,” “I only smoke blunts,” “I only use glass,” etc. Pretty ironic if you ask me.

    I gotta say though, I can’t believe you’ve “never design[ed] a smoking accessory that wasn’t absolutely safe.” I think everyone who smokes has, at one point or another, used something like a soda can, piece of copper, or something else weird when in a pinch. I’ll bet many of the “health experts” above are guilty as well.

    Also, I hope you weren’t joking about the Arduino, because I think temperature control and a couple indicator lights would really be a nice touch.

  26. Filespace says:

    I love it one post about a pot smoking device and the google ads on here are all about donuts and other pot smoking devices…lmao… way to target your ads google..!!

  27. effigy says:

    @bob d, you wouldnt happen to be bitter that you are outnumbered eh? giddy? how about interested? What part of using engineering knowledge to achieve health benefits seems like a giddy stoned teen to you?
    cheers mate, i’ma go burn one down…

  28. StonerfromWoodwork says:

    @ pot haters. You are the most ignorant group of them all. You have no IDEA why it was illegal to begin with. You have no idea how many people actually DO smoke pot. Quick question, ever hear of a parent commin home and beating their wife/children casue they puffed on a j?? Ever hear about that with you LEGAL alcohol?? But please, continue to comment. So everyone can see how many ignorant fks like yourself are out there.

  29. anon says:

    OK, now the ass-pain I expected has arrived.

  30. bootdisc says:

    Haha this build brings back some memory’s.The most important one being a fairly nice vap can be bought on ebay for under $40. Also brass contains led and gives off toxic gases when heated just like the cheap vinyl hose that it used. Just because we smoke doesn’t mean we have to do stupid things.

  31. Casey O'Donnell says:

    just what i was looking for, thanks HaD.

  32. walt says:

    hippy hackers???

  33. MrBloops says:

    it’s not an illicit substance, it’s a legitimate medical drug in some states

    for those patients using it, a vaporizer is much more appealing than the traditional method

  34. Confused says:

    Sup pro-cannabis folks.

    I’ve got a question/story to share. Im from Aus so all this ‘legalization of marijuana’ stuff is irrelevant at the moment. I’m curious.

    Being pro cannabis seems like a bad idea to me. If you want to use it for medicinal purposes, why not just use THC in the pure ‘resin’ form. No need for anything going wrong. I’m all for new medical treatments and I’ve heard heaps of things about cannabis being used effectively for medical treatments. but. on the other hand. I’ve seen FAR to many people i know turn into serious potheads and seen their IQ’s drop by the day. It starts out as fun. And goes downhill from there. I realize this isn’t the case for everyone but it’s the case for maybe 60% of the people i know that smoke up.

    I dont see a difference between legalizing marijuana for recreational use and legalizing morphine for recreational use.

    I do see a benefit in legalizing it for medical purposes. but even then. why not just in ‘THC resin’ form instead of plant matter?

    Just curious!

  35. StonerFromWoodwork says:

    @Confused

    I definitly see your point. The compareison to morphine is a bit strong. Due to over all effects and addiction properties for each. I myself feel the whole medical point is basicly a shroud for rec use. The points to and for are very mute in my opinion do to current “legal” substances. As I fear, if legalized, it will be doomed to the perverted nature of big business. Much like tobacco, it will most likely be cut with increasing amounts of forein, un natural substances.

    Naturally, all opinions are biased.

  36. Bubar says:

    To the poster who talked about fuck combustion.

    Check out this one.

    Uses a pic and thermocouple to digital converter.

    http://www.fuckcombustion.com/viewtopic.php?id=1024&p=1

    I am bubar, a poster who replicated the original poster’s design.

  37. sunjester says:

    I like the people who still think it’s awesome to argue on the internet, I point & laugh @ you. On a cooler note, thanks for the post, I’ve been trying to get my wife to let me build one, she is almost there :P

  38. hacknhut says:

    Following teh vaporizer’s plans for the build we made a couple changes, namely using a 1/2 inch copper pipe cap seated on the heating element into which the other (3/8 inch cap) could be placed and changed out easily.

    http://tehvaporizer.blogspot.com/

    http://picasaweb.google.com/101644146320194799735/SnowmageddonVAPe?feat=directlink

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