This Hot Air Gun Is Either A Work Of Genius Or Lethal, We Can’t Decide

One of the essentials on the bench is some form of hot air gun. Whether it’s a precision tool intended for reworking PCBs or the broad-stroke item used for paint stripping, we’ve all got one somewhere. The paint-stripping variety are pretty cheap, but not as cheap as [Porcas Pregos e Parafusos]’s home made hot air gun. This slightly hair-raising device is made from a variety of junk parts and delivers hot air, though we suspect the possibility for burning the operator remains high.

At its heart is one of those mains powered water boiler elements designed to be lowered into a cup or similar, and since such devices would burn out if not cooled in some way, there is a fan from a microwave oven passing air over it. The whole thing sits inside an aluminium cone cut from a circular cake tin, and is held together on a wooden chassis to which the handle and power switch from a defunct electric drill provide the operator with something to hold on to.

As you can see from the video below the break it makes for an effective hot air gun, but one that we’re guessing you’d soon learn to avoid touching on the metal cone. Still, as a community we’re used to this with our soldering irons, as the RevSpace T-shirt puts it: “If it smells like chicken, you’re holding it wrong“.

Strangely, this isn’t the first DIY heat gun we’ve seen.

Thanks [Danjovic] for the tip.

31 thoughts on “This Hot Air Gun Is Either A Work Of Genius Or Lethal, We Can’t Decide

  1. I’m not that guy, but this will encourage more people to do hacks going against common sense.
    Not sure if giving this an audience is the right idea.
    There is a reason a water boiler is submerged in a liquid absorbing the energy. Just saying.

    1. One thing that really bothers me about hacks is that they’re often vaugely inspired by practical things, but there’s… none of them I actually would want to use.

      I love the idea of making your own stuff, but in daily life? I basically never use anything custom. My computer doesn’t have random little shell scripts and cron jobs on in or any DIYish software like Vim or Arch. I don’t have any custom sensors despite spending months on an open source sensor library for work.

      The time and effort required to make something I’d actually want to use is really hard to justify outside of a commercial project. It’s possible with 3D printing and cheap PCB services, but only with multiple days or weeks of effort.

      Even in software, I’ve basically never been able to make anything usable without weeks of work. Even simple tasks usually require a crazy amount of skill to write a program for, faster than you could have just used LibreOffice/Excel or something.

      And recently I’ve gotten even more aggressive about avoiding anything custom. I’ve just never seen it be really worth it without months of work.

      1. Some people feel satisfaction at solving problems with their own ingenuity, even if it’s not the safest or most cost effective option.

        Other people simply don’t have access to cheap and safe tools like we do in the first world.

        A 3rd situation I would add, is that once you start working on cutting edge or niche technology, it often becomes necessary to make your own tools. Either because the don’t already exist, or because only one company sells them at a 1000x markup.

      2. Depends on your situation. I’ve got lots of software customisations; they don’t take long to produce, typically only as long as doing it manually a few times.

        I’ve got some custom hardware stuff around – generally because I didn’t want to buy into a cloud-based system.

        Custom made tools like this are usually at the opposite end of the spectrum. Unless you’ve got a really unique need, it’ll be cheaper and a lot safer to buy proper tools.

        1. That’s what I was thinking!

          I have certainly had to update my heuristics for what projects are worth DIYing vs buying as I’ve become more cash rich and time poor, no longer being a student and all. But to put down the soldering iron and 3d printer for good? To stop hacking up solutions to random problems forever? To stop learning and pushing the boundaries of what is possible?

          I’d never even consider that for a second.

  2. “One of the essentials on the bench is some form of hot air gun. Whether it’s a precision tool intended for reworking PCBs or the broad-stroke item used for paint stripping, we’ve all got one somewhere. ”

    Defrosting chest freezers.

      1. BEHOLD!
        The Super Paint Removinator!

        Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Where’s the little red button, ’cause they all have one right? Interesting story, so, just sit tight for a moment. Get it? Sit tight? ‘Cause you’re all tied up, right? Yeah, ok. that was lame. Anyway.
        So, I was thinking about where to put the self destruct button, but when I stepped back and looked at it again, I thought, Eh… you’re right. Probably completely superfluous.


  3. It is certainly a hack!
    Oh my, how many violations can we insert into one project?
    I was just waiting for one of those unnecessarily long wood screws to turn it into an instant on, plug in incendiary device!

  4. People usually associate such skills with Russian guys.

    But wait! This is from Brazil!
    Isolation? Protection? Fail-safe hardware? Nahhh…
    And it probably works for culinary purposes also, or for a nice barbecue!

    PS: You would also be surprised how terribly simple are commercial electrical showers in our country. Thrilling!
    Go Brazil Go!

  5. …and I–seriously–have three articles to send in, absolutely free of charge.

    1) a Jacob’s Ladder made with a 20 KV, 20 mA neon-sign transformer driving a ‘rabbit-ears’ TV antenna (the ‘ladder’, of course), designed for scaring the bejabbers (feel free to insert, here, your own, more colorful term) out of a group of unsuspecting TV-watchers;

    2) a small device made with three easily-obtainable items, useful for getting rid of pesky rodents…et al. Has the added advantage of leaving large hole in ground for burying said rodents–if you can find anything left of them;

    3) a carbon-arc lamp, made with the carbon rods from dry-cell batteries (or carbon-core welding / cutting rods), and which utilizes only your household AC voltage…and which can be used for lighting your entire neighborhood for the next neighborhood block party–or for picking out high-flying aircraft; your choice.

    Please let me know where to send these articles; and, of course, any and all legal disclaimers and responsibility lie strictly with the publisher.

  6. If it works for the guy who hacked it-then great.I could post many safer improvements to it at little cost,but its better to do your own brain synapses firing at high speeds to create whatever floats your boat! Any resistive heating element hacked from any appliances creates the same effect really.And eventually they do burn out.YES water heater elements are designed to be submerged to lengthen the life of said resistive element. Most resistive coils are made from a combination of nickel chrome wich has high electrical resistance thus the red hot glow as electrons flow.The first Edison bulb is still working as it was made from very dense materials.Modern day old type incandescent bulbs burn out quickly, and made a good profit for g.e. and others.Nowdays they are obsolete,and produce more heat than light.Hurray for l.e.d’s and hfc bulbs.More light & less global warming.

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