Red Echo

March 14, 2014

It was a slow drive home from work yesterday and I got to thinking about ways I could try to improve my flamethrower. I mean, it’s pretty cool to have a device capable of producing, more or less on demand, three-foot-long blue flames, but wouldn’t it be awesome if it could do… more?

An hour later I was in the parking lot of a gas station with Adam H. lighting up the flamethrower. The owner of the bar across the street, where we’d previously been drinking, walked over and calmly observed that he knew the owner of the gas station and thought he might not be so happy about what we were up to. This was obviously polite code for “Please stop doing that” so we took the gear into the alley around the corner.

What we learned:
– Nitrous oxide injected into a propane flame does not help.
– Nitrous oxide injected into the air inlet of a propane flamethrower causes the flame to turn a sort of brassy color, but does not improve combustion.
– Bartell’s on 15th does not sell lamp oil.
– Bartell’s on 15th does not sell rubbing alcohol.
– Bartell’s on 15th DOES sell lighter fluid.
– A compressed froth of lighter fluid and nitrous oxide, injected into a propane flame, produces OH MY GOD WHAT DID WE JUST DO fire.

WHOA. Eyeball-searing brilliant yellow-white flame, huge gouts of it. SO COOL.

Nobody died. Life is good.


  1. Lets see some pictures! Sounds cool.

    Comment by Jeanine — March 16, 2014 @ 1:08 pm

  2. I’ll have to try it again some time – it took both of us to manage all the valves and levers at once, and we didn’t have any spare hands for a camera.

    Comment by Mars Saxman — March 16, 2014 @ 2:46 pm