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I see replacement flame silks for sale but I was wondering if anyone had tried to build one from scratch.

I see old fans thrown in the garbage all the time. It seems to me you could build a really big flame machine if you could find the a big piece of the right kind of silk.

Isn't it just fluttering in the breeze with a light at the base?

Just a thought
 

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Undead Handyman
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Finding the right silk isnt easy either. It has to be super light-weight silver silk and the people in the fabric industry seem to take pride in having the thicker, heavier variety for sale. Most of the stuff on ebay isn't even real silk at all its cotton!? I've wasted many an hour with my wife at fabric stores, mostly cause Im done looking in five minutes, but shes shopping for another hour and a half.
 

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Finding the right silk isnt easy either. It has to be super light-weight silver silk and the people in the fabric industry seem to take pride in having the thicker, heavier variety for sale. Most of the stuff on ebay isn't even real silk at all its cotton!? I've wasted many an hour with my wife at fabric stores, mostly cause Im done looking in five minutes, but shes shopping for another hour and a half.
Yeah, been there, done that still haven't found the right stuff
 

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I just made one using a 20" box fan and some plastic garbage bags.
The plastic is a bit heavy so the "flames" are only about 12" high.
It works pretty well though.
Still looking for some lightweight silk to use instead
 

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Fake Fire Design

I built one this year for under $10 using a similar design as seen on Yard Haunt, FlameUnit

Wal-mart had a window fan for $6 and I got a foot of lightweight orange and yellow shiny satin at Hancock fabric on sale for $3. For the lighting I used a strand of orange string lights that i already had. I propped the fan up on 2x6s and set the lights on the near and far side of the fan. To conceal everything I put some firewood around the base.
 

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I have 2 as work in progress (I must progress more)

I have some good silk from a craft shop (scarf for batik or similiar)

I've now cracked the vortex problem by fitting some baffles.

I just need to get on with it.

I gave up on 12v PC fans and bought AC 120mm axial pan fan rated as 98cfm.

I'll post up details if I finish them before 31st.
 

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Well you inspired me to get back on the case with the flame lamps, and I have built one.

It takes a quite a bit of fussing getting all the factors right.

Airflow, getting enough, directing it (de-vortexing it)
Silk, getting hold of the very thin stuff can be hard.
Lighting, line the area above the fan with tinfoil, it helped no end. I used LEDs and and that took a long while (mostly in a dark garage).
I had to use ambient orange lighting and two beams one orange and one blue.

Too much light and it become obvious it is a silk.


Here is some video clips, the vids are a bit darker than reality, but I am going to add a couple more LEDs.

Sorry for the quality it was taken on the mobiles camera.

The second vid shows some of the internals

Fake Flame 1 (1Mb)

Fake Flame 2 (1Mb)
 

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I am currently putting together a similar project. I am using yellow cellophane (the stuff you would wrap a fruit basket with). With a 20 inch fan I have found that the flames can be no longer than 8 or 9 inches in length. I am lighting it from below with a couple yellow bug lights.

I will post pics once it is perfected and in place in our haunt.
 

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I have an old fan just waiting to make one, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

I'd think that the "silk essence" stuff that Joann sells would work really well. It's slightly heavier than the silks in my commercial flame light, but it's pretty cheap. It also has a slight texture to it that could help it look more real.
 

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If you put it in a cauldron/urn/whatever, be sure to vent it well from the bottom, so air goes straight through. Otherwise the air gets drawn into the fan from the top of the cauldron, before being spit back out also at the top. That pretty seriously messes with the efficiency of the air flow through the unit (meaning you can't loft a cloth worth beans).
 

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By the way, I do a related effect with a length of white wedding tulle tied to a fishing snap swivel, clipped to the grille of a house fan in front of a black light. The cloth is on a swivel because otherwise it wraps around itself. The swivel allows it to stay untangled and slowly rotate as it dances. It sits inside the house, and is seen through a window, so I don't have to do anything special to the fan. Just clip the swivel onto the grille, turn it face up, and away we go.

The result is a sort of abstract undulation of ectoplasm. Not exactly scary, but hypnotic to watch.
 

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Okay I have dumped halogen lamps from my prototype flame bucket as I was getting too much white light "leaking" from the bulb and I was also having difficulties mounting them.

Instead I am using flexi LED strips. They come as one colour (red), but I desoldered some and replaced them with orange, and yellow. These strips run from 12VDC and can be curved around the inside of the bowl.

In addition I have placed a single blue LED behind the silk so it occasionally catches the silk tip.

It's still a prototype but I am happy to do it properly now, cutting a better silk shape, and tidy up the supply connections etc.

The first video below is it in action and the second shows inside.


 
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