DIY Fire Blower

I had been looking at some of erstwhile DIY genius Tim Tinker’s posts, eg Solar Fire Blower, Blower Stoves and USB Fire Blower so I decided to order some 5 volt laptop PC cooling fans from Aliexpress. They cost me US$1.40 each! The 3/4″ (19mm) plumbing fittings were also only 50c or so from Bunnings.

As you can see I have cut one of the fittings down then glued it with Araldite to the cooling fan. I did this so I could attach a roll-up stainless steel foil tube to it (which I did). You could just make the tube by pop-riveting it together as well as pop-riveting it to the fan. This would provide some distance from the heat of the stove you were trying to hyper-oxygenate.

I had thought it would add sufficient draft to my Tent Stove Prototype that it would make ignition a ‘breeze’! Unfortunately it added too much draft! Held at a a distance without the tube it certainly assisted with lighting the stove though.

With the plumbing fitting to direct a stream of air (more precisely) it certainly assists with lighting an open campfire or our solid fuel heater at home though. The PC fan with plumbing fitting attached weighs 28 grams and cost $2!

It is s a simple matter to cut a USB cable, sort out the red and black wires then join them (as shown). Of course I will be silver soldering and heat shrinking the connections to make them neater (and will shorten them to make them lighter. As you can see you can then simply plug the (approx 30 gram) device straight into a power bank to have some serious draft when you are having trouble with fire lighting, eg damp wood.

The blower actually works better with my DIY  $4 20 Gram Roll-upTitanium Hobo Stove. I think it will be worth carrying to assist with fire lighting in difficult conditions. I will likely not need the SS extension tube. Still, more experiments will follow.

It is a very tiny yet powerful device. I could not believe how much it made the fire flare up.


4 thoughts on “DIY Fire Blower”

  1. Try running your blower on a lower voltage for slower fan speed – you dont need much to aerate your fire. i found I could get my 5V PC fan to (just) start and then run much slower on a single AAA battery, yes just one (thats less than 1.5V across the terminals). It was perfect for this use though.

    1. An excellent tip. Thanks Craig. As I want to run it off a power bank a resistor in the circuit would also do the trick. Cheers, Steve.

  2. I used mine a few weeks ago to test a small diy soup can hobo stove which had a raised floor (made from the bottom or lid poked with lots of holes) – the design was one the simple ones you make with a can opener, church key and a knife, basically a small tube open each end with lotsa holes for airflow and a fuel port opening. I used the blower because the sticks were lying on the ground and soaked wet from the constant rain. the stove was smoking like crazy even without a mug on top to damp it, until i used the blower on it (pointed at the fuel opening) – then it ran hot and smoke free. How hot? It actually melted the asphalt under the stove. Ive since used it on a fire with rocks like tims’s blog. These really get and keep a small cooking fire going in the wet bush!

    1. Yes, I need to experiment more. Tim has pointed out that the tube needs to be quite small where it goes into the stove. I had it too big at over 19 mm (3/4″). Cheers, Steve.

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