Even though this guide will produce a working smoke gun, in the end, you will not have a PolyScience Smoking Gun. You will have something that looks similar to one, but most likely will not be as durable. Even with some of the improvements I plan to make in the future, it is unlikely that this is as good as a PSG.
PolyScience specifically mentions details that makes me believe this device is different under the hood. I am willing to bet that theirs will survive longer and get better results. For example, they mention a "Heavy-duty metal blower fan". Cursory examination did not reveal anything resembling sturdy construction. That being said, you can't beat the price, and if you find yourself burning out the DIY ones, spend the money and get the real thing. Finally, I have to assume they know more about food safety than I do.
Before we begin, I need to give the disclaimer. You know, the one where I make no warranty that any of this is safe. That applies to both the construction and use of said device. If it explodes in your hand, not my problem. If the plastics or the smoke gives you tumors, don't call me. If it explodes and gives you tumors, don't call me... just email me some pics. Please read the safety section at the bottom of this post.
Ok, let's get started. First off, you are going to need:
- A Syba battery powered vacuum
- A pipe
- Gorilla Tape
- Coarse Sandpaper
- 1' of Food Safe Vinyl Tubing (3/8" Internal Diameter) (pipe to vacuum)
- 1' of Food Safe Vinyl Tubing (1/2" Internal Diameter) (vacuum to food)
- 4 AA Batteries
|Most Of Our Parts|
|The Syba Vacuum Sucks.|
|Mostly Constructed. Just Add Second Tube.|
1. Be more permanent. Right now, its pretty fragile. This also means that some of the smoke will exit the vacuum through some of the seams in the unit.
2. Replace the vinyl tubing with something safer for high heat. I think this model is fine for light use, but I wouldn't use it frequently or for high volumes.
AND NOW FOR SOME MORE WORDS ON SAFETY
This particular version is more of a proof of concept, and I would not recommend regular use. This is primarily because of the the tubing. Even though it is food safe, it probably not be safe at high temperatures and may degrade over time. I don't think the risks are that great if you are using it judiciously. I haven't kept mine on for more than 5-10 seconds.
This can be improved by replacing the vinyl tubing with food safe thermoplastic or possibly silicone tubing, which you can purchase from a home brew supply store. This should be safer against high temperature uses (go for the highest temperature rating you can find).
The final concern is that the plastics in the vacuum might release toxins if exposed to higher temperatures. This is also true of other DIY smoke guns as well.
Assuming you aren't using this regularly, you will likely be exposed to these same chemicals in higher quantities via other activities in your life. Just. Be. Smart.
And, see the above disclaimer.
Also, smoke is a carcinogen too. So avoid that too.
Life is a carcinogen.
So is the Internet.
So is this sentence.