ONLINE FOG CHILLER
Fog straight from the machine
Fog through the chiller - no ice
Fog through the chiller with ice
Filling the night air with
menacing fog, which your trick-or-treaters must venture through and wonder what could be
lurking within, a fog machine is an absolute must for a truly creepy Halloween haunt or
But there are times when you
might want the fog to hang the ground rather than disperse throughout the air. A perfect
example would be for a graveyard scene in your front yard. Instead of filling the air, you
want the fog to slowly drift over the ground, around tombstones and over burial mounds, or
maybe you'd like it to flow out from under your porch or even over your roof.
Unfortunately, the very nature of how these
machines produce fog makes this difficult, as the fog fluid is heated to generate fog
which comes out hot and rises in the air. To discourage the fog from rising it has to be
cooled down before it is released into the air.
The general idea is to build a device that
the hot fog will enter and will be cooled down as it passes through,
allowing it to roll across the ground. That is where the Fog Chiller
comes in. We designed our
Fog Chiller to be easy to build, relatively inexpensive and be a completely self-contained
unit that could be moved around as needed.
|Parts and Materials
1 - 48 quart ice-chest
2 - Feet of 3" diameter ABS plastic pipe
2 - 3" ABS plastic 90 degree elbow joints (NIBCO 5807-V)
2 - 3" ABS plastic coupling hubs (NIBCO C5801)
1 - 3"x2" ABS plastic reducer coupling hub (NIBCO 5801)
1 - 2'x3' piece of 1/2" square hole wire mesh
2 - 5" expandable clamps
1 - Tube of clear drying silicone caulk
1 - Can of flat black spray paint
The ice-chest is the standard
type found in most department stores and costs around $15.00. Be sure to keep an
eye out for end-of-summer sales when stores clear out this kind of item.
You might also find them cheaper at yard and garage sales. The ABS plastic pipe and connectors
are simple to work with and can be found in the plumbing department at all major hardware
stores. They are designed so the pieces slip together easily.
The first step is to cut a
hole through each end of the ice-chest. We used a 4" bi-metal hole saw
drill attachment to cut the holes through the center of each end. These unique saw blades (Vermont
American Tool Company) can be found at most hardware stores, and simply fit into a drill
to cut perfectly round holes, usually used for installing dead bolt
locks and door knobs. The 4 inch size is a bit expensive at around $25.00, so an
alternative would be to use a compass to the mark the circle for the hole and then use a
jig-saw to cut it out.
You will need to
cut three lengths of the 3" ABS pipe, two at 3 inches long and the third one
about 12 inches long, with a hack-saw. The 12 inch piece is only a rough estimate for the
length and will be re-cut later.
Using wire cutters, cut the
1/2" screen wire into a X inch by 12 inch piece. The "X" represents the
inside length of the cooler, the one we used measured 19-1/2 inches,
you'll have to measure the inside length of the one you use. When cutting the length-wise side
cut the further end of the wire so that they are left to stick out. These will be used to
attached the wire to its self when rolled (pictured above left).
Roll the screen wire piece around a spare piece of 3
inch ABS pipe so that it has a basic tube shape. Lower the wire tube into the cooler and
slide the 3" id. double-female connectors
through the holes you cut so that an equal amount sticks out either side. Twist the screen
wire into as tight a tube as you can and attach the clamps
(pictured above center).
Using needle-nose pliers, bend those end
wires you purposely left on under and over the lower screen wire to hold it in its tube
shape (pictured center). If a few of these break off its not a problem, but if a lot break
off you may need to use some light-weight bailing wire to re-enforce the seam of the wire
cage. What you should have is a tube-shaped wire cage that is attached at both ends of the
chest (pictured right). This is the chamber that the fog will pass through and be cooled
|Fog Chillers intake components from top to
3" to 2" ABS Reducer
3" section of 3" ABS pipe (not visible)
3" ABS 90 degree elbow joint
12" long section of 3" ABS pipe
3" ABS 90 degree elbow joint
3" section of 3" ABS pipe (not
3" ABS plastic double-female connector
Do not glue
these pieces of the intake assembly together. Once they are pushed together they will stay
in place. This way if you need to swivel the section or disassemble it you'll be able to.
To prevent fog from leaking
out, seal the two 4 inch double-female connectors into the chest with some clear silicone caulk, inside and outside of the cooler. To help camouflage the unit at night, paint the
exterior of the chest with flat black spray paint. Allow the paint and caulk to dry for 24 hours.
Since we cut the mid-section of 3 inch ABS pipe that
runs between the two elbow joints extra long, you need to set your fog machine on top of
the Fog Chiller and cut off any excess until the fog machines exit nozzle is aligned
with the Fog Chillers intake nozzle.
Your Fog Chilling unit is now complete and
ready to go. When you're ready to use it
all you have to do is fill it up to the top with ordinary ice cubes (ours took 35 pounds)
and close the lid tightly. Standard
sized ice cubes work great.
You should try to avoid very small ice cubes as they might
slip through the screen wire into the cooling chamber and impede the flow of the fog.
Using dry ice will improve performance, but dry ice costs a lot more.
During use, align the fog machines
exit nozzle to be centered with and about an inch away from the Fog Chiller intake
nozzle. This allows outside cool air to be drawn in during operation.
The trick to getting the best low lying fog is to use
short bursts from your fog machine, separated by a few seconds to allow cold air to refill
the cooling chamber.
You can also attach a section of five inch
diameter flexible tubing to the exit pipe on the Fog Chiller to direct the fog where you
want it. In general, you don't want to attach more than six or eight feet of tubing, as
the fog won't have enough power to travel through its entire length.
Special thanks to all the
pioneers of fog cooling, particularly Death Lord and Scott N.
information on Fog Machines visit the Got Fog? Web