Every year at our house we do a huge New Orleans/"Voodoo" themed Halloween Haunt and one of the hallmarks of our setup is our creepy cemetery fog that continually rolls through the yard. This DIY Fog Chiller makes the fog stay about 2-3" off the grass and as the kids walk through the fog it swirls around and creates an amazing effect!
This is a REALLY SIMPLE AND FUN project that only takes 1-2 hours to make and can usually be made with materials you probably already have around the house. :)
If you're looking for a great way to up your Halloween game this year with an easy DIY project, you've found it!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Since we know that hot air rises up and cold air sinks down, normally fog from a fog machine will rise up and spread out since it's hot when it comes out of the machine. We want it to be cold and sink down so we pump the fog into a container filled with ice. The fog goes into the container towards the top and then has to sink down through the cold ice to come out of the bottom. This chilling effect makes the fog super cold so when it comes out it stays low to the ground.
- Storage Bin, Bucket, Container, etc. (Something plastic with a lid.)
- Chicken Wire or Screen
- Silicone or Glue
- Screws and Washers (Any Size)
- PVC Pipe (We used 2" Diameter but it can be any size)
- Drain Plug (Optional)
- Saw (Hacksaw, Jig Saw, Bandsaw, something to cut the PVC)
- Tape Measure
- Black Marker
- Hot Glue Gun
Step 1: The Container!
For our container, we used a plastic storage bin with a lid that we had around the house. You could also use a bucket, or a tupperware container, basically anything that has a lid and is made of plastic.
In both ends, we drilled a circular hole near the bottom. This hole should be the same diameter as the PVC pipe you're using. If you don't have a drill bit that big, you can also carefully cut it out with a razor blade.
Roughly halfway up the container, we then made 8 marks. 3 on each long end and 1 on each short end. With a small drill bit we drilled a pilot hole through the container on each of these marks.
We then used a small screw and a washer, with a dab of silicone and screwed it all the way in from the outside. If you don't have silicone you can also use super glue. We want it to be air tight. We'll see how these are used on the following steps.
Lastly on the container we drilled a 1" hole towards the bottom and used a basic drain plug. This will allow us to drain out the melted ice without needing to take apart the whole setup.
Step 2: The Plumbing!
Next we slide one piece of PVC into one of the holes, put on the 90 degree adapter, put on the second piece, and make a mark on it just below the top of the container. We then use a saw to cut the piece on that mark. We used a bandsaw because it was fast but you can also use a hacksaw or any saw capable of cutting plastic.
We also cut 4 small half inch rings and then cut a slit in each one. These can be slid over the other pieces to use as makeshift clamps. Very useful!
To hold all the pieces together, we use a few dabs of hot glue. This is plenty strong enough for our purposes but it's nice because you can get it back apart again if necessary using a heat gun.
We then install the Input and Output piping, use the "clamps" to hold them in place and then use hot glue to secure them. The hot glue also makes the openings air tight, so we glue it all the way around.
Step 3: The Chicken Wire!
We then take a piece of chicken wire, or screen, or any material that water and air can pass through, and we cut a piece a little bigger than the top of our container.
Next we push it down into the container, bending it as we go so it creates an almost "bowl" like shape. We then slide it back out, cut a second piece of chicken wire to the same size and lay it over top. This gives it more strength but also offsets the holes so ice can't fall through as easily. We also cut a small hole for the PVC pipe to pass through as we slide it down.
We then slide both pieces back into the container and hook the chicken wire onto the screws we put in on step one. This is plenty strong enough to hold up our ice but makes it easy for us to quickly remove the wire if we ever need to.
Step 4: Almost Done!
One of the last steps is to put some foam or cloth around the top edge to try to make it a little more air tight. We ran some hot glue around the edge and glued down a piece of foam we found. This doesn't need to be completely air tight, we just want to prevent any major leaks.
With all the pieces complete, we then used black spray paint to paint it...black. It took two coats and went on easily. We're going to decorate it further once we setup our whole Haunt but this is perfect for now.
We took a skull and cut a hole in the back and slid it onto the output so it would look like the fog is coming out of the skull's mouth. It's amazing.
We then did a leak test. We put no ice in it and ran some fog through to let it rise and see where it escaped. We found that it was actually leaking back out of the air intake. We'd read somewhere that using a dual intake, like shown, allows for more air to cycle through the fog chiller and increases....the science? It didn't work. It just made it leak. We ended up putting tape over the second intake. :)
Lastly, it was time to put in some ice and give it a test...
Step 5: The Results!
Even with filming the video, this whole project only took 2 hours. It's amazing how good the results are for such a quick and simple build. Give it a shot and let us know in the comments how yours turned out!
Any ideas on how we could make it better next time? Let us know what you think!
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