building a dry ice fog machine

RonHebbard

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Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
Yes, dry ice fog can be fairly expensive. Luckily, we found a local industry to donate it, and they are open on weekends. It gets really expensive if you have to try to keep enough to last all weekend. I think most Publix stores carry dry ice, and are open weekends. Publix is where we were getting our dry ice before we found the donated source.
IF your production is in your city's newest, snazziest, still on page 7 of your local paper, civic owned facility and your city's mayor is still especially proud of it. In the middle of a three day Holiday weekend you can even obtain a container or two or three or four from the back door of your local Red Cross / Blood and internal organ / transfer facility. (Don't ask me how I KNOW this.)
Up here North of Little Donnie's Walls, I don't believe I've ever heard of Publix. Hardly surprising, you're likely not familiar with CTC (Canadian Tire Stores).
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 
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m16ty

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Feb 23, 2020
Location
TN
Up here North of Little Donnie's Walls, I don't believe I've ever heard of Publix. Hardly surprising, you're likely not familiar with CTC (Canadian Tire Stores).
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
Publix is a grocery store chain here in the South. I hope we don't have to get anymore from them though, because all they have is block. I'd pay twice as much for pellets, because it last almost twice as long, and produces much better fog.

We've already had 3 shows and it went great. I wish I could post some pics and video, but copyrights and kid's parents not signing a release won't let me. Planing on 3 more shows this weekend, if this crazy corona virus scare don't shut us down.
 

jtweigandt

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Joined
Aug 2, 2013
Location
Moline Il
We have comercially made "pea soupers" They use the basket concept and will bring the water (about 5 gallons) to a light boil if left on.
If your water is hot enough, you can cover a large stage with 2 of these and a couple pounds of dry ice each. We put our Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on a cloud and back star field, instead of lifting the car.. Most of the estimates here have been
way high on the poundage for the ice compared to our use. Maybe it's that we have hotter water (near boil) that we can use the ice more efficiently.
 

m16ty

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Joined
Feb 23, 2020
Location
TN
We used a plastic garbage can, dryer tube, and a hair dryer for our small stage. Hot water from the sink. Worked well. However, the real problem was the cost and weekend storage of the dry ice.
We have comercially made "pea soupers" They use the basket concept and will bring the water (about 5 gallons) to a light boil if left on.
If your water is hot enough, you can cover a large stage with 2 of these and a couple pounds of dry ice each. We put our Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on a cloud and back star field, instead of lifting the car.. Most of the estimates here have been
way high on the poundage for the ice compared to our use. Maybe it's that we have hotter water (near boil) that we can use the ice more efficiently.
I really don’t know how much dry ice we are using to cover the stage. There is about 12lbs each in each barrel fogger, and at the end of the 3 minute song, there is roughly 1/3 left when we pull it.

I do agree that it seems like the hotter the water, the more fog, but I have also noticed that the hotter the water, the more moisture on the stage. 150-160 deg seems like a good water temp.

I do think our 220v barrel would boil the water if left on long enough. We just start them around 45 minutes ahead of time, and the 220v is around 170 and the 120v is around 140.
 

m16ty

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Joined
Feb 23, 2020
Location
TN
The rest of our shows got canceled, due to the corona scare. So I guess I’ll just go by the theater and dump the barrels, and wait until next time.
 

SHCP

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Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Location
San Francisco
One note that people are not mentioning is condensation. A long run in your hose will accumulate moisture and potentially leak onto the stage create a slipping hazard. Keep towels at the ready and empty the hose between shows.
 

m16ty

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2020
Location
TN
One note that people are not mentioning is condensation. A long run in your hose will accumulate moisture and potentially leak onto the stage create a slipping hazard. Keep towels at the ready and empty the hose between shows.
We ran the exact same procedure for several practices and 4 shows. Sometimes the moisture on the stage would be noticeable, and other times it would be zero moisture. Only variable I can think of is different atmospheric conditions. We just told the actors to be aware that it might be a little slick near the outlets, and also kept towels handy to wipe up if needed.
 

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