beescores

Member
Hey, all. I'm trying to make a single burner on an old gas stove work for a current show. So far I hid a single burner camp stove inside the range top, and I've gotten it connected to a propane tank hidden in the oven (the stove is on the SL side of a 3/4 thrust so there's no wall to hide the back). The part I can't crack is how to make it able to be controlled from the actual stove knobs.

Simply turning the propane on means reaching into the oven and then propane is just leaking. Using the actual regulator on the camp burner doesn't work (as-is) because it is in accessible when the lid goes back on. I have touched every gd adapter in the Home Depot and been poring over threads on how other people did it for weeks and I am no closer to a solution. Apparently it was done once before at my theater well before my time, but of course no one remembers how they did it.

It can't be a hotplate, it's supposed to be the late 50s so they want the experience of lighting the stove with a match (Could this be wildly unsafe? Yes! Has anyone listened to me? No!). My producer is losing it about wanting this effect so we can get the smell of what she's cooking, but I swear I've spent more time inside this stove than I've spent cooking in my life and I'm at my wits end. Any help is appreciated!
 

Ancient Engineer

Well-Known Member
Golly... If you absolutely have to have this thing...

Get a small 2 or 3 burner stove and convert it to propane. (most include the nozzles for this)

Then (after making sure they don't leak) you can use the plain gas valves on the front.

We used the small camp bottles of propane so there was a secondary shutoff by the bottle... once upon a time... in an outdoor theater far-far away.

This is pretty wildly not-approved by any fire marshall in essentially every populated nation on Planet Earth.

Perhaps it is in your best interest to enquire with the producer if they have (local) fire-marshall approval for such activities, and can they produce such written proof?


P.S. Welcome to ControlBoard!
 

NickVon

Well-Known Member
This makes me nervous as a venue manager, and it is not something I would allow in my theater as you have currently described your implementation. Keep it safe. Check with your local fire marshal about appropriate shut off, extinguishers, and fire watch

I think for safety's sake you should look at a 2-3 burner camp stove and find a way to use it's ignition and flow knobs, and in your "stove" housing/shell.
 

Ancient Engineer

Well-Known Member

kicknargel

Well-Known Member
Could you use an electric burner and pretend to light it with a match? I get the look would not be perfect. But the open flame triggers the need for fire department approval and all kinds of procedures. And I'd hire a licensed pyrotech for any propane plumbing, etc.

I once tried a standalone electric burner built into an (electric) stove, so it would run on 110v and we could control it via the lighting system. It worked, BUT, we couldn't get the timing and heat right to cook the eggs in time with the dialog and stage action. Let me tell you, the smell of burnt eggs is NOT something you want to treat your audience to. So we ended up under-cooking them, and making a switch before serving and eating.
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
@BillConnerFASTC might have a much better command of the Fire Codes involved but I Believe the use and storage of bottled Propane inside is prohibited by NFPA.
 

venuetech

Well-Known Member
Departed Member
(Could this be wildly unsafe? Yes! Has anyone listened to me? No!)!
The great thing is the fire marshal or AHJ will explain this to your producer. When they shut the show down.
The very first thing you need is a permit from the fire marshal to do this effect. Don’t go any farther before you have obtained such a permit. (The producer telling you they have permission from the fire department is NOT VALID)

If the producer wants to move forward without a permit they stand a very good chance of having the production shutdown until they are happy with each and every aspect of said production.

For one all of this needs to be insured. Not having a permit for an effect would likely invalidate any policy in place.

Can it be done? Yes but the real question is. Can you afford the cost of doing it right?

Not to mention the enormous liability involved if something goes wrong.
 
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BillConnerFASTC

Well-Known Member
@BillConnerFASTC might have a much better command of the Fire Codes involved but I Believe the use and storage of bottled Propane inside is prohibited by NFPA.
Off hand I don't recall details but do recall a long discussion in committee years ago of trade shows and cooking and the need for gas cooking. Many restaurants also use gas cooking. I've seen it on a rolling cart cooking omeletts. These are all assemby occupancies. And in my opinion, 500 people in a theatre all focused on one thing is much less a hazard than 5000 at a home show all focused on many things.
 

Butch!

Member
I would so run away from this as quickly as possible! That being said I have a simple propane backpacking stove that sits on top of a camp bottle and has a control knob on it. I would think it would be easy to install that in the stove and attach to that knob with a set screw shaft coupler and extend it with round rod to the stove's knob.
And of course everything on the set and costumes should be flameproofed.
 

porkchop

Well-Known Member
Do you have a pyro license for the use of an open flame on the stage? If not I think if you call your fire marshal or other AHJ and ask something practical like "what kind of emergency shutoff would be required for this effect" or "can this bottle of propane be stored inside the stove over night or do we need to take it outside every evening" it will probably cause the AHJ to put the kibosh on this effect pretty rapidly. That or they'll tell you to hire a professional pyro company with a licence for propane effects. They should have a propane solenoid, ignition, and control solution.

If you're actually going to go ahead with this effect I have more thoughts about how to do it safely, but you're well into needing a pyro licence for this.
 

JohnD

Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
Considering your location (LA) I am thinking your AHJ will be well informed and not very flexible of any real flame on-stage. The units @BillConnerFASTC refers to for omelette stations and such are like THESE Oh, burners like these and Sterno chafing dishes can sometimes set off fire alarms.
I also have to wonder if the director's artistic vision includes a suitably dramatic "wooomf" when the burner finally catches? That's scary just by itself.
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Hey, all. I'm trying to make a single burner on an old gas stove work for a current show. So far I hid a single burner camp stove inside the range top, and I've gotten it connected to a propane tank hidden in the oven (the stove is on the SL side of a 3/4 thrust so there's no wall to hide the back). The part I can't crack is how to make it able to be controlled from the actual stove knobs.

Simply turning the propane on means reaching into the oven and then propane is just leaking. Using the actual regulator on the camp burner doesn't work (as-is) because it is in accessible when the lid goes back on. I have touched every gd adapter in the Home Depot and been poring over threads on how other people did it for weeks and I am no closer to a solution. Apparently it was done once before at my theater well before my time, but of course no one remembers how they did it.

It can't be a hotplate, it's supposed to be the late 50s so they want the experience of lighting the stove with a match (Could this be wildly unsafe? Yes! Has anyone listened to me? No!). My producer is losing it about wanting this effect so we can get the smell of what she's cooking, but I swear I've spent more time inside this stove than I've spent cooking in my life and I'm at my wits end. Any help is appreciated!
@beescores Along with everything already posted: Propane stoves were popular in rural regions in farms and summer cottages. Possibly you can find, beg, borrow a suitable tired old stove from the era?
Again keep in mind all previous posts including welcome to the Control Booth forum.
Posting from north of Donald's walls where such stoves are still commonly in regular usage in cottages
 

gafftapegreenia

CBMod
CB Mods
I would highly recommend trying to accomplish this effect with a hot plate embedded into the stove.
 
FWIW, I'd second the "Accomplish this w/ a hot plate" opinions above. I'd also +1 all of the "Get Your Fire Marshal to sign off on this effect and make sure your theatre has the proper insurance(s) for this effect" advice as well. Live flame is super dangerous BUT it does happen all the time, as others have pointed out; so, to my uninsured, unlicensed mind, you could walk away from this and they'd fire you and hire some nut who'd do it anyway (and probably three times as dangerously). Bet dollars to donuts that the way "they did this before" was similarly super *#&%ing dangerous and they got lucky.

What kind of fire suppression system does your theatre space have? Are they heat detectors or particle? Smoke from *actually* cooking on stage...just saying...

But practically speaking, how to accomplish it? Without knowing the exact design, it sounds to me like you want to have your propane tank run offstage to an operator who could turn it on just before the effect. Is there any way you could hook a propane line up to the stove itself, using the stove's hookups? That way the stove itself is turning on the gas at the moment it needs to onstage. Longer gas lines mean more gas used and in the air during and afterwards; I'd plan on having some kind of exhaust system in place, even if it's just some fans running to pull smoke & fumes once the effect is over.

You MAY also get some mileage out of integrating some kind of solenoid (like in landscaping irrigation systems) into your gas line so you could turn the tank on prior to the scene and then loose the gas. I'm sure none of those threads match up properly.... Make sure nothing that would get LX current could be in any way exposed to the gas....

Godspeed; it's a tough call to have to make and be the bad guy; even after the boss is 'losing it' wanting something they likely know they shouldn't be asking for in the first place....
 

TimMc

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
The propane FX pyro guys have great solenoid valves, burner controls, etc. If you MUST have actual "cooking" taking place with gas, I'd be inclined to make a few phone calls to see what licensed pyrotechnicians charge to design or supply a safe system.

I have a number of ideas but they're all of the 'redneck kludge' type - just shy of "hold my beer and watch THIS" failure modes. Hire a pro if you need to use propane or methane (natural gas).
 

josh88

Remarkably Tired.
Premium Member
Fight Leukemia
UPDATE: I got them to just scrap the whole thing. Now she just lights a match and fake lights it and no one can even tell of course.
Still cleared the match lighting with an AHJ correct? As long as there was an ok and done safely thats a much better option than a working stove.
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Yep! It gets lit and IMMEDIATELY dropped into a metal sand bucket disguised as a garbage can. :)
@beescores I hope your metal sand bucket isn't so well disguised that your cast and others traversing your set don't casuallly toss their flamable trash in your garbage can. I trust your AHJ and yourself agreed your prop garbage can will be inspected and cleared of "donations" prior to every rehearsal / performance.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

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