A homemade vaporizer utilizes hot air to extract the possibly helpful compounds in burnable herbs. According to a study provided by Leiden University, vaporizing herbs, such as tobacco leaves, will produce the same active compounds as smoking, but eliminate many of the harmful components. Constructing a homemade electric vaporizer takes some work, but the result may help you utilize the positive nature of herbs in a way that might reduce the risk of toxic additives. Herb usage for health benefits may not be the best approach for you. Consult a doctor before starting any form of herbal treatment.
Buiding the Vaporizor Base
Measure a piece of PVC pipe with a ruler and mark the length you want for the vaporizer with a pencil. This size of the vaporizer will not affect the usage.
Cut the PVC pipe to the proper length with a hacksaw or PVC pipe cutter. Line the cutter blade to the pencil mark and saw back and forth. Apply even force to the saw to maintain a straight edge. Use a medium flat file to smooth out any rough areas on the PVC pipe.
Drill two 1-inch holes into one side of the pipe with an electric drill. Stack the holes vertically on one side of the pipe.
Pick up one of the PVC caps and drill four holes of any size into the flat top of the cap. The location of the holes does not matter.
Set the cap onto the plywood with the flat side pressing against the wood. Screw four wood screws through the hole in the cap and into the wood. Insert the screws through the open end of the cap, which is facing up. This will secure the PVC cap to the plywood.
Push the PVC pipe into the cap and press down. This is the base for your vaporizer. Put the base unit aside for now.
Creating the Vaporizer Chamber
Lay the pickle jar cap, with the flat side down, onto the other PVC cap. The two flat sides of the cap press together. Drill three holes through both caps and secure the two caps together with screws.
Drill a 3/4 inch hole into the center of the two combined caps. Start on the inside of the pickle jar cap and drill through the PVC cap.
Create three 1/2-inch holes in the combined caps. Place one hole to the right of the center hole and two to the left.
Use wire cutters or the hacksaw, and cut the cord off the soldering iron. Leave 12 inches of cord from the iron to the cut section.
Measure the nylon tubing and cut two 3-foot long sections and one 10-inch section. Cut the tubing with scissors.
Push each section of tubing into one of the three holes in the combined pickle and PCV cap. The cap will sit on the base with the PVC cap down. Press the tubing so the bulk is on the PVC cap side. Leave 1 inch of tubing sticking out the top of the pickle jar lid.
Feed the long sections of tube into the base of the vaporizer and push the ends through one of the 1-inch holes drilled in the side of the base. All three tubes will fit through one hole.
Insert the soldering iron into the center hole of the combined lids with the cut cord entering the hole first. Pull the cord out through the open, 1-inch hole drilled in the base. Remove the tip of the soldering iron by unscrewing it.
Press the combined lids onto the top of the base. Now you have a PVC pipe connected to plywood, standing upright. There are three nylon tubes and one cord coming out the side of the PVC pipe. The pipe is topped with a PVC cap and upside down pickle jar lid. There is a soldering iron sticking out of the top of the cap along with three 1/2-inch sections of nylon tubing.
Putting it Together
Take the loose section of the soldering iron cord and strip away 1/2 inch of the insulation. The insulation should peel back and cut away with a knife or scissors. Repeat the process with the insulation on the cord coming out of the pipe. Twist the sets of wiring together to reconnect the cord. Secure the meshed wire of the cord with electrical tape.
Drill a 3/4-inch hole in the center of a brass pipe cap. Insert a brass bolt into the drilled hole. The cap should be pointing downward with the flat side facing the ceiling. Place these two pieces on top of the soldering iron. The bolt will slide down into the open end of the iron. The cap will rest on top of the iron to stabilize the bolt.
Screw the pickle jar into the pickle jar lid to complete the vaporizer. The herbal substance sits inside the upside down jar and burns from the heat of the soldering iron and brass bolt. The vapor leaves the chamber through the nylon tubing.
Writing since 1999, Darla Ferrara is an award-winning author who specializes in health, diet, fitness and computer technology. She has been published in "Mezzo Magazine" and Diet Spotlight, as well as various online magazines. Ferrara studied biology and emergency medical technology at the University of Nebraska and Southeast Community College.