Filament Vaporizer!


Active Member
After some weeks of planning and construction, I'm excited to reveal this excellent device... the Filament Vaporizer! The idea was to make a vaporizer which would deliver just exactly the energy needed to the smallest, highest purity sample of material.

After I came up with the idea I did extensive research online and found only one other person who had proposed something similar: a Dr. LungLife, who wrote an article in the May 1989 issue of High Times regarding his 'filament vaporizer'.

Below is quoted the particular section:

"Why vaporize THC oil?" asked Dr. Lunglife. "Chemical analysis has shown that a cigarette made of raw marijuana contains at least as much tar as an equal-sized cigarette made of tobacco. Although medical studies have not shown a connection to date, this fact does suggest [that] lung diseases such as cancer, emphysema, and bronchitis are possible consequences of heavy marijuana smoking." With vaporization, Dr. Lunglife explained, the essential THC oil is heated just enough to melt the active ingredients and transform them into smokeless vapor. If there’s no fire, smoke, or combustion, he concluded, there are no cancer-causing gases or tar.

Dr. Lunglife advocated a two-step process: First, he made concentrated black oil from raw cannabis flowers, thus eliminating the plant material in stage one. He then brushed the oil onto the filament of a small light bulb, which would be momentarily heated to complete the vaporization process. Seven months later, in the December 1989 issue, Dr. Lunglife published instructions ("Dr. Lunglife Invents a Better Vaporizer") on how to build an improved version that included a dome cover and had the capability to vaporize raw plant material.

So I started by converting my cannabis into honey oil, using nonpolar pentane-hexane solvent extraction. When that was complete I had a dark brownish, sticky resin free of plant material.

The concept of a filament vaporizer is that the filament of a low-voltage bulb can be used to deliver a precise, geometrically small surface which can be heated to the exact temperature for vaporization by resistive heating.

I used a low-voltage bulb because line-voltage (120V) lamps use long, very thin and delicate filaments (higher resistance), which are totally unsuitable for such a project. The lamp used costs about $5 at a local lighting shop; this eBay seller has them for $2.05 US each.

Two 0.51-ohm 5W power resistors are used in parallel to regulate the filament voltage. The exact series resistance is 0.255 ohms for a 100W 12V quartz bulb.

The bulb is broken first. It is put into a ziploc back, sealed, then a hammer is used to crack the quartz glass. Sometimes the filament will be destroyed, but if done carefully a 50-75% yield should be expected. The leftover quartz still attached is carefully cracked off with needlenose pliers until just the base quartz is left. Then it is plugged into the white ceramic base.

Environmental friendliness was a key aspect of the design. For powering the filament, a rechargeable, recyclable NiCAD D cell which provides 1.2V was used. A NiMH AA cell was found insufficient, due to rapid charge depletion and concommitant current reduction. For powering the illumination LED, two 1.2V NiMH AA cells are used.

Note: Do not use alkaline cells for replicating this project. They are unsuitable for these reasons:

▪ They cannot sustain the heavy current which flows through the filament.

▪ Disposal of non-rechargeable battteries presents environmental problems, so they ought to be discouraged.

▪ Unless the values of the two resistors are changed, the filament will overheat and burn the material (1.5V instead of 1.2V).

▪ Alkalines can't give anywhere near their rated capacity at high currents (ie. this application).​

The revolutionary aspect of this design is that because we are using highly refined honey oil (or hash oil), a drop can be applied to the filament and vaporized with only one or two watts of power. This avoids problems associated with current vaporizer designs: they use a 'sledgehammer' approach which requires huge energy input to deal with poor delivery via conduction (BC vaporizer-style heating elements), and excessive plant material (both conduction and convection designs).

By eliminating the plant material entirely, the concentrated resin can be heated precisely with a vanishingly small dose of energy. This means instead of breathing hot air (which irritates the entire respiratory tract), you can breath cool air saturated with vapor.

I've been using this unit for a few days already and it is a dream come true!

A drop of oil is spread on the filament, and a quick flip of the power switch makes it instantly 'soak in' to the filament. The top is screwed on, and the power switch thrown again. In about 3-4 seconds there is a thick stream of white vapors coming off the filament (looks GREAT in a dark room illuminated by the small white LED).

The black tape on the bottom of the jar (which is on TOP during use), is peeled back to reveal a breathing hole, which is used to inhale the vapors. When not inhaling, the tape is put back on.

The next revision will remove the switch on the bottom and put a smaller, double-throw switch on the side of the red lid.

Safety Notes

Thermal safety: the resistors warm up during use, but not to above body temperature. The D cell doesn't warm up at all. Toxic vapors are a concern, so every component was carefully tested. The filament itself is pre-oxidized tungsten alloy, nonreactive. The quartz support structure is also non-reactive, as is the ceramic base it plugs into.

The vapors are essentially 'cold' due to the high energy efficiency, so reaction with the plastic container or componentry is not a concern.


Unit construction cost is about $15-20 using easily available parts. Rechargeable NiCd batteries (NiMH have double the capacity but have two problems: first, double the charge loss due to leakage, and inability to provide sustained high-current) are used, they should last 500 charge cycles, with about 1 charge cycle per 3-4 sessions (tested).

The bulb/filament has been through 5 sessions already, and still works great. It should last for 10-15, maybe more. Cost to replace: $5 (less if bought in quantity on eBay).

These costs are minimal compared to the time and loss of lung capacity due to inhaling smoke, which is totally unnecessary. I'll be revising the design and preparing for possible commerical production, so suggestions are welcomed.


Smoky McPot
wow, this really isnt worth the trouble, just buy a real vaporizer, there are even sites now that are giving away vaporizers fro filling out other offers


Active Member
Are you saying this isn't a 'real' vaporizer? "Real" vaporizers that put out enormous heat to inefficiently cook crude plant materials and your lungs too?

This unit is far superior to anything on the market today, in my opinion. It produces what no other unit can: a truly 'cold' vapor, and is portable to boot, among its many other advantages.


Active Member
Ah, but this is only the first model. A product doesn't start by being made commercially. It starts by being made as one-off 'by hand' models. A mass-produced unit would obviously be more refined, as parts would be custom built.

For now, though, I'm just enjoying it myself... who knows if I'll ever make a second, but some friends are already interested so probably yes.


Asshole Patrol
Iso, this looks like a great method for building a vape! Probably looks a little more complicated to most folks, but dont let that bring you down! Haha My vape is in the process of falling apart, so if I can motivate myself I might try this out.


"To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk."
~Thomas A. Edison


Active Member
Finally, the G2 Spindle Vape is complete! I omitted LEDs but they can easily be added later.

It uses quad filaments (Quad Damage :) and delivers a massive increase in vapor production over the PBJ unit. The switch is side-mounted, so the unit rests evenly on a flat surface.

First, here's the unit with a 25-disc size cover:

Here's with a 50-disc cover:

And the big 100-disc cover, for parties etc.:

And a final photo with no cover at all, to better reveal the circuitry inside:

The unit is built extremely sturdy, with thick zip-strips holding the D-cell holders down. The wiring is hi-temp 18 AWG.

The many advantages of this system include:

1. Replaceable top with different sizes
2. Low production cost ($25)
3. High vaporization rate & efficiency
4. Easy click-on/off top​


Well-Known Member
OK i take it you "paint" a small amount of resin onto the filaments and then power it on?
Personally i think that this is an excellent idea.

Now for some friendly criticism.

If you make a proper container that looks cool that will help you to sell your unit design and ideas to a proper outlet.
Secondly adding an option to use a transformer if you have no batteries will sell many more units.

I think the concept of totally cold smoke will sell well.
The main problem that you have is that oil/resin is unavailable to the masses at the moment and you need to come up with another design that will allow people to vape small pieces of weed or hash as most people have never even seen honey oil or pure resin extractions in their life.

Maybe if the 4 bulb filaments were attached to a thin sliver of metal plate this would work well.
Anyway best of luck with it all and great post and ideas +rep:blsmoke:


Well-Known Member
nice work... ok so its not exactly compact, but hey if it works for ya, thats kewl.
the internals look alot like the stun guns i used to make with disposable camera flash, its amazing how much those things kick if ya double the capacitors..:)
Only bitch was, that they held a charge until it was earthed...i got a real pisser off em a coupla times when ihad em in my pockets taking them to my buddies..
put ya hands in pockets and *bang* lol..not leathal just enough to straighten ya hair a lil.....

I just like makin shit, that also why i build kustom bikes n hotrods n lo-lo's..

anyhoo, if youre doin this for poss commecial sale, good luck. hope ya get it nailed.


Active Member
Parts List

Note that two items are not used: electrical tape (made of PVC plastic, off-gasses terrible, PVC is highly toxic when overheated (vinyl chloride) and solder. These systems should not use such highly toxic metals (even lead-free solder contains toxic low-melting heavy metals) because the vapor is exposed to the circuit. All connections are made with over-rated pressure contacts (spade lugs).

1. Memorex CD/DVD spindle, 25, 50 or 100-size (other spindles are a bit too weak for this design, YMMV)

2. 2 x D-Cell Holder (eBay supplier or your local electronics store)

3. 2 x D-Cell (eBay supplier) (use NiCD preferably; it has the best hi-current discharge curve, NiMH has fast self-discharge under no load, non-rechargeables [alkaline, etc.] have poor high-current ratings and cause environmental destruction).

4. 4 x 12V 100W Halogen Bulbs (Bulbrite Q100GY6/12) (eBay supplier or local lighting shop). Make sure they use a horizontal filament, not vertical!

5. Dime or other cover (to be epoxied over center hole in base, if not already covered by battery case, etc.)

6. Switch (SPST or DPDT), having male quick connects of size .187 to mate with Pico #1751 BP (see item #9)

7. 4 x GY6 or G6.35 Sockets (local lighting shop)

8. Black 18-AWG Appliance Cable (two-conductor, separable) (1 ft.)

9. 6 x Pico #1751 BP (22-18 AWG Stud .187) quick connects

10. 3 x Pico #1749 BP (22-18 AWG Stud .110) quick connects

11. 3 x Pico #1750 BP (22-18 AWG Stud .110) quick connects
12. Epoxy (2-part)

13. Zap-Straps (your choice of size)

14. Cat3/5 ethernet wire, single-strand, untwisted (for fastening sockets and connecting optional LEDs)

For units with LEDs

15. LEDs
16. Resistors if necessary


1. Pliers
2. Crimpers for red-size connectors
3. Scissors
4. Drill
5. Small Drill Bit (for drilling wire holes)
6. Large Drill Bit (for drilling out breathing holes)
7. Wire cutters or saw (for cutting the central spindle shaft off)


Active Member
The underside is the most revealing. Note the following in the pic below:

1. Black zap-straps holding down the dual D-cell holders
2. Blue single-strand ethernet wire holding down the four sockets
3. White socket-wire travelling through holes from inside of unit to switch on outer rim. The holes were drilled so that the wire can go through 'inside' the spindle base so it won't lean.
4. Inlet hole for air flow.



Active Member
Spindle Vaporizer [G3]
Codename: Harmony

Yesterday I completed the third-generation filament vaporizer device! It was tested last night and works like a charm, much cleaner than G2... I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to make this unit. Below is my working notes, the plans which fed yesterday's feverish creation. Some minor points may have changed in the execution, but not much. Also, the D-cells remained cold throughout operation of two sessions.


This unit is a derivative of G2; the differences between it and G2 are:

1. Hereafter referred to as the BS, a 25-size spindle is attached to the bottom of the main 50-size unit by three screws, of type low-clearance flatheaded which take small nuts.

2. The BS holds two D-cell holders and wiring.

3. Wires travel through holes and deliver power to sockets in upper spindle (US).

4. Sockets in US are arranged in a flower-petal design.

5. Number of sockets in US is 5.

6. Air intake hole. The hole left behind by the central shaft removal is used. A hole is drilled on the outer edge of the spindle base, allowing air to enter between the two bases and travel up through the hole.

7. Switch. One switch is used, same type and position as G2.

The G3 design has some advantages over G2:

1. The US vapor chamber's volume is increased by removing cells. Cells will no longer become sticky due to resin condensation.

2. US can be isolated from BS, providing safety against cell or wiring fumes in case of short, etc. (highly unlikely in this design).

3. Layout of sockets in US can be optimized. Radial flower-petal configuration preferable and finally obtainable.

4. Increasing the filament count from 4 to 5 will both cut loading by 20%, and also cut per-filament power by that number, resulting in cleaner, cooler vapor.

Parts list

1. Memorex CD/DVD spindle, 25-size [BS]

2. Memorex CD/DVD spindle, 50-size [US]

3. 2 x D-Cell holders

4. 2 x NiCD D-Cells

5. 5 x 12V 100W Halogen bulbs (Bulbrite Q100GY6/12)

6. 2 x Pico #1751 BP (22-18 AWG Stud .187) quick connects

7. 8 x Pico #1749 BP (22-18 AWG Stud .110) quick connects

8. 8 x Pico #1750 BP (22-18 AWG Stud .110) quick connects

9. 1 x 4" Zip-Strip, black

10. Cat3/5 ethernet wire, single-strand, untwisted

11. 3 Alligator-clip wires, thickness 22 AWG.

12. Switch (SPST or DPDT), having male quick connects of size .187 to mate with Pico #1751 BP

13. 5 x GY6 or G6.35 Sockets (Albrite)


you my friend are a true macguyver smoker lol. but seriously, this, in my opinion, is an absolutely awesome idea, im sorry, invention. as natmoon said, it just needs some perfection on the body design, but other than that, i believe this is a marketable product. you could also offer your own style of extraction kits to help people have a need for an efficient hash oil vape. i wish you were my neighbor, we could get stoned and get your product on the market. happy vaping bro.


Active Member
Thanks for the feedback! If you want I can make a unit and send it by mail... they are fairly cheap to make (most of the cost is in buying the 25 and a 50 spindles of Memorex CDs/DVDs). But if you use CDs/DVDs then it would be quite cheap.

Oh and I wish you were my neighbor, my real ones are fairly lukewarm on the idea, they are addicted to cheap joints. Unfortunately here in BC, bud is so cheap that it has really retarded the development of better ways of getting high.

In regions with little production, people tend to use more concentrated resins (cheaper/safer to import).


Thanks for the feedback! If you want I can make a unit and send it by mail... they are fairly cheap to make (most of the cost is in buying the 25 and a 50 spindles of Memorex CDs/DVDs). But if you use CDs/DVDs then it would be quite cheap.

Oh and I wish you were my neighbor, my real ones are fairly lukewarm on the idea, they are addicted to cheap joints. Unfortunately here in BC, bud is so cheap that it has really retarded the development of better ways of getting high.

In regions with little production, people tend to use more concentrated resins (cheaper/safer to import).
i dont yet have the ability to make hash oil, working on finishing my first grow, some crappy shwag cause that is all we can get down here, but would definately be interested in one. never smoked hash oil, but would love to. plan on buying an extractor for after the next grow, nl and ams. seriously you should look into perfecting your product and starting a company that helps fund the cause. (like my canadian hero Marc Emery)


New Member
nice work, bro. i hate the media stereo type of lazy stoner when we all know the inventivness and capability of even serious pot heads. imagine trying to do this shit drunk. props.

this last redesign is much better: moving the electronics out of site.


iso you should message RIU or one of the mods about adding this to the growfaq...

if you put together just your build posts then it would make a great little guide!


Asshole Patrol
I'll be keeping my eye out for when this goes on the market! :-)~

I'm going to put this on the "To-Do" list tonight when I get home. Its a big whiteboard that me and the lady keep all of our home improvement projects on, and I so definitely think she'll agree that something like this is worth while! haha

Ok, so she might laugh at me, but once its really done she'll appreciate a vape that actually works. The only thing better than a good vape is a good lady friend to smoke with ya!

Keep the improvements coming Iso. Very impressive so far.


Active Member
I finally put a friend's DVM (Digital Volt Meter) on the G3 unit, to measure both current and voltage, to determine the power in Watts.

2.12 V
1.82 A
3.86 W

Less than four watts! And boy does it put out the vapor... this kind of power efficiency means you can breath COLD vapor, rather than HOT; something no other vaporizer can do.