Volcano Vaporizer Tips, Tricks and How-To

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How to Make a Volcano Vaporizer for Less than $300, or even less than $200

The Plenty VaporizerUPDATE Since this article was written, the vaporizer market has exploded with options. You can now get a quality vaporizer for less than $200. Check out the selection at VapeWorld, there’s something for every budget.

For the enterprising do-it-yourselfer, all the components for building yourself a working Volcano-style vaporizer can be easily obtained for less than $200 – $300 online. All it takes is the proper heat gun and the real deal Volcano Vaporizer Solid Valve System. Obviously not everyone can afford the $539 479 price of the Volcano Classic set, so here’s a solution to enjoy the health benefits of vaporization without the expense.

Storz & Bickel offer the solid valve components as a set which includes the filling chamber, solid valve, mouthpiece, normal screen-set, liquid pad, cleaning brush, and balloon tube (3m). Buy direct from the manufacturer and enjoy fast and free shipping within the continental US from their US distribution center. $119 99 USD gets your the finely crafted German engineered components that make the Volcano Vaporizer so special.

Then your only missing component is the hot air to fill the balloon. Conveniently, there are several types of variable heat guns that will fit the bill and mate nicely with the filling chamber of the Volcano Solid Valve. Note: nothing beats the Volcano Classic set if you can save your pennies it will give you the best overall experience. If you’re determined to build yourself a Volcano, then read on!

The first choice is the Milwaukee 8988-20 Variable Temperature Heat Gun which retails for about $145 with free shipping. It offers and LCD temperature read-out with precise controls and is the next best thing to a true Volcano heat generator base.

Second choice is The Steinel SV 803 UltraHEAT II Gun Variable Temperature Heat Gun which retails for about $58 at the time of writing. It offers a dial adjusted variable heat control.

Third choice is Black & Decker HG1000K Variable Temperature Heat Gun which retails for about $45 at the time of writing. It also offers a dial adjusted variable heat control.

Any of these heat guns will work and operate at the proper vaporization temperature. You’ll want to get the setting in the neighborhood of 350 – 400 degrees F with 375 as your target and then adjust to your liking an to compensate for any variances in the temp control. The Milwaukee 8988-20 Variable Temperature Heat Gun will give you the most control and consistent results and is well worth the extra $ if you can swing it. Otherwise, an oven thermometer can be used to approximately calibrate the dial of the other models.

BE CAREFUL! Heat guns get hot and can melt things and burn people. Many of the above guns are available with stands to hold them when not being used. But again BE CAREFUL! vaporizing can impair your judgment and you should always be safe.

Enterprising users have been known to make custom stands for their heat gun so that they can easily and safely be used to fill the balloon. Some have even remarked that by creating a proper stand for the Milwaukee 8988-20 they can replicate the experience of owning a Volcano Digit with it’s LCD read-out and precise control. We’re still waiting to see someone build a stainless steel cone to hide their Milwaukee 8988-20. In fact, a hardcore diy person could completely take apart the Milwaukee 8988-20 and rewire it inside a custom base for safety and stability.

If you’ve ever built your own Volcano Vaporizer, please lets us know and share your tips and tricks using the comment form below.

Happy Vaporizing!

UPDATE Since this article was written, the vaporizer market has exploded with options. You can now get a quality vaporizer for less than $200. Check out the selection at VapeWorld, there’s something for every budget.

Volcano Vaporizer

29 Comments

  1. Hairy Mansinger on September 24, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    > BE CAREFUL! vaporizing can impair your
    > judgment and you should always be safe.

    Thank-you. Thank-you. Thank-you.

    I approve, generally, of what people are trying to do by vaporising, but I don’t approve of the sort of fuzzy-minded thinking that goes from ‘I’m doing something good, or at worst harmless’ to ‘…so no harm can come to me from this.’ It’s not that kind of universe, tools can’t be magically enchanted so that they won’t hurt you though they can and you’re careless…but we can think ahead, preferably while sober (though we can fish for creative ideas when not).



  2. Art Compton on July 20, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Or, get a Vapir ONE digital bag vape for $110 on Amazon. I’ve looked into building a superior version on my own; the components alone would cost more than the Vapir.



  3. Super Hot on October 9, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Great article!
    The “Volcano Vaporizer” is actually alittle cold for me, I need to vaporize at about 277C (530F), heat guns get to that heat, but do think the solid valve can survive it ?
    any other thoughts about that?



    • Vapormaster on October 10, 2011 at 8:10 am

      Why do you need to vaporize so hot? Just out of curiosity.

      I replied here: http://volcanotips.com/volcano/easy-valve-or-solid-valve-revisited/



      • Super Hot on November 8, 2011 at 10:49 am

        For getting Salvinorin A out of Salvia D, users usually use Butane lighters for creating the heat, many users would love vaporizing Salvia, but no vaporizer in the market seems to produce the amount of heat required for good extract.



        • Leodp on January 10, 2013 at 2:07 am

          Hi, I have made a vapo for around 100$ which may get to that temperature.
          I do not know which temp the balloons can handle, but if you start with some fresh air in them the temp they reach when full will be for sure lower than 277C.

          Other point: I have used short silicon tubing which is graded for 260C. It can be that they survive 277, I do not know. Alternatively you could look for silicon with higher T grade.

          The vaporizer is child-easy to assemble.
          The heat gun has a stability of 1C over the 100-450C range.

          The video guide:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ta4B1a2fxM4

          I have added a note of caution regarding the materials in the heating element. This is valid thou also for all the heat guns, including the one presented in the above article

          Leo



    • John on November 9, 2011 at 5:02 pm

      THC vaporizes at 392 fahrenheit which is about 200 celsius. no need to go much higher than that



      • Hairy Mansinger on September 24, 2013 at 12:39 pm

        > BE CAREFUL! vaporizing can impair your
        > judgment and you should always be safe.

        Thank-you. Thank-you. Thank-you.

        I approve, generally, of what people are trying to do by vaporising, but I don’t approve of the sort of fuzzy-minded thinking that goes from ‘I’m doing something good, or at worst harmless’ to ‘…so no harm can come to me from this.’ It’s not that kind of universe, tools can’t be magically enchanted so that they won’t hurt you though they can and you’re careless…but we can think ahead, preferably while sober (though we can fish for creative ideas when not).



      • Hairy Mansinger on September 24, 2013 at 12:58 pm

        Sorry, I meant my first comment as a general reply; my reply here was supposed to be:

        You might want to go higher because there’s more to marijuana than THC, or should be.

        We took thousands of years’ trouble breeding cannabis to be a good and relatively safe medicine and intoxicant for eating; we spent hundreds since smoking it adjusting it as well as we could in that relatively short period of time.

        Prohibition gave us incentive to mess with those cannabinoid profiles because people were concerned about maximising THC, since the law didn’t care and smaller crops were easier and cheaper to hide. This had a good effect—less lung damage for those who got just as high with less—but there are people who are now using more than were good for them. Low CBD and other non-THC cannabinoid levels seem to increase the potential for damage, damage that we didn’t see traditionally because noone could consume enough THC without the other chemicals in play…if only because some of them would put you to sleep long before you could get that high. (Speed and alcohol is a dangerous mix because you can stay awake long enough to give yourself alcohol poisoning, as well as boosting your self-esteem to the point where you think you can drive safely.)

        Why should you listen to me? Well, one reason is that I have a thoroughly atheistic view of life, and believe that worshipping anything—-that is, believing that it hath no flaw—is a great mistake. The other reason?: I can’t and wouldn’t use any type of force to make you do as I’d prefer, and I can even allow as some can handle whatever level of THC (and some can’t) irrespective of the other cannabinoids’ levels…but really, look around you: everyone knows someone else who ‘does too much’, but it can be hard to see when it’s you.



      • Zeus on December 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm

        THC’s boiling point is 157 °C (315 °F)

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrahydrocannabinol



    • biggbonger on May 8, 2012 at 10:21 pm

      This is no longer vaporizing, but smoking now, at temps of 530. You are also releasing most of the bad toxins now, which defeats the purpose of vaporizing in the first place.
      Might as well be smoking doobies then.



  4. Papa Kushempeng on September 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    How the hell is this a “Volcano Vaporizer”. Vaporizer yes, but leave the Volcano out of it. It’s like making homemade Nike Air Max from a pair of Vans and some bubble wrap. LulZ



    • hateidiots on May 8, 2012 at 8:31 am

      HAHAHA, you chump. The volcano IS a heat gun, broken down and put inside a little silver cone, then sold to idiots for 10 times markup.



      • Hairy Mansinger on September 24, 2013 at 3:27 pm

        …and I’m pretty sure that most of the cheaper vaporisers are modified solder rework stations—some of the cases have exactly the same shape, and they do much the same thing (deliver air heated to a known temperature, often with a digital temperature display), though most solder rework stations don’t claim that the hot air produced by god-knows-what heating element and passing through who-knows-what air-path is o.k. toput into your lungs…so I won’t buy the cheap vaporisers that look to be just these with a couple of additions, and external styling.



  5. MM_Texas on August 31, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    This nozzle reducer for the Milwaukee heat gun may help with a better fit to the Volcano valve kit. Some trimming and cutting will be required.



  6. Yosh on December 29, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    I don’t feel the Milwaukee digital recommended above fits ideally with the solid valve. I was hoping to be able to set the valve on top of the gun and let it fill like I would with a volcano but it’s not secure enough to leave by itself. It’s very close, though, to where if I either trimmed the steel gun nozzle or the inside of the valve opening, I think I might get a more snug fit.

    Any ideas or recommendations?



    • Vapormaster on December 30, 2010 at 5:37 am

      I think that perhaps the tip on the Milwaukee has changed or isn’t consistently manufactured. I think your best bet would be to look for some silicone gasket material and cut yourself a silicone donut to mate the solid valve to the Milwaukee. Please let us know how it goes!



  7. fred on July 9, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    i bought my non digital vaporizer on ebay for 325.00 no bafs or valves…bought the ez valve system and have been able to build my own bags to attach to the valve…mine ar 4ft long and cost pennies eack..i use oven turkey bags w/out the gravy of course



  8. Mullet on January 30, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Anyone have any luck making a DIY solid valve? I already have a heat gun and turkey bags and I’ve been trying to reverse engineer the valve for weeks. It is a well designed piece.



    • Vapormaster on January 31, 2010 at 12:06 pm

      Good luck friend, I don’t think you’ll be able to come close. You can buy it separately and save yourself the hassle. It’s $99 USD for the solid valve set which is a lot, but like you noted it’s a pretty sweet piece of engineering – and it works so damn well.



  9. DL on December 19, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    I’m using a Black & Decker heat gun (pictured above) to build a volcano-style vaporizer. I wanted it to be hands-free, so I took the hardware out of the plastic casing. That is a TOUGH casing. I had to use a dremel with a cutting disc bit to get through it, being careful not to cut through any of the internal wiring or hardware. I used a couple of L-brackets to mount it vertically to an 8″x8″ square of plywood.

    I thought about trying to build the valve system from copper pipes and valves, and as much as I would have liked to do it from scratch, I think it just makes so much more sense to buy Storz & Bickel’s hardware. You can use an oven bag from the grocery store held on with a silicone washer from the hardware store, but I think the OEM valve system is more or less indispensable.



  10. Andy on July 8, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    Im buying everything tomorrow, even found a milwaukee variable heat gun on craigslist, and will post the results. In response on buying a cheaper vape? If you take the time to read reviews, most vaporizers suck!!!! unless its topline like volcanos



    • biggbonger on May 8, 2012 at 10:30 pm

      I’ve owned an Iolite portable, a DaBuddha, Vapor Daddy Deluxe, (also used a Vapor Daddy a lot)…Currently using a Volcano Digit after just upgrading from the Classic.
      The Volcano is truly the best, but after that I would recommend the Daddy Deluxe or a little cheaper is the Vapor Daddy. The Iolite and DaBuddha both suck.



  11. Jonathan on June 1, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Why would you spend over $200 to cobble together little more than a fire hazard when there are several vaporizers on the market that come already assembled for less than $150.



    • Vapormaster on June 29, 2009 at 6:50 am

      To each their own! Many find the vapor bag and valve systems on cheaper vaporizers to be problematic. The homegrown Volcano gets you the fine functionality of the filling chamber / vapor bag setup without the expense of the OEM heat generator. With a little ingenuity and thoughtful use, these DIY volcanoes can be great.



  12. DIYGanjaHead on December 23, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Great write-up. It took me several tries and returns to discover the Milwaukee model, and boy what a difference it made. I use a stand I made out of bent coathangers and it works great. I call it my Ghetto-cano! Even tho it cost $275! Better than $500+ Oh and good warning on the heat, just ask the carpet next to my coffee table!



    • biggbonger on May 8, 2012 at 10:35 pm

      lol and again…lol. Homemade for 275! Why not get a vapor daddy or deluxe daddy for around 140. I think you could get an Extreme Q-Air for around 275-300.



      • biggbonger on May 8, 2012 at 10:39 pm

        oh ya…several tries and returns? As in travel time,gas money, work/effort? Also worth something to me. Probably up over 300 now after factoring in all that.