DS Flamegun Logan's Run, Functional or not ? I need Help of specialists

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by alexis, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. alexis

    alexis Member

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    Hi,
    I was buyed some few days a replica of Sandman DS Gun. The title of auction say that it's a working replica with calcium carbide. I was go to bring back the gun, and at my home, when I was inspected the gun, I have now a big doubt. Here is somes pictures if someone know this system and can help me, beforehand, thank you very much.
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    In first, one thing is strange, I don't see a valve in the barrel just a tube smaller inside :
    [​IMG]
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    The second thing that is strange, this is the main barrel which is welded on the gun frame : it's not removable. And the gun frame is complete in top, not same the others functionnals flamegun.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    In three, I don't understand that the trigger activate : because I don't see a mechanism in the main barrel.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    But apparently, the glow plug is good :
    [​IMG]
    Other thing I don't understand : the power switch of glow plug.
    [​IMG]
    You can see here the tube inside with a hole :
    [​IMG]
    The valve of the gas tank is completly removable. I don't know this system :
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The glow plug :
    [​IMG]
    The gas tank without the valve :
    [​IMG]
    So I don't know if it's really a working or not flamegun, because I'm very surprise by the system : what the trigger activate ? Why, it don't have a valve in the barrel. and why the main barrel is welded and we can see inside ? And for terminate, I don't how to made the electrical ground with just one wire... If someone can to help me. Thank you very much !
    A last information, the guy who sell me the gun tell me that it's a replica made by JJ Lastelick.
     
  2. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    If it's a JJ I would be real cautious about firing it.

    I'm sure Ry will chim in and trust me he has more knowledge on this Prop than the original prop-Makers
     
  3. Rylo

    Rylo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It is indeed a JJ replica and it was a working flamegun at one time.

    He sealed those things up tight and used the same unreliable lighter valves that were put in the original guns. Sadly, many of his guns just didn't hold up well over time and it's just about impossible to get inside some of them.

    It's very difficult to bring one of those back to working condition, but good luck! You could always charge the tank up and pull the trigger to see if you have any control of the gas.

    You'll then need to wire the plug up before you can fire it. But, at a glance it looks complete but for the Hawker Cyclone battery.

    Never know, it might work for you, but probably not more than once or twice before the rotted o-ring which is most certainly in there blows out. You just can't service the thing once it goes...big design flaw. LIke Tony said, safety first; load small and with caution if you simply must mess with it. Perhaps it's the language barrier, but it doesn't really sound like you understand the basic mechanics of the prop so I suggest a little homework first. Lot's of good info out there on these pieces.

    Good luck just the same! Worse case, clean it up; it'll make a neat display piece. JJ was one of the first guys to tackle this prop so it does have an interesting history behind it.

    -Rylo
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011
  4. alexis

    alexis Member

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    Thank you very much for your answers. I will be very careful, then I will use this gun. So I will see for to find a Hawker Cyclone battery. Thanks Rylo.
     
  5. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Good luck!

    Let us know how things turn out
     
  6. alexis

    alexis Member

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    One question again. I saw on the blueprints that it had a felt filter who's missing on the gun :

    [​IMG]

    Must I put one in the filter tank ? And if yes, where I can find this filter, if it's possible. Or can I made a filter myself, with what material ? Beofrehand thank for yours answers.
    Don't worry Apollo : I tell you if I'm burning like a chicken or not with this gun ! :lol
     
  7. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It is just craft felt cut out a square and roll it up and put it in
     
  8. Delmustator

    Delmustator Sr Member

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    Those look like surface welds to me. I'd bet money that you can use a Dremmel cutting blade and cut those welds, allowing dis-assembly. Replace the valve or at least the o-ring with a different material that is more resistant to the chemicals.

    Also, I would suspect that a couple of 18650 Lith-Ion batteries could be used in place of the Cyclone battery. At least you could put a re-charge port someplace and recharge them without opening the frame grip.

    Just some thoughts.
     
  9. alexis

    alexis Member

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    Yes Del, mee too I saw it. I think to try to cut the welds in the futur if the gun don't working in this state.
    thanks del for the informations on the battery. With my friends who know very well electricity, I see with them if I can put a coupler cells for can put 2 AA (LR6) 1.5V battery that it's more easy to find in France...

    EDIT : This Filter is in all functional flamegun replicas ? Because my second functional flamegun don't have this felt filter and it's working very well, but the system is completly different :

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    What is exactly the function of the felt filter ? Sorry for all these questions...
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011
  10. alexis

    alexis Member

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    Well,
    the first step is good ! I was changed the electrical power, and made a new electrical system for to have the ground. Now, it's working with 2 cells type AA, and the glow plug works !!! :)
    [​IMG]
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    But I Think that the power switch is broken, because it's can't stay in on position. I must to push the switch permanently for to stay in on position.
    Tomorrow I will test the gun with calcium carbide : I will put a little quantity and protect my hands for to made the test...
     
  11. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The filter is there just to keep the Valve clean

     
  12. Rylo

    Rylo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The valve is from a 1975 table lighter. It is not owner servicable. Most have rotted over the years. I went down this road over a decade ago and scrapped about a dozen matchomatic lighers trying to repair them.

    It has nothing to do with anything being resistant to chemicals. Nothing was 'eaten.' Rubber O-rings simply dry out over time. JJ's guns suffered from the same problem as the original guns. An off the shelf valve was used in a prop that simply generated too much pressure for it's intended purpose. What valves weren't blown have simply rotted. It's very difficult to find a working JJ gun, these days.

    I made guns with the exact same set up years ago. I got so tired of replacing the valves, we ended up going with a custom valve of our own design engineered to handle the load. Never had another problem. All of that said, an old friend of mine kept one of the early builds that had a matchomatic valve in it and he never had a single problem. It's def. more miss than hit with those old valves, but you can get a good one.

    The larger problem here seems to be a new prop owner who does not understand the mechanics of this prop. This particular model shoots fire generated by a chemical reaction that's held back by a poorly constructed delivery mechanism.

    Again, I suggest a great deal of homework before going further with testing this piece. As any owner of a working DS gun will tell you, there's a quite a difference between these and a toy (lightbulb) replica.

    As for cutting the frame. Air flow is important to these pieces and finding the correct placement for the venturi hole can be difficult. JJ probably sealed his guns to stop them from leaking in the first place. Either way, cracking it open would effect the way air moves inside of the gun.

    Anyway, a couple more tips for the owner:

    Never know. This gun may still work. The fact that no battery was in it can be a good sign. If those batteries (Hawker Cyclone or Gates) aren't maintained they die. The owner probably had no idea where to find another one and it just set on a shelf. The fact that no felt was in the tank can be good and/or bad. It means someone either shot it without the felt which would wreck the valve. Or, if you're lucky, it may have never been prepped to be fired at all. Then again if you got CC w/ the purchase, I'd say it's been shot without the felt which of course wrecks the valve.

    Should you manage to get an air tight charge on your tank, I suggest loading small. A couple pebbles of CC and about 1.5CC of water. This will help avoid blowing the valve out. Once you pop that o-ring it's over if it hasn't already died. So, if you must test it, I'd put a little charge on it (with the batteries removed) and see if you can control the gas with the trigger.

    Good luck and be safe!

    -Rylo

    NOTE: Your second gun is one of the Aussie replicas. Yes, you should always use felt in the filter tank. It's a custom valve on that replica but CC residue will clog the valve.

    Regarding the switch on your first gun. It's a momentary switch. It's not intended to stay on. The web of your hand will push the switch on, activating the glowplug as you grip the gun.

     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011
  13. Funky

    Funky Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Man, that thing just makes me nervous! No wa I would try to fire that thing and I'm pretty ballsy.
     
  14. Rylo

    Rylo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    No worries. I use 2 AAA's in my replicas.

     
  15. alexis

    alexis Member

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    Thanks Rylo for all informations and Tips.
    I don't understand very well your words "Again, I suggest a great deal of homework before going further with testing this piece".
    In fact, I know the gerenality of mechanism of flamegun, and I was removed completly severals times my first functional DS Gun for to resolves somes problems of shoots (and change the valve). But I don't know every replicas was made and this replica of JJ Lastelick is the first time that I saw it. Specialy the barrel welded on the gun frame. I will listen to you and to try today the gun with CC without to put on the glow plug for see if I control the gas with the trigger.
    I will be very careful for to use this gun, I know that it's not a toy ! Thanks for all answers.

    EDIT : Rylo do you know approx, the date when JJ Lastelick was builded his replicas ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011
  16. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    JJ started to build roughly in 1992 it was awhile maybe a year before the guns started coming out as he had to raise his price a few times.

    If you need an exact date I will have to dig as I saved all my correspondance with him
     
  17. alexis

    alexis Member

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    I made it ! And it's working perfectly !
    I was tryed without glow plug with Calcium carbide. I was saw that the trigger control the gaz pressure. So, I'm not hesitated, just after I was loaded with a little quantity of Calcium Carbide and with protection I was shoot ! Great work ! :thumbsup
    If I can, I put somes pictures or video soon... Thanks for all for yours tips and answers ! :)

    If it's not a big work for you, I say Yes ! Beforehand, Thank you very much !
     
    Larry Young likes this.
  18. Larry Young

    Larry Young Master Member

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    Nice work, Alexis! You are braver than I am; I would never have tried that!
     
  19. Nicksdad

    Nicksdad Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Actually, JJ told me back in the day that he had found a way to make a valve last. I think the reason he spot welded the guns was to keep the secret as it were.
    I traded mine to a friend and it shot with no problems other than a small leak in the back cap due to an old 0-ring.
     
  20. alexis

    alexis Member

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    A little picture, I'm waiting that the video where I take this picture will be load on vimeo. I'm not very cool here, because after to read all the answers here, I'm a little nervous for trying the gun ! :lol

    [​IMG]
     
  21. Rylo

    Rylo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    See there! Good job. Congrats on getting a good one. Like I said, sometimes you can find one that's never been messed with. I'd continue to load small to protect the valve.

    -Rylo

     
  22. Rylo

    Rylo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Love it!!! It's all good man. If that thing isn't shooting flame out of the back of the gun (towards you) you're in good shape....for now. :confused

    I keed, I keed. Just be cool with it and treat it like an old car. It's an antique! But, a working one which makes it all good.

    By the way. Should that glowplug crap out on you, a FOX 1.5 long is what you'll need. I 'd also change the felt in the filter tank every 9 or 10 loads.

    -Rylo

     
  23. Rylo

    Rylo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That, too!

    I owned one that wasn't sealed up and it looked like the entire vlave had been covered in quick steel. It was just a ball! It looked like one his his later pieces. The machine work had gotten better, much tighter than the others I'd seen. It worked fine.

     
  24. Rylo

    Rylo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Since we're on the topic, here's an older build-out session of one of my runs. I'm getting a newer video together now since I'm smack dab in the middle of getting a few more pieces together. I plan to do a new cleaning & handling video, too.

    This video shows the Film and a shot or two of a TV version:

    Sandman Flamegun (working) DS Gun - YouTube

    You'd also asked about the felt. This is a pic of one of my builds so the set-up is a little different, but the concept is the same. Spent Calcium Carbide creates a fine powder (see pic) that can and will clog a valve if not properly filtered. I simply roll craft felt (billiard felt) up super tight and cut to fit. I then seat it below the threads:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011
  25. alexis

    alexis Member

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    Thanks for all tips Rylo : Your Functional Flamegun is my next goal ! When I have the money, I'll buy you one of your gun ! :thumbsup
    Well, here is my little video, I'm not a cool man inside ! :lol

    Functional Sandman DS Flamegun (JJ Lastelick Model) on Vimeo

    Thank you very much at all members on this post for your help ! :)
     
  26. Rylo

    Rylo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Alexis, that valve is starving for oxygen. The flame pattern shoud be tight, crisp and concentrated. Be careful with that. Try running a little wire in the front of the flame tube and at the back of the filter tank. Check for clogs.

    You can tell that the air-flow is restricted; I hate to keep harping about that valve, but it's clearly choking. I'd clean it up and let it retire on the shelf knowing it fired (to some degree) last time you juiced it up.

    It's just old, man. Enjoy it for what it is though. Like I said, it's an important piece and deserves a great deal of respect in the prop world for being one of the first pieces offered. I would never have done my runs if it weren't for JJ. Just knowing the piece had been completed by someone else made it more approachable for me. After that, it wasn't long before a few of us dug in and ran our own. Good times!

    -Rylo

     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011
  27. alexis

    alexis Member

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    Rylo,
    Important information : I was used a little quantity of Calcium Carbide and of bad quality (outside since few days). I will retrying in few days with a better calcium carbide and more bullets and water. Don't worry, I love very much this props : I'll take good care ! :thumbsup
    Again, Rylo, thank you very much for all your advise, I'll apply !
     
  28. Rylo

    Rylo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    No problemo. If you can find it, the old Calcium Carbide is the best. The older the better; it's got a higher gas yield. The older cans tend to turn to powder on the top leaving the pebbles a couple inches down in the can. That's the good stuff! The newer Carbide works just fine too, though. (provided it's reasonably fresh) You can find it on Ebay w/ no problem at all.

    Sure, a larger charge may do the trick. Sounds like you're headed in the right direction and building up. Have fun! Let us know how it goes. :thumbsup


     
  29. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Glad to see you got her up and running! ;)

    Since you have an Aussie one I would retire the JJ as Rylo says it deserves a place of honor in your collection
     
  30. alexis

    alexis Member

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    Apollo can you know the date of build from the Aussie replica ? If you can find with the date of JJ Replica, thanks !
     
  31. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Don't know about the Aussie I think it was early 2001-04 maybe what do you say Rylo?

    I just dug out my letters from JJ one dated Sept,9 1992 saying the gun will be $ 1, 625.00

    On Sept 29 he stated the price would be going up to $ 2,000.00.
     
  32. alexis

    alexis Member

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    Retrying to shoot today : very good working. I'm very happy of this replica : great work. :)

    I want to change this switch by a same but with two positions (on - off). For when you push one time, the glow plug in on. And when you push again, the glow plug is off. Because I think that is not convenient the switch where you must push all time the switch for to keep the glow plug on ! But I don't find on the web...
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  33. alexis

    alexis Member

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    A new video made since fews days. Before the refection of my gun : many problems come and I must remade some parts if it's possible. I was put a big quantity of calcium carbide, so the Flamegun made a very beautiful big flame... :lol

    Functional Flamegun Replica JJ Lastelick. on Vimeo
     
  34. Rylo

    Rylo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Agreed. The switch in this configuration is very tricky. You need to find an on/off momentary switch. AT present you have a norm. 'open' switch.

    Not a very tight flame pattern on that JJ, but it's working! I prefer a tight, defined 'star-burst' which burns a little more gas but the end result is great!

    -Rylo

     
  35. CaptainNemo

    CaptainNemo New Member

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    I recently rehabilitated my JJ Lastelick 'Logans Run Deep Sleep Flame Gun' that I'd purchased from a dealer-friend of mine back in the early 90's. It's built almost to the original movie prop specs, since my friend had 'procured' one of the movie originals and had it duplicated assumabley by JJ.
    The unit I own was in perfect working order back then, and the flame it produced was exactly how it appeared and sounded in the film, magnificent!
    But like a dumb kid, I had removed the cotton wading to clean it one time and didn't immediately replace it. Some of the calcium carbide had blow into the valve and basically seized it. No more flame, no more awe at the bright light it would make, a sad day indeed. I stored it away, finished school, moved out west, and forgot about it. Then recently I bought the Logan's Run blu-ray and watched it with the wife. Afterwards, I decided to look for that gun and try to get it working again. When I found it in storage several weeks ago, I started working on it.

    *That attached image is for reference and is not the JJ Lastelick version
    .

    The following is for anyone who owns a non-working JJ Lastelick's DS flame gun. Don't give up, it might still be made functional again.

    FYI: JJ built these by welding the barrel directly to the frame (to prevent acetylene leaks), which makes servicing the valve difficult. Also its my understanding that these valves can be rather fragile and are obsolete or not available anymore.

    1) The 2.5v cyclone battery is built/formed directly into the handle and is not removable, to do so would destroy the guns handle requiring it to be rebuilt. I used a simple variable power supply as a charger, and set it to 3v per the original instructions from my dealer friend. Luckily it took a full charge and the glow plug burned that happy orange glow again. Amazing 20+ years and the battery still works!

    2) Just as when I had stored it, no air could get through that valve. I decided to soak just the top portion of the barrel in a shallow tray filled with CLR for a couple of days. I made sure to only submerge the barrel enough to flood the barrel and valve and not touch the glow plug or handle. That freed up the valve a bit and allowed gas to pass through it again. Then I shot s decent amount of WD40 into the tank port of the barrel and actuated the trigger until the WD40 start dripped through the front of the barrel. I finished by blowing canned air through the barrel since it was of a reasonably low pressure and I didn't want to damage the valve.

    3) I bought some craft felt and rolled it as a filter (as I had seen in another recent replica), instead of using the original cotton wading. I slide it into the felt chamber (middle of gun), then screwed on the rear acetylene tank.

    + For my first test firing, I loaded the chamber with 5 calcium carbide pebbles, water, connected the battery, and fired the gun. It produced a decent flame effect result. But it was not at the full intensity that I remembered it did when it was new or at that same high intensity of the movie. When it was new and fully charged, I could get a couple of really large good high intensity flames, and then several smaller short shots. Now it was at least firing with a dozen shorter smaller flames. Subsequent firings seemed to clear out the valve more and more.

    4) I decided that the gaskets probably were allowing to much gas to leak out, so I went to the local hardware store and got a few plumbing #48 rubber gaskets to replace both the cap and tank joint gaskets.

    5) Success! The new gaskets worked well (for a few times then leaked) and the next series of test firings produced that larger screen correct flame effect and sounded spot on! But the gaskets are not the correct ones as it seems that they can not handle the warm gas reaction in the tank.

    Next steps;
    A) I need to get a better set of gasket and test fire again.
    B) Also the switch that turns on the glow plug isn't working reliably. It's activated with the applied pressure from the purlicue of my hand. I'll research a potential replacement with the same version or another variation.
    C) And I'll update with new pictures from the test results.
    Logans Run Blueprint.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2015

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