Fix loose or poorly welded screen on MFLB knock-offs


Tree hugging dirt worshipper
(Not sure if this is the right place - I didn't see a place specifically for repairs, so "DIY" seemed appropriate. It can also be linked back to from relevant device-specific threads)

I picked up a DragonLite (MFLB knock-off) before I'd discovered FC and knew any better. It actually isn't half-bad for what I paid, though cheaply constructed. Instead of being carved out of a solid wood block, it's just a tiny wood cup inside a mostly hollow plastic shell.

Anyhow, while perusing the Magic-Flight website, I discovered their page describing various counterfiets and knock-offs. Links are included to a separate page for each device explaining how and why it is inferior.

Interestingly, aside from sloppy construction and cosmetic issues, the biggest problem with most knock-offs is inadequate and/or uneven heating, which is primarily caused by poor bonding (welding) of the screen to the rods which support and deliver current to it.

I wondered if there might be such an issue with my unit as its performance was sometimes inconsistent. Careful examination of my DragonLite revealed poor welding. Not having the ability nor equipment to do such precise and small welding, I considered alternatives. Soldering perhaps? Well, I wouldn't want lead in my air-path, and while silver solder might be a way to avoid lead, neither type of solder will bond to the stainless steel screen.

Then I remembered I had a jar of Wire Glue. It is a non-toxic water-based and air-drying conductive glue, marketed as a convenient heat-free substitute for soldering for making minor electrical and electronic repairs and projects.


As best as I can tell, it seems to be a mixture of white glue (think Elmer's) and carbon powder. It can be purchased through Amazon and from Think Geek (and probably other places too).

It seemed to be of sufficient viscosity that I might be able to carefully apply it through the screen along the rods without it running down into the trench and ruining it. So I did jut that: First, I thoroughly cleaned the screen, concentrating on the area where it attached to the rails. Some isopropyl alcohol and a q-tip works great for this. Keep at it until you can use a fresh q-tip and it comes back clean; this ensures you've got all the resin off. Using a toothpick I spread a thin bead along each rod, and then carefully smooshed (yeah, that's a technical word) it down so as to force it through the openings in the mesh to make contact with the rods underneath. I repeated this process a few times, concentrating on keeping the Wire Glue out of the trench, but forcing enough through the screen on the outer side of each rail. Then the hard part - I waited for it to thoroughly dry overnight. Here is the result:


I used a fresh battery to heat up the empty unit, running it for about a full minute. I detected no off-gassing nor strange odors. I even took a small sip from the hot empty vaporizer but noticed no strange taste.

In actual use, there seems to be an improvement. It heats more quickly, uniformly, and to a higher temperature than it did before the repair. Eventually when this thing breaks I'll probably pick up a genuine MFLB, but in the meantime I can get some more use out of this cheap-but-useful knockoff.
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Well-Known Member
I hate to say it, but I actually agree with @RUDE BOY and @lwien ... :brow:

Looks like it would work, but at what cost? Considering the low price of the Dragon Lite, I would just toss it out and be done with it.

Believe it or not, the Dragon Lite was my first vaporizer (:ugh:), so I'm begging you, in the name of all that is good and vapor holy, that if you have the means, just pick up the MFLB now and use this... Frankenstein Dragon Lite as a backup...

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