Things that go bang

Dirk Koopman djk at
Mon Jan 15 21:08:10 GMT 2007

Andrew Beattie wrote:

> Which reminds me... could I make thermite by attacking an iron bars and 
> coke cans with an angle grinder to make powdered iron and aluminium, 
> leaving the iron outdoors for a while to rust, then merely mixing and 
> igniting with a sparkler?

Essentially, yes. Although iron filings are quite easy to source, as is
lab grade iron oxide. Another good alternative is wire wool. You can 
make that burn in air just by itself.

A more modern one that is currently doing the rounds in Holland at the
moment is quite nice:

1. take a plastic* coke bottle** (or near equivalent).
2. obtain "drain cleaner" from ironmongers (make sure it contain 
sodium/potassium hydroxide).
3. mix up strong solution of KOH or NA(OH)2 in water.
4. half fill plastic bottle with solution.
5. roll up some aluminium kitchen foil, loosely, in a cigar sort of a 
shape that fits easily down the bottle neck.
6. put foil cigar in bottle, screw on cap and throw away quickly.

Depending on the amount and cleanliness of the ali foil and the strength 
of the alkali solution between 10 to 50 secs later you will get a 
satisfying bang with lots of "smoke" (stream mixed with hydrogen). Use 
responsibly. Do not smoke nearby :-). Beware of flying plastic shards. 
Do not get caught and sent to Guantanamo.


* If you are particularly anti-social you can use glass, but you will 
get into even more trouble as well as suffer glass shrapnel wounds.

** Dutch plastic coke bottles, being designed for recycling, are much 
thicker and stronger than English ones - so you get a much better *BANG*.

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