Home made fireworks
Using matches


When I ran out of fire crackers (a few months after new year's day) some alternatives were needed to satisfy my need for mischief.
With matches and some stuff from the hardware store it is possible to build an alternative which is even better than most commercially
available fire crackers.(At least better than the pathetic legally approved crackers they sell in Holland)
However, let me warn you: although you are "just" playing with match heads here, be careful,
you might be surprised by the force hidden in those matches: please protect your eyes and ears!


The head of the match does not need oxygen from the air to burn; both components for the chemical reaction are
present: The reductor (Sulfur?, Phosphorus?) and the solid oxidator (Manganese oxide MnO4).
This composition makes the match head quite suitable as an explosive!

1) Reusable cracker

The reusable cracker is built using a brass pipe with screw thread on both ends. This kind of brass pipes are used for mounting
electronic components (e.g. transformers; circuit boards).
The construction is simple: close one end of the pipe using a short bolt that fits (M4 in my case)
Take a nail which is long enough to reach the bolt (see picture below).
Scrape off the heads of 10-20 matches; make sure you do not use the wood!, only the pure brown/red stuff.
Put the scraped off match heads in the brass pipe and gently compress it with a match stick (you should have plenty by now)

Now go outside and place the brass pipe on a hard surface and insert the nail (without any force)
To detonate the cracker, drop a brick on the nail, or hit it with a large piece of wood.
Be careful: the bang may be much louder than you expect; I advise the person who detonates it to use some ear protection

2) Hand grenade

This construction is not as loud as the Reusable cracker, but it detonates when you throw it on a hard surface!
To build it, you need two large (M8-M10) and long (about 10cm) bolts and one matching nut (no, not you)

Put one of the bolts on a table and screw on the nut to about one quarter.
Scrape off the heads of about 10 matches and poor this stuff in the nut (see picture below)
Now screw in the other bolt and gently tighten it by hand Do not use tools here

To detonate your hand greande, throw it away in a turning motion. Make sure one of the bolt-ends hits a hard surface
which is not too close to you. The match head powder is compressed and will detonate.
When it detonates, often one of the bolts is launched!

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