ANTAGONISTIC BOOKS: Danger - How To make a book that sets itself on fire

Picture of ANTAGONISTIC BOOKS: Danger - How To make a book that sets itself on fire
This is an instructable on how to make the first book in my Antagonistic Books set (the one that sets itself on fire when you open it). This process turned out to be a lot more complicated and nuanced than I thought it would be, so this instructable is only for those willing to spend a lot of time trying and failing (and burning up their project when they fail.... or succeed)
match_rigBookd2.pdf(2592x1728) 204 KB
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Laser Cut the cover and mechanism out of masonite.

Picture of Laser Cut the cover and mechanism out of masonite.
Materials you will need:
Laser Cutter
3 Staples
Spring (Clicky-pen springs work great)
Nut, Bolt, and Washer
Length of String
A whole lot of newsprint for the pages.
Spray Fixatif
Magicians Flashpaper
Fireplace Matches (The brand I picked in the photo is the best of the ones I have tried)
Binding thread / needle
Exacto Knife
Duct Tape.
Breathable Cloth book cover

Download the File that I've attached and modify it as you need to for whatever type of laser-cutter you have. Basically you want to cut out all of these pieces from masonite. Masonite is a good choice because it's cheap, solid, and it burns up. You should note that if the staples you have are not the same width as the holes in my diagram or the tracks on the match slider you'll need to adjust the plans.
match_rigBookd2.pdf(2592x1728) 204 KB
red-king4 years ago
Reminds me of Fahrenheit 451.
doobuzz5 years ago
I love it
This is epically cool. If I were to build one, I'd probably use an electric match ignition because I'm too impatient to use a mechanical system. That said, your match rig is an excellent piece of work, as is the rest of the book. Well done.
stfj (author)  RavingMadStudios5 years ago
I thought about using electric ignition since that would be nicer, but I wanted to have a piece that burned entirely, and was worried about having batteries in a fire.
Good point. Might make more sense to use a capacitor or a piezo-based solution than batteries, for safety. Or just use your nifty mechanical striker. Either way, the effect is what matters most, and the effect is stunning.

Also digging your ratchet book, BTW. Can't wait to see what's next.
stfj (author)  RavingMadStudios5 years ago
oh smart. I hadn't thought about using a capacitor or piezo. My physical computing experience is limited. That would have made this much simpler haha. But I guess the mechanical nature of it is maybe a nice aspect.

anyway, thanks for the compliments!
Actually you really just need some sodium and a couple of small, flammable waterproof containers. Make it so that one holds the sodium metal and the other water, then tape them together and have opening the book smash them open. Sure, uses a highly unstable element that reacts violently with water, but it's more efficient as the entire thing can burn with minimal toxic fumes. You really can build a mech to do that entirely from wood, no other parts required.
I just might make one of these and use it as a prank. Maybe have fake money sticking out of the top and have that set it off when it's pulled or something.
0jack5 years ago
Lovely work.  Are you writing in these books or are you leaving them blank?

(My books are only antagonistic before they're published... well, some are antagonistic after, but at that point, it's the reader's problem, isn't it?  :)  )
overdue5 years ago
I can't wait to see "stfj" on The Colbert Report :-)
He'll probably put your picture on his mantle of something.
And you would deserve it, too; your Antagonistic Book series is too effing awesome!! 
Something about this reminds of Agrippa by William Gibson. Marvellous Instructable! I like the once opening book too, only I'd set the ratchet the other way round... :-)
whiteoakart5 years ago
Why do you hate books so much?  Did the school librarian scorn you after you revealed your secret crush?

Just kidding.  Very cool ideas, cleverly thought through.
mr.space5 years ago
You could fill a small very thin (Like tesco plastic bags but thinner) PTFE sachet with Manganese(VII) oxide, and glue each end to 2 hollows or pages. So when it is closed the glue dries and when it is opened you get an incredibly powerful fire spurting painful and damaging liquids at your face.
I have no idea wheather or not you could get a really thin PTFE bag though. or you could get the Sulphuric acid or Potassium permanganate to make it XD
Spint5 years ago
Awesome great job.