Introduction: Battery Lit Fuses

Picture of Battery Lit Fuses

Traditional lighters not good enough for you anymore when it comes to lighting fuses? Want to light fireworks without drawing attention to yourself with a bright flame? You still have to carry around a 9v battery with you, but here is the way to show off to your friends that you don't conform to normal ignition methods.

This is a quick, easy, super-low-cost project that anyone can do. You could make these in 2 minutes (no joke) or less once you get the hang of it.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

All you need:

1. Any old Christmas lights you have lying around.

2. 9v battery (the box shape ones you hardly ever use)

3. Duct Tape

4. Pliers

If you for some reason do not have pliers available, you could probably just use scissors or any hard object like a screwdriver. They are just to break the glass on the Christmas light bulbs.

Step 2: Dismantle a Bulb

Picture of Dismantle a Bulb

Grab a random bulb with our fingers and pull it off the Christmas light strand. Some bottom plastic part should come out too. See first picture.

Bend the wires straight back so that the plastic slides right off.

You will see a little glass ball holding the inside wires apart at the base of the bulb, try to break the glass off just above the level of that ball. Break the bulb open by putting it in your pliers and squeezing very gently until it pops. You need to keep at least the base of the glass in tact, so don't try to get rid of all the glass from the wiring. See pictures four and five.

Be careful of sharp edges after you have broken the glass and I recommend that you just break it over a trash can so that there is no glass mess to clean up. I just left them on the counter for a cooler picture.

Also take care not to disturb the tiny tungsten wire that is between the two prongs. This is what lights up when an electrical current passes through. If you break it then it will not work (isn't that how it always works when you break something?).

Step 3: Attach to Your Fuse

Picture of Attach to Your Fuse

Stick the glass that is remaining on the bulb to a bit of duct tape, just to hold it in place. The tungsten should not be touching the tape right now. Now stick the fuse under the tungsten strand just a little, like threading a needle. No need to stick the fuse as far up as touching the glass, the whole purpose is just to keep the fuse touching the tungsten strand so that it ignites when the tungsten lights up. See first picture.

Wrap the tape around the whole thing (leaving the two back wires sticking out and mostly uncovered, but have tape over then near the base to keep them from touching). You should also bend these wires away from each other so that it is easy for them to each touch the nodes of the battery at the same time. Be sure that the fuse is stuck to the tape nicely so that it doesn't fall out. See second picture.

So there you have it. All you have to do is touch both the wires that are sticking out of the tape to your battery's nodes and wait until you hear the fuse has ignited. Then just throw it wherever you want, though the leftover tape and bulb will fall off since the fuse will have burned away from it.

These lighting contraptions have failed to light two of my fuses, but they are pretty reliable, since I have lit about 20 fireworks with these. They are not reusable either. Sometimes they will burn a little hole through the duct tape so do not grab it by the tape while touching it to the battery.

Comments

bblade (author)2015-01-20

Cool

seamster (author)2014-11-03

Very interesting. This reminds me of the fuses used for igniting model rockets.

Silentfauxfox (author)seamster2014-11-03

Yeah, you could totally use one of those too, they have that stuff on the end that burns to really get things going, but one strand of Christmas lights has the numbers to make a whole lot.

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Bio: No specific knowledge or skills. If I can do it, anyone can.
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