So you made it through the intro? Good. There's something that must be said before we go any further. I'm not liable. For anything. Do your homework and be sure you know what safety precautions to take when handling something like thermite, such as not looking at it during ignition since it gives off harmful ultraviolet light! Be smart, treat this stuff with the respect it deserves. It's not flash powder but it's certainly not sugar either. ;-)
Now that that's out of the way, onto the fun part. The preparations!
The first thing to do is understand what thermite is made up of. Most commonly, homemade thermite is made up of iron oxide (rust) and granule or powered aluminum. When mixed together, these two metals create an incendiary capable of reaching temperatures of several thousand degrees. For more info check thermite's Wiki page
. So: What we need:
- Fine (0000) Steel Wool (not pictured)
- Some kind of scale
- Plaster of Paris
- Handling materials (spoon, cup, paper, coffee can...)
- Some kind of mold to cast your thermite in
While I'm at it, I'll explain the best way to get a hold of the materials.
Off to the hardware store! Honestly though, I buy my steel wool at Walmart unless I can find bulk fine grade steel wool at our nearby Harbor Freight .
Well, you could always go online and purchase some high grade Aluminum powder like I did. Before I thought to do that, I just ground strips of aluminum foil in a cheap coffee grinder. IMHO, the larger grains made from the coffee grinder method make for brighter and more enjoyable light shows.
Ever heard of Michaels? It's a nice little place a lot like Hobby Lobby. Plaster of Paris and the scale can be bought at either of these places, and probably at Walmart as well.
Use anything you want to, whatever suits your fancy. I use a small ice cube tray. Film canisters would probably work fairly well, as would larger tupperware containers for really big batches. Whatever floats your boat.
Finally, you say. I've got everything you told me to get. Let's get started!