In this project, we're making hand-held sparklers for the 4th of July.  When it's time to celebrate with fireworks, you could just buy them.  Or you could improvise, and make your own.

Step 1: Watch the Video!

WARNING: There is a very real risk to health and safety.  This project should not be attempted without adult supervision and adequate training.  Pyrotechnics are not toys, and should be handled with extreme caution and respect.  High temperatures on the stove or oven may cause auto-ignition of the pyrotechnic composition which may lead to serious injury, death, and/or permanent damage to equipment and property.  Ignition of an incendiary or explosive material may not be legal in your area, and resulting damage may not be covered by your insurance.  Check city laws and ordinances before attempting.  Use of this video content is at your own risk.

<p>Is there any chance for explosion?</p>
<p>If they don't spark much, and tend to go out, what did I do wrong?</p>
I just have to wonder how many house fires are going to start due to this project.
<p>Nice -ible. Safe and sane.</p><p>Since people have to actually think, and follow instructions to make these smoke-powder-on-a-string things... I'm not worried about those kind of people actually starting their floor on fire indoors. Instructables is for thinking people. <br>What is much more worrisome are the people here who are not thinking logically or rationally, the fear-mongers worry me!<br>The FUD crowd (Fear, Uncertainty, Deception) is guilty of intellectual censorship. Eventually a new &quot;dark age&quot; will result. I'm talking about suppression of knowledge and the chilling effect of the nanny-state dogma.<br>Humanity needs to continue to use their God-given minds to learn how things work and how to improve the human condition of their fellow man. Chemistry, even pyro-chemistry, is but one area of knowledge. Let's work together to help everyone become smarter, that's what Instructables is for. :)<br><br>BTW, happy 4th of July to citizens of the united states of America wherever you happen to be!<br></p>
<p>Sanity from a sane person in a world of delusion. It is good to hear from a human in a room full of sheep.</p>
<p>INDEED! Awesome reply!</p>
<p>This is one of the most refreshing statements I have read in a long time.... I have been YELLING this for years as we move away from thinkers and closer to morons that allow a government to tell us how to do everything... Double plus good...</p>
<p>totally agree DIY-Guy and billbillt - great statement</p><p>I will certainly be motivating and coaching my nieces (age 8, 10 and 13) and nephew (15) on making your instructable this weekend. </p>
<p>I wonder how many house fires will start that are not due to this project.</p><p>I also wonder how many will NOT start due to this project because someone learned a thing or two.</p>
<p>Absolutely ZERO!!!!....</p>
I wonder how many kids are going to do chemistry at University due to this project. <br>
Right on!
<p>FROM BATF Web site:<br>You may not transport personally manufactured fireworks under the club&rsquo;s explosives license. Under 18 U.S.C. &sect; 845(a)(3), it is unlawful for any person other than a licensee or permittee to knowingly transport, ship, cause to be transported, or receive explosive materials. ATF authorizes volunteer members of licensed clubs or other licensed hobby organizations to possess explosive materials while assisting in supervised club shoots, so long as their assistance is under the direct control and supervision of the licensed club. However, your personal manufacturing activities are conducted at a location away from the club&rsquo;s licensed premise or shoot and are not directed or supervised by the fireworks club.</p><p><strong>You may manufacture display fireworks for personal use at your property without obtaining a Federal explosives license or permit </strong>(a manufacturer&rsquo;s license is needed only by persons engaged in the business of manufacturing fireworks for sale, distribution, or other commercial purpose). However, where storage occurs, you must comply with all storage requirements in 27 CFR, Part 555, Subpart K. In addition, a Federal explosives license or permit is required to transport, or cause to be transported, the explosive materials, even to the location of the club activity.</p><p><em><strong>This ONLY refers to Federal Law, check your State, County, or Municipal Laws before ANY firework making.</strong></em></p>
<p>Take note- separate ingredients, kept in different containers according to applicable safety methods are not &quot;explosive materials.&quot; Potassium nitrate by itself is not &quot;explosive.&quot; Sugar alone is not explosive. Unmixed potassium nitrate, separate sulphur, and charcoal are by themselves individually not &quot;explosive materials.&quot;<br><br>(Hint!) Before any &quot;thing&quot; is made, when powders are safely stored according to best guidelines, it's not an explosive device. Restrictions do not apply until after &quot;it&quot; is created. So don't mix, wrap, and build before you transport such things. Wait until you get where you are going.</p>
<p>Yes! Thank you, I've been telling my parents that for ages!!</p>
<p>Where do you get potassium nitrate? Awesome Instructables.</p>
<p>ask the drug store for it</p>
<p>potassium nitrate??..... Lots of it here......</p><p>http://www.ebay.com/itm/Potassium-Nitrate-highly-refined-99-8-pure-Salt-Peter-10lb-/251383324584?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&amp;hash=item3a879d1fa8</p>
He said in the instructable that it is sold as stump remover and can be found in a hardware store.
I used very fine wire wool for the same use but for photography. Wire wool burns at a fierce rate and basicly use it for fire writing or spark effects. Will give this a blast, an see if this is ideal for some trick clicks...
<p>Although, I myself won't be making these, I think they are awesome. No left over wires to be left on lawns and no packaging to throw away. </p>
<p>I wonder how many metal objects will be inserted in electrical <br>outlets with bare hands? Should we ban electricity or educate <br>pro-actively? Pyrotechnics <br>is an applied science. This project is no different than any other <br>elementary concept that entertains while educating young minds and <br>requires adult supervision. Is it better to shelter kids so when <br>they are learning core concepts in school they are either told it's <br>just something they need to learn or are shown a limited amount of <br>mundane applications, rather than showing them a wide spectrum? The <br>former is just one reason why the US scores so low in education and <br>countless dollars are wasted towards liberal arts degrees, instead of <br>taking full advantage of a degree program that is their passion.</p>
Intelligence! how beautiful! You do know that the 2 most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity?!!
I was taught how deal with pyrotechnics at a very early age (7). And progressed on as time passed.<br>I've seen 3 or 4year olds in the Amazon work with knives and machetes without doing harm to themselves or any near them. Shame on the fear mongers!
<p>I second that Ricardod1!!! It's time we ban ignorance, not limit freedoms to safely partake in activities in this country!!! </p>
<p>when I was a teenager the internet was giving me stuff like the anarchist cookbook; people weren't on bulletin boards shitting themselves about safety concerns and legalities. I guess what I'm asking is - what the hell happened to the internet where a man can tell people how to make the least dangerous firework there is and be bombarded by people saying &quot;won't someone think of the children&quot;. I long for the bygone days where we made napalm to burn swearwords into the miserable sods garden lawn down the road. it isn't enough that we are living in a totalitarian society but what really saddens me is that people bend over and say &quot;more sir!&quot;</p>
<p>Yeah there is some great gear here. The last time I used &quot;LAME&quot; old sparklers, I lit one, &quot;Yeah fine - big whoops, etc.&quot;</p><p>.</p><p>It said on the pack, &quot;Only use single sparklers at a time&quot; - or something like that.</p><p>.</p><p>So of course I had to find out why, by doing what they said not to do. I taped together a couple - &quot;Wow - that went better, lets try a whole pack.&quot;</p><p>.</p><p>I will classify that as a learning experience. The temperature of the sparkler material (cold) determines it's combustion rate. A whole heap of sparklers - all raise each others temperature, and the combustion rate rises, so the whole bunch more or less flashes over very quickly from just after lighting.</p><p>.</p><p>This is OK if you have some non flammable surface to very quickly drop the flaring mass onto.</p><p>.</p><p>The direction to use sparklers singly, has good reasons. </p><p>.</p><p>If used as directed - these are perfectly safe. BUT lighting up a whole heap of them, or worse a whole pile of the mixture, burns as a blend of thermite and crap-ish solid propellant rocket fuel, which it actually in effect is.</p><p>.</p>
<p>How about adding some metal shavings for additional colored sparkiness? Copper for green, Aluminum for white, Iron for amber, etc.? Also, Charcoal dust for some short-lived golden sparks.</p>
What kind of stump remover?
<p>Stump remover with the ingredient: Potassium Nitrate, or some other Potassium chemical. It's pretty expensive and usually only 90% with some inert filler. It's already been targeted by the nanny state de-educators.</p>
I would say that falls down on ALL fronts - <br>a. Use stiff wire, not string. <br>b. If you MUST use sugar in your mix - add magnesium powder. <br>Sugar is not good in any pyro mix - You've got enough using the saltpetre &amp; magnesium. <br>
<p>This is not really a &quot;pyro mix&quot; in the common understanding of most experimenters. It's just smoke powder really. Smoke powder on a string. Kind of nice to see it as the flame moves along. Much better than an ember-only KNO3 glow worm string.<br>The string burns up, thus no hot wire to accidentally get stepped on with bare feet. BARE FEET? OH NO! (Please don't wear open shoes when doing this, and if you have bare feet- don't step on hot commercial wire type sparklers for goodness sake!)</p>
<p>also revered are the Wikipedia chemists... I stand in awe of the brilliance of their ten minute education in chemistry.....</p>
couldn't you use salt peter as potassium nitrate?
<p>Yes... They are one in the same....</p>
<p>Don't you just love it when alert citizens do a drive by in an attempt to piss on your parade????.....</p>
<p>double plus good... beware of the thought police... they seem to be everywhere now days.... we would not want to do ANYTHING illegal , not even if a little bit... must be good amerikans and follow ALL of the rules put down by Big Brother...</p>
<p>See the BATF page to be sure you are within Federal Regulations.</p><p><a href="http://www.atf.gov/explosives/how-to/fireworks-safety-and-security.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.atf.gov/explosives/how-to/fireworks-safety-and-security.html</a></p>
<p>My shopping list is looking a little funky.:)</p>
<p>Why is that??...</p>
Have you tired putting some iron filings (or titanium chips) into the mix? Could give a really great spakle-effect. <br> <br>Great 'ible - thanks.
+1 vote for iron filings, great for really sparkly sparkles. <br>Steel wool is also very sparkly but presumably less practical for embedding in string.
try magnesium powder, that's whats in real sparklers and its pretty cheap. its what makes that big bright spark
As I said earlier not Mg but Fe powder is used to make the characteristic sparkle in sparklers. When burning Mg is a very bright white, Fe is yellow orange and makes that typical sparkler sound and look.
Agreed - the yellow branching sparks that you get in commercial sparklers are iron filings. I have used them often, although you need to shop around a bit sometimes. I don't know whether it's carbon content or crystal structure or what but some iron filings are great while other batches are rather underwhelming. Great thing is they are dirt cheap.<br><br>Ferro titanium chips also make great sparks - bigger and brighter than iron filings but no so &quot;branching&quot;. I also get the impression they are a bit harder to light so maybe this mix would not be hot enough for them.
<p>As I said below, when I was a kid I used to make my sparklers and fireworks with iron filings collected with a magnet under my dads bench grinder. Visit any metalworking shop and ofter to clean up around their grinders. You can check how well they work by sprinkling them on a flame out of an old salt shaker.</p>
I think the people concerned about safety for children should see this:<br> <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/gever_tulley_on_5_dangerous_things_for_kids.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.ted.com/talks/gever_tulley_on_5_dangerous_things_for_kids.html</a><br> <br> Over-shielding kids robs them of their capability as adults.<br>
Just wondering, I know that Potassium Nitrate makes good smoke bombs. In your recipe you mentioned using &quot;stump-out&quot; by bonide (in my hardware store anyway) which is sodium pyrosulfite or sodium metabisulfite (which is not the same as Potassium Nitrate so my question is... Is there a Potassium Nitrate &quot;stump-out&quot; at the hardware store that would work or did you just use the sodium pyrosulfite chemical? Thanks