How to Make a Blasting Cap (without Losing Fingers)

Making a blasting cap at home is extremely dangerous. Every year, there are many dozens of people that lose their hands doing this. Mostly 15yo kids. Not because it is inherently extremely dangerous - the correct procedure is not exactly safe but not anywhere near extremely dangerous. The culprit is lack of knowledge - and direct/close contact between fingers and the explosive itself. This is how you avoid the mistakes that brought others to the attention of media! Read and save your hands, eyes and life!

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Step 1: Exchange Your Filters!

You've got your solution ready for filtration. You should shoot for about 10 ml of solution with 2 g of TATP total. The most important thing is not the filter the whole thing in one step. Filter a small amount and change the filter once you've got 100 - 200 mg of TATP on a single paper. You should use 10 - 15 filter papers total. Note: the TATP may form a near solid crust at the top that is liable to slide in the filter at once. You may use a 15 cm long or longer plastic spoon to scoop the top and put it into the filter, wash it down from the spoon with water. Be sure to add water to the beaker with your TATP, so it is alwaysat least 1/2 full of water. High beaker (7 cm or more) is optimal. Wrap the upper 1/2 of that beaker with 10 - 20 layers of Kevlar before filtration. Hold it by the upper end. Use kevlar gloves with outer layer made out of 2nd pair of leather gloves. Have surgical gloves at the top (3 layer of gloves total).

Step 2: Use Pre-bent Papers and a Wooden Rod With Cotton Wool!

Transfer the dried TATP onto pre-bent papers via a wooden rod that is wrapped in cotton wool! Don't let your fingers anywhere near the powder at any time! The TATP 10 - 15 filter papers should be transfered to transfered 20 pre-bent papers. 100 mg of TATP per paper, maximum! Tough the papers only at the edges and don't let your fingers anywhere close to the middle/TATP powder.

Wear Kevlar gloves with leather gloves on top of it! Wear kevlar arm protection! Wear ear-protection - ear plugs may not be enough - use combination of ear plugs and ear muffs! Wear glasses with a face shield! Glasses only - or face shield only isn't enough!!! Wear at least 3 layers of cotton wear (hoodie) all over your body, including arms and neck. Synthetic fiber is not allowed due to static electricity!

One pair of Kevlar gloves, one pair of leather gloves, one pair of kevlar sleeves, ear-plugs with ear muffs, polycarbonate glasses and face shield cost about 100 $ - total. They rotect you from noise and flying wooden fragments - think about the veins in your arms, neck! Think about your eyes. Cheapen out on this and face the risk of bleeding, blindness or life time of tinnitus!

Step 3: Use a Bucket Full of Gypsum Powder, Funnel and Wooden Rods.

This is the most important step! Find a nice, strong bucket - about 5 l or 1 US gallon +. Use multiple buckets - in case of weak walls. One bigger and one smaller. You may wrap a single bucket with strong tape, too. Buy about 5 g of powdered gypsum or flour - but careful, fine flour particles are flammable - so use medium-sized ones. Don't use sand or anything that has hard particles and/or contains small stones. It needs to be 100 % fine powder.

Fill the first 10 cm with gypsum. Then, use an inverted plastic drinking cup as a floor for your blasting cap. Push it down there. Then, fill the remaining 15 cm. Now, find a long (15 cm) plastic tube, 1 cm in diamater. Plastic test tubes for urine samples are ideal. Make sure there are no cracks or seals near the bottom of it. Any place where crystals of TATP may get into (like a crack) can prove deadly during the final insertion into a charge. Hence the test-tube .

Place the test tube onto the inverted cup, i. e. push it down into the gypsum powder. Take magazines (about 200 pages high layer is enough) and place it around the upper end of the test tube in such a way that you block your view into the gypsum. Insert a plastic funnel inside the blasting cap.

Bring your pre-bent paper with 100 mg of TATP and use the cotton wrapped rod to move it inside the funnel. The funnel may need a tap from the rod. Never leave more than 100 mg of TATP inside the funnel.

Take another paper and repeat 20 times. This way you end up with 2 g of TATP, 15 cm below the surface, inside the plastic test-tube. Pull out your funnel - careful - the friction between the t-tube wall and funnel may induce explosion (that is why you're not alllowed to have more than 100 mg at a time inside the funnel).

Insert your e-math, most e-matches are strong enough to be pushed inside without any problems, i.e. grip the lead-wire about 30 cm away from the match head! Now, bring your cotton bits (they need to be very small and you ned a lot of them. And an L-shaped 30 by 15 cm wooden rod, alson cotton wrapped at the end. Use clamps to bring the cotton bits near the edge of the test tube and let the cotton bits fall down. Use the L-rod for compacting. Fill the upper 10 cm of the test tube with cotton. Glue the upper end of the test tube. Careful, chemical reaction between the glue and traces of TATP may induce detonation. So wait an hour afterwards. Then, pull out your ready blasing cap in inspect it for cracks. Don't ever let your hands anywhere near the bottom 2/3 of the test tube, i.e. don't touch anything else except the upper end with glue.

Wear all the protective gear (2 pairs of gloves, sleaves, hodies, ear-plugs + muffs), face shield + glasses. Don't wear it and you risk grave injury. Touch the bottom end of the blasting cap and lose your fingers!

Step 4: Final Product - Look - a Blasting Cap! and You've Still Got All 10 Fingers! Ignore the Previous Steps - and Enjoy the Ride to Hospital.

This is your final product. A safely made blasting cap! You might add a ring to the upper and with 25 m+ long string attached to it. If you do this, do it during step 3, just after you glue the upper end. This string is there to pull out the blasting cap out of the charge in case of misfire.

Store it/transport it inside a gypsum filled bucket. Don't ever ram it into your charge - make a hole with pencil first - then insert your blasting cap. You risk breaking the blasting cap - fatal accidental detonation! So don't push it in with force - use a pencil first! You need a solid body like plastic test tube for this very reason - anything pliable like drinking straw or paper tube is asking for a fatal accident!

Electrical ignition is more complicated than this - but that's for another.... 2nd instructtable!

Skipping these steps will surely lead to amputation - you can't simply filter your TATP at once, dry it and scoop it into your blasting cap at one go (while holding the tube with your fingers)! There are microscopic areas of high friction, as well as static electricity dicharges between fingers/TATP or between TATP crystals themselves. These lead to ever pressent danger of accidental detonation - this can not be avoided by "gentle touching" - these dangers are omni-present no matter how dexterous your fingers are!!!. Simple scooping has about 1 in 1000 accidental explosion rate. So, ignore this instructable and end up in the news and with a life-time of regret.

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