None of that sissy nichrome wire, this detonator makes a BOOM and a shower of sparks that will surely ignite the main event.
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Step 1: Materials List
You will need:
Steel Wool - I used Extra Fine #00
Long 2 conductor wire - I used 18 gauge speaker wire
Cellophane wrap - I used the kind that sticks to itself
Tape - I used electrical
Flash powder or similar (black powder or crushed sparklers would probably work, but I haven't tried it)
Some capacitors - see my capacitor bank instructable for instructions
Step 2: Get the Cable Ready
Take your 2 conductor cable and strip the ends. Separate them a little bit, and cut the wire the length you want, or use the whole spool (in this case 60ft).
Step 3: Wrap the Steel Wool Around the Exposed Copper
Do as the title says!
The key here is to have the right amount of steel wool, not to little where you might not get contact, and not to much where you might not get enough amperage to explode the wire. Hopefully the picture will give you a hint as to how much to use, but you can always practice by doing a "dry run". To do a dry run, stop at this step and try to "detonate" the steel wool - if it explodes with a BANG and some sparks that was a good amount, if not, increase or decrease and try again.
Step 4: Final Preparations
Now pour a little bit of your explosive of choice onto a small square of cellophane. It should be enough to completely cover the end of the wire when the wire is placed flat against the cellophane. Now wrap it up and tape it so it stays together.
This is what it should look like finished.
Step 5: Usage
To use this, stick the business end in whatever you're trying to ignite, then take the other end of the wire and stand back.
If you're using capacitors, then just charge them up and then stick the two leads to the capacitor leads, and off it goes, instant gratification. No need to wait for an unknown amount of time like those nichrome fools.
Anyways since I don't have a picture of one going off yet, when you don't stick the detonator in anything and set it off, the explosion is about 0.5m in diameter of blinding white and sends sparks flying all around with the farthest ones reaching about 1.5m from the detonator. Here's what the wire looks like after the explosion.