We don’t feel like we covered everything last time. Here are five more dangerous tools you can make from ordinary household items. Poke your eye out, kid.
A thermic lance is a heavy-duty demolition tool that burns steel alloys and aluminum in pressurized oxygen to create temperatures hot enough to cut… anything, really. Instead of burning steel, this do-it-yourself version uses spaghetti as fuel.
Spaghetti may not seem particularly flammable, but with pure oxygen just about everything becomes a pyromaniac’s dream. With just an oxygen tank, aluminum foil, and a small handful of spaghetti, you can make a thermic lance that burns hot enough to melt through concrete.
Thermic lances are used in construction and demolition to cut large pieces of steel. This homemade version can get hot enough to melt metal. All you have to do is hook up one side of a small hose to an oxygen tank and attach a small amount of spaghetti wrapped in aluminum foil to the other. Igniting the spaghetti in the oxygen-rich tube produces a crazy-hot flame, creating the cheapest steel-melting lance you’ll ever see.
It is worth noting that Blasted Science has constructed their own thermic lance. However, ours never runs out of oxygen. Instead of a tank, we hooked it up to an oxygen generator for longer burning.
Ammonia itself can be dangerous (inhalation not recommended), but when combined with iodine, the extremely volatile explosive Nitrogen Triiodide is formed. Touching it with just about anything is enough to make it explode.
All you need is ammonium hydroxide, easily purchased as a household cleaner, and iodine crystals, easily purchased online. Simply dissolve the iodine crystals in the ammonium hydroxide and wait a few hours. Pour the resulting liquid over filter paper to collect the explosive. Be careful: even though the compound is more stable while in solution, it can still potentially explode while dissolved.
Nitrogen Triiodide has no practical use, due to its extreme sensitivity to friction, but it can certainly be entertaining. Be extremely careful with these crystals; the slightest touch and you can kiss your fingers goodbye. It’s recommended that you start small, and work your way up to bigger amounts once you know what you’re doing.
Blasted Science attempted to make Nitrogren Triiodide, but our iodine samples weren’t nearly pure enough for it to work. Sticking live wires into a bottle filled with iodized salt water probably wasn’t the best way to obtain iodine.
This common toy is loaded with powdered aluminum. Aluminum, sadly, doesn’t burn. Unless it’s combined with rust, that is.
Mixing powdered aluminum and iron oxide (rust) in the correct ratio, three parts iron oxide to one part aluminum, creates thermite. Thermite isn’t explosive, but burns at insanely high temperatures and produces iron. However, it also requires insanely high temperatures to ignite; a normal flame won’t do it. Using a sparkler is an easy way to get it started. Never ignite thermite near yourself; it spews molten metal all over the place. You don’t want to be anywhere near it once it’s lit.
After the time of writing (this list has been in limbo for a long time), Grant Thompson and Cody’s Lab successfully created thermite from an Etch-a-Sketch. The video from Cody’s Lab goes into greater detail on their project.
Thermite burns at well above 4,000° Fahrenheit: hot enough to melt through things not usually considered meltable, such as dirt. Good luck finding a container that can hold it. Most commonly, ceramic containers are used, such as flowerpots. Surprisingly, it is 100% legal to own and use. Have fun.
2. Drain Cleaner
Drain cleaner, aluminum foil, and a pop bottle are used to make what is called a “Drano bomb.” Combining drain cleaner (sodium hydroxide) and aluminum foil produces hydrogen gas. If the reaction occurs in a sealed bottle, the pressure will increase until the bottle explodes.
Using drain cleaner to make bottle bombs can be very dangerous. The explosion can cause chemical burns and the loss of fingers. For this device in particular, please be mature. These bombs are often left in people’s yards and mailboxes, and can cause severe damage to people and property. Be extremely careful with explosives and never use them to harm anyone or anything.
Alternatively, try stretching a balloon over the mouth of the bottle. The balloon will fill with hydrogen gas, which is lighter than helium and extremely flammable. Try lighting the balloon with a match, even a small balloon will make a sizeable explosion. You’ll definitely want to wear thick gloves while lighting it.
Blasted Science can confirm that this works very well. Unfortunately, our video has become corrupted, and our only evidence is the single photograph above.
1. Lantern Battery
Using a power supply built from microwave oven transformers, the carbon rods in lantern batteries happen to work perfectly as electrodes in a miniature electric arc furnace hot enough to turn metal and rocks into molten goop.
The entire process is detailed by Grant Thompson in one of his most dangerous DIY projects to date. This project is a bit more complicated than the rest: you’ll need to use the transformers from a pair of microwaves to convert the electricity from your house into a current capable of forming an arc. But the effort is well worth it. With a couple of microwaves, pliers, carbon rods, and a block of firebrick, you can make a forge capable of melting just about everything imaginable.
However, all that power comes at the price of serious danger. This is easily the most dangerous item on this list. You’ll be dealing with electricity, extremely high temperatures, toxic fumes, and molten metal. Because of this, take appropriate safety measures. This project is not for the faint of heart.
Once again, Blasted Science has constructed their own version of this. However, it deserves more than just a mention in a list. Expect more information on our arc furnace in the future.