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The Stark Beauty of DIY Fireworks

It's sunny, 93 goddamned degrees, and in a matter of hours I, along with millions and millions of my fellow countrymen and women, get to cut loose and for 24 hours maybe not feel totally awful about being 'Mericans, for once. It'll be a whirlwind of...
July 3, 2012, 7:30pm

It’s sunny, 93 goddamned degrees, and in a matter of hours I, along with millions and millions of my fellow countrymen and women, get to cut loose and for 24 hours maybe not feel totally awful about being ‘Mericans, for once. It’ll be a whirlwind of grilled meats and sun-baked potato salad and watching floats float by and sitting in backyards or on rooftops. And beer. Also, fireworks.

And chances are I (you) will be posting up somewhere with decent enough line of sight to catch the pros paint the dusk sky with myriad explosions of light. And yet! Others will be setting off their own homebrew fireworks, which are surprisingly not too difficult to make. Websites for the DIY-report enthusiast are predictably sketchball. Imagine the Unabomber writing and doing art direction on his own version of the Anarchist Cookbook. Sorta like that. And yet there’s an odd beauty in the pre-launch, how-to visuals that guide one of her way to backyard display glory. Maybe it’s the age-old case for working with one’s hands. Maybe it’s the patience that goes into an appreciation for detail and intricacy before it all blows to hell. I don’t know.

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Whatever it is, they’re almost as visually arresting as sky shows themselves. Almost.

Black Powder Propellant

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Propellant Packing

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Match-Dust Fuse

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Packed Shell

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Mortar Tubes

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Very Basic Pyro Firing System

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Homemade Sky Rocket in Flight

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Post-Explosion Shards

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OK, have fun, you American, you. Just don’t go blowing off your hands and/or starting wildfires, or anything. Neither of those are nice to look at.

Top image: Stars in a shell how-to (via)

Reach this writer at brian@motherboard.tv. @thebanderson

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