For the 4th: Make Your Own Sparklers

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In honor of our nation’s anniversary, I urge all you innovators to go forth and make your own sparklers!

From about.com:

What You Need:
– iron wires or wooden sticks
– 300 parts potassium chlorate
– 60 parts aluminum fines, flitter, or granules
– 2 parts charcoal
– 10% dextrin in water solution
– 500 parts strontium nitrate (optional, for red color)
– 60 parts barium nitrate (optional, for green color)

All these ingredients are legal and can be ordered or bought at a chemical supply store like Science Stuff or Chem Bargains.

Mix the dry ingredients with enough dextrin solution to make a moist slurry. Include the strontium nitrate if you want a red sparkler or the barium nitrate if you want a green sparkler. Dip the wires or sticks in the sparkler mixture. Be sure to leave enough uncoated space at one end to safely grasp the finished sparkler. Allow the mixture to dry completely before igniting the sparkler. Store sparklers away from heat or flame, and protected from high humidity.

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