NOTE: Within a 30 mile radius of Galion, Ohio there has been a rash of "mischief detonations" (my term) -- people experimenting with explosives/pyrotechnics for pranks and "fun". There have been at least one death, a number of injuries, LOTS of property damage and at least three confiscations of explosive gear. This prompted me to write the following editorial that has appeared in area newspapers --
The unreliability and instability of "kitchen table explosives," homemade pyrotechnics and home-built artillery is always compounded by small errors in mixtures, choices of ingredients, components, tubes, barrels, containers and methods of detonation.
Each factor presents a serious danger to the builder, user and bystander.
Amateurs are likely to tamp explosives, use wadding improperly or add a little more of that "good stuff" (just for good measure), not thinking the devil's brew they are toying with can kill or maim themselves or others.
Breech pressure in an encased explosive or cannon-type device can reach the five or six figure range (over 90,000 pounds per square inch pressure), resulting in an extremely high velocity and range of metal fragments with severe concussion effects.
Whether the device is in the noise maker, cannon or bomb category, the experimenter rarely knows the full danger of his "toy" is until it's too late.
Books and Internet instructions by legitimate, clandestine or subversive authors are usually published by persons with only a partial or secondhand knowledge of their subject.
Information and data published by experts for other experts is usually missing certain important details and procedural steps that the "pro" will automatically know of but the amateurs will not.
What you do not know will hurt you!
The macho, neat and cool stuff that you do with homemade devices and explosives will turn into a disaster before you can say "oops."
It ceases to be neat or cool or macho when you, your best friend, a family member, a child or innocent bystander are killed or perhaps left to live blinded, terribly scarred, maybe with no hands and half a face.
The effect of guilt, shame and remorse from such acts has caused many to become hopeless alcoholics, go insane or become suicidal.
Think: is neat, cool or macho worth the cost? God gave you a brain -- use it.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Please think!