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Aerial salutes

This page will describe the home manufacture of aerial salutes, as you see I make mine slightly different then most. CAUTION: The salutes described here are made with flash powder which is a very sensitive mixture and could ignite causing severe burns and loss of body parts, flash powder is not meant for the beginner.

Step 1

First thing to do is to roll some cases, you will need an outer and inner case one being 1/2 i.d. X 5/8 o.d. X 1-1/2 and the other 11/16 i.d. X 15/16 o.d. X 4-1/4 long. I roll these cases using 75 LB card stock and white glue to bond them. Allow to dry.

step 2

Using your roller dowel as a guide measure out a 3/8 on one end of each tube. Place a piece of tissue on top of the dowel in the tubes and fill the cavity with hot glue and allow to cool.

step 3

Cut some slices of 1/2 dowel 1/4 thick and drill a 1/8 hole in the center. Cut some pieces of visco 3/4 long, center and glue in the 1/8 holes.

step 4


Mix up a small batch of flash powder using the diaper method.

30% dark or black aluminum
70% potassium perchlorate

Carefully add 1/4 tsp. of flash powder to the 1/2 tube.

Push in and glue a fuse assembly in place so that the fuse will touch the flash powder. Allow to dry.
step 5

Drozzle in some hot glue making sure not to get any on the top of the fuse and leaving 1/4 or more for your star/prime composition.

Here is the same tube after the glue cools.

Step 6

Mix up a small batch of snowball star composition.

Potassium nitrate 40
barium nitrate 19
sulfur 10
charcoal (AF) 10
Antimony sulfide 10
Aluminum (12 mic. 6
Dextrin 5
bind with 25 % alcohol

Step 7

Wet star mix until it sticks together and using fingertips to press it into the tubes on top of the visco until the case is full. Press into some ffffg black powder to prime. Your inserts are now complete. You can use these "as is" in shells or even mines or continue reading.

Step 8

Hot glue the large cases securely to a board a pour a 1/2 tsp. of ffg black powder in each. Place one insert into each fuse side up. Put another 1/2 tsp. of ffffg black powder on top.

step 9

At this point you could just press in some home made meal powder and put on a 3 piece of visco and be done with it, but I take it a step further.

Mix up some delay composition

meal powder 68
dextrin 5
charcoal (AF) 18
red gum 4
alcohol 10%

Mix the above composition and add alcohol, mix again.

Step 10

Pump out several 5/8 X 5/8 delay units just as you would pump any other star, only make as many as you can use right away. Place one delay unit in each tube above the black powder you just added. Using a non-sparking drift ram each delay unit several times using wrist as a pivot point.

step 11

Repeat steps 8 through 10 using a star or comet instead of another insert. After the last delay charge glue a 3 piece of visco on the inside of the case.

I like to fire these 20 to 30 at a time on a long board, makes a great curtain of sparks.