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This is a question Home Science

Have you split the atom in your kitchen? Made your own fireworks? Fired a bacon rocket through your window?
We love home science experiments - tell us about your best, preferably with instructions.

Extra points for lost eyebrows / nasal hair / limbs

(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 17:25)
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Home made gunpowder
Mid 70’s. There was a camera shop in Accrington from which you could buy any chemical to do anything – seriously - any chemical. We would walk in, in snorkel parkas and platform shoes, and regularly buy over the counter a bag of sulphur, a bag of powdered charcoal and a bag of potassium chlorate, or saltpetre or any oxygenator you care to name (and I fail to remember) all without question. Also magnesium tape, the funny explosive metal kept under oil, any concentrated acids, glycerine for etc etc)

The sulphur, charcoal and pot chlor needed to be mixed as a specific percentage and to do this I was using a large pestle and mortar – in the kitchen. I had decided to ignore/was ignorant of the fact that there may be an element of friction involved in this act.

Soon after the mixing commenced there was a woosh and the bowl ignited in my hand, the flames leaping up my arm. I like to think the mixed stuff went whoosh and fortunately there wasn’t enough mixed for it all to go BOOM. What to do????? Put it in the food cupboard.

The contents continued to burn and acrid white smoke emanated from the cupboard filling the kitchen and most of the downstairs rooms. On opening the cupboard everything was coated in white ash and the bowl had melted it’s way through the shelf. All the foodstuff were tainted with an acrid sulphurus residue and the rest of the kitchen simply stank.

I’m surprised I survived, 1. The explosion and 2, the bollocking for buggering up the kitchen cupboard which had to be ripped out.

Hint: Don’t mix gunpowder with a pestle and mortar.
(, Thu 16 Aug 2012, 13:10, 4 replies)
Any chemical?
Uranium? Plutonium?
(, Thu 16 Aug 2012, 13:33, closed)
literally anything

(, Thu 16 Aug 2012, 13:37, closed)
I've got a rock of Unobtainium that's as big as my head.
Yours for a monkey.
(, Thu 16 Aug 2012, 13:59, closed)

Have you got any more stories where you were surprised that 1. you survived the explosion, and 2. the bollocking for it ?
(, Thu 16 Aug 2012, 13:39, closed)

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