WARNING AND DISCLAIMER:  If you are underage, then consult with your parents or guardians before attempting any of this.  Making the items described below  can result in injury or death to you or people in your vicinity. Some things mentioned here may be illegal to make in your city, county, state, or country so check the laws that apply to you before you attempt anything described here.  

Flying Buckets

 (AKA Cremora Fireballs, Cremora B*mbs and so on)

It takes longer to talk about this than it does to do it.

Photo Courtesy of Noel Emge

Above is a really nice fireball built by Noel Emge and photographed by his brother Erwin Emge. The bucket was a large steel cylinder. The lift was three pounds of BP and the charge was 50 lbs of Cremora.  Whew!

CAUTION: DO NOT LET THE CREMORA STAND IN THE BUCKET FOR LONG. IT WILL SETTLE IN AND COME OUT OF THE BUCKET AS ONE SOLID BALL OF CREMORA THAT IS ON FIRE! It will destroy whatever it lands on!

 

Besides coffee creamer, you need a bucket, a bowl that fits inside the bucket, some 2FA (or equivalent), some fuse or quickmatch or a squib, a plastic shopping bag (or small garbage bag) and a small plastic sandwich bag.

Fill the shopping bag/garbage bag with creamer. Not all creamers work so look for one high in fat. Calve's milk substitute and Cremora both work fine. Look in a farm supplies store for the milk substitute. You can get large jars of Cremora at discount food stores.

Fill the sandwich bag with 2FA and tie in the fuse/squib. Use about 1/3 cup (50 grams) for a two gallon bucket and about 3/4 cup (120 grams) for a five gallon bucket. These are starting amounts and a little more or a little less will still work fine.

Put the baggie with the powder in the bowl and put the bowl in the bottom of the bucket

Slide in the shopping bag of creamer. This bag is a bit small but it will still work. If you use a bigger bag, don't fill the bucket full leave a 2" space or more at the top The bucket above is a 'large' five gallon bucket so the load is close to right..

Aye, Captain - the bucket is about ready to fly! Fuse this comfortably - get at least 60 feet away. The heat is intense when you are close.

CAUTION: DO NOT LET THE CREMORA STAND IN THE BUCKET FOR LONG. IT WILL SETTLE IN AND COME OUT OF THE BUCKET AS ONE SOLID BALL OF CREMORA THAT IS ON FIRE! You can keep it loose a little longer by adding 1/3 sawdust. However, don't transport it in the bag - load the bags on site and fire as soon as possible.

In summary - use a metal or plastic bowl in the bottom of a bucket. Put in the fused powder bag. Fill a plastic shopping bag (or garbage bag) with milk substitute and lay it on top of the bowl with the powder in it. The powder should be about 3/4 cup (120 grams or so) for a five gallon version. Usually it doesn't take as much powder as you would think. Light fuse and retire quickly! This sucker will throw out some heat so don't be near it.

Both the bowl and the bucket will survive and can be used again and again.