FireworksleadToday, our nation celebrates its independence with hot dogs, beer, and, most importantly, fireworks! Are you over lame sparklers and Black Snakes? Do you want to increase your chances of getting your hand blown off? Hit the jump and check out this step-by-step guide to creating your very own homemade mortar. (Note: Do NOT do a Google Image search of "Firework Accidents." It will totally kill your buzz).

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Step 1: Build The "Stars"
The first step is to make the tiger tail stars, the things that make the ultimate explosion when your mortar is up in the air. Mix potassium nitrate, charcoal, sulphur, and dextrin into a paste and then form as many little balls (like above) as you can. The ingredients probably are not going to be available at your local drugstore, so your best bet is to search the web. Skylighter is the go-to for this type of thing.

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Step 2: Get Yourself A Shell Casing
You build the casing with 3" paper hemispheres. You can buy them from Skylighter. The way it works is there are two halves of a mortar casing, one of which has a fuse that goes up into the center. The other end of the fuse will eventually get attached to the base and link to the lifting charge, the fireball that will send this thing into the air before the center explodes.

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Step 3: Fill It Up
Arrange the stars in the inside of the hemisphere around the fuse, and then lay two layers of tissue paper over the fuse and on top of the stars. Place a burst charge on top of the tissue paper—this will make the stars spread out into the full-blown awesomeness. For a burst charge, you can just put flakes of the chemicals from Step 1, or you can also use flash powder, a hyper-sensitive gunpowder. When the fuse is lit, it will hit this flash powder first, which will explode, lighting the tissue paper and the stars in the process. Close the two halves of the hemisphere, and wrap it up with paper tape. Now we're finally getting somewhere.

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Step 4: Paste This Thing Together So It Holds
The worst thing that can possibly happen is for your fireworks to fall apart mid-shot, so you want this thing to be as secure as possible. Layer a few strips of paper tape to make a sturdy wrap, and apply a thin, even layer of wheatpaste to it before taking them to your hemisphere. This will dry and stay non-flammable. Use these strips to fully secure the two mortar halves together.

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Step 5: Lifting Charge
Now, use the same chemical compound from Step 1 and make a disc that jams into the bottom of the mortar. This is the charge that will send the fireworks into the air. Following the placement of the lifting charge, cut two lengths of a black match, and bend over the exposed end of the time fuse that is leading into the center of the mortar. Wrap a line of fuse string around the black match and run it down the side of the mortar to the base, securing it with hot glue. Now, all the scary parts are connected.

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Step 6 Finishing Touches:
Take a final piece of fuse string and run it into the lifting cup, which you jammed full of explosives, and then seal it with Kraft paper. Wrap the excess fuse around the lifting cup, tape the shit out of everything with paper tape, and say a prayer. You are now holding a holiday bomb in your hand.

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Step 7 Shoot It Off:To explode this thing, light the fuse, drop it into a PVC pipe, and run. If you did it right, you'll be a hero. If you did it wrong, you'll be on the news.

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DISCLAIMER: PLEASE DON'T ACTUALLY DO THIS. IT IS THE WORST IDEA YOU COULD POSSIBLY HAVE, AND IT'S SO DANGEROUS THAT IT IS NOT FUNNY. WE TOOK THE DIRECTIONS AND PHOTOS FROM INDESTRUCTIBLE.COM, SO IF YOU'RE ACTUALLY GOING TO DO THIS, GO TO THEIR SITE AND EMAIL THEM. HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!

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