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  • Syringe with a tapered nozzle instead of a needle. These can be found at a pharmacy or farmer's supply store.
  • Hollow-core cotton string. You can only buy hollow-core string from local arts & crafts stores. IT is sold as a wick for oil lamps or homemade candles. Be sure to remove the string that usually comes threaded through the core.
  • Meal powder (this is just black powder ground to a fine powder).
  • Dextrin. You can get dextrin from a heath food store or most any online pyro stores. You can also make it yourself by baking a thin layer of cornstarch on a cookie sheet at 400°F for a few hours. IT is important that you mix it every 20minutes while baking, as this will prevent burning. The process is finished when the cornstarch turns a nice golden-brown color.
  • 25% Nitrocellulose lacquer. DO NOT use regular lacquer, polyurethane, or any other wood finish. Nitrocellulose lacquer is used in fine woodwork like musical instruments and it can also be purchased from most online pyro stores. You can also make it yourself by cutting up six (6) ping-pong balls and dissolving them in a half pint of acetone. Adding a bit of camphor oil to the NC lacquer will make it more flexible, Camphor oil is usually available from businesses that sell herbs, spices, essential oils, and soap-making supplies.


  1. Make black powder paste by thoroughly mixing 10 parts meal powder with 1 part dextrin and stir the mixture into boiling water until it is firm but still fluid. 

  2. Remove the plunger from the syringe and plug the hole at the bottom with a thumb. Pour the black powder paste into the syringe, filling it almost to the top. Reinsert the plunger until all air in the syringe has been removed.

  3. Insert the nozzle of the syringe into one end of the 1-meter hollow-core cotton string and depress the plunger. Black powder paste will fill the center of the hollow-core string. Refill the syringe (using method in Step 2) whenever necessary. Continue injecting the black powder paste until it is visibly exuding from the opposite end of the hollow-core string.

  4. Remove the string from the syringe's nozzle and lay it down on a flat surface. Gently roll the string between the hell of your hand and a flat surface to further even out the black powder paste distribution and increase burn rate consistency. Allow the string to dry outside in the sun for a period of 24 hours, turning the string often.

  5. After the filler has dred, apply a thin coating of nitrocellulose lacquer to the external surface of the strong and allow it to dry in the sun. Let the fue sit in the sun for 24 hours after all the components have dried to ensure minimum moisture content.