This formula was transcribed by me (Lee Bussy) from Dan Cregan’s website. Every effort was made to ensure accuracy, however editor nor the original author will not be responsible for any negative outcome from the use of this formula. Those who know pyro/chemistry know that the above chemicals could be combined into some pretty powerful mixes that would be quite dangerous. One goal in the mixing of these materials was to make the process safer. To do that, the mixture was kept very wet from the beginning right up to the last drying stage. It was so wet that there was no stage of mixing that would support ignition until after the first drying. When mixing, be sure that each stage is complete with no ‘dregs’ of chemicals on the sides of the bowl or spoon. Everything should be uniformly mixed before going to the next stage. During stage four, the mix will take fire after it dries the first time but it will not be vigorous. It will only be dangerous after it is dried the last time.
Recipe, notes and warnings taken from Dan Cregan’s website: http://www.creagan.net/fireworks/benzolift.html Stage one – mix the charcoal, potassium nitrate, and sulfur (screened to get the lumps out) into enough hot water to make a thin gravy. The mixture should be almost the consistency of commercial tomato soup when properly prepared. Stir this for at least 10 minutes and let sit for another five minutes or so – then stir again. The intent is to uniformly mix the ingredients – the charcoal needs to combine with the KNO3 enough to make the mix reactive when dry. The mixture should be perfectly smooth. Stage two – Add in the sodium salicylate. The mixture will still be soupy at first but will rapidly thicken up as the salicylate absorbs the moisture. The mixture should turn into an oatmeal-like mush. If it is thinner, that is ok. If it is thicker, then consider adding just a bit of water. Remember, it should be oatmeal like your mom used to make — before the oatmeal dried on the stove. Stage three – Add in the potassium perchlorate. This will take some arm strength but you should end up with a doughy mixture that will not readily pour out of the bowl but still squeeze through your fingers like slow natives through elephant feet. It takes about five minutes of vigorous mixing to get this stage. Knead the resultant dough with your hands until it is well mixed. I use nitrile gloves to protect my hands – you can go with naked hands but it will take a while to get clean afterwards. Stage four – Spread the gooey mixture on an aluminum or non-sparking pan and make criss-cross marks in it with a spatula. Dry for a couple of hours. Crystallizing potassium nitrate will start to turn the outside of the mix white. Mix again when the consistency is heavy dough and get it uniformly colored. Dry until the mix is pretty solid, screen it once or twice – enough to make it uniform in color again. Dry for the final time.