Standard Detonator using Fuse based ignition

Sometimes an energetic material needs a little more than just a fuse to set it off. This is where a detonator comes in handy. This particular detonator uses a fuse to set it off, which is the most common method because of its ease. A detonator is a small ammount of explosive inside a container so when it explodes, it has enough power to set off the material its inside. This type of detonator is good for TNP, Dyanamite, RDX, PETN and other easy to detonate energetics.

Warning! Detonators are illegal to manufacture, possess, and use unless you have a valid BATFE license. They are also extremely dangerous to manufacture, possess, and use. This page is for information purposes only, do not make this or anything my pages show you.


1.0 gram of your favorite primary


Plastic drinking straw Glass stirring stick
Appropriate length of fuse Ruler
Tissue paper Hotglue gun & hot glue

First weigh out your primary. It is recomended that you give youself a little more than 1gram if you want exactly 1 gram in the detonator, but its not neccesary. I am using HMTD for this detonator (its the only peroxide I'd ever use in a detonator).

Aquire the required materials and keep them where you can get to them quickly.

Cut your straw to 3 1/4" long (not the bendy part, the normal part). NOTE: This only applies to HMTD because other primaries might press do a different density or fill up less space. It will take some experimentation. Give yourself plenty of room, you can always cut it down later.

Put some hot glue on the fuse about 1/8" to 1/4" from the end, all the way around the fuse.

Push the fuse into one end of the straw so that you can see the hotglue sticking to the sides. Remember, you should only stick the fuse in this far.

Let this glue cool down so that the fuse stays then squeeze some more hot glue around the top to make sure the fuse stays there

To fill the straw with the primary, hold it at once side and push it across so that it scoops up the primary. This is the same principal used for filling a plastic bucket with sand

Hold the open end up and the fused end down and lightly tape the side of the tube. This will allow all of the primary to fall to the bottom and will help remove some of the air pockets

Repeat the last 2 steps again so that there is a significant ammount in the tube. Here you can see about how much is in there

Use a glass stirring rod to pack the primary tightly into the tube. WARNING, THIS IS VERY DANGEROUS. The primary is generally friction sensitive and if you do not use the utmost care in doing this, the detonator will go off in your hand and it WILL remove a couple fingers.

Repeat the filling steps and pressing steps. The first time you fill it and press it, it will not compress much. After you fill it more and keep pressing it, you'll notice it will compress a lot more. This is what you want.

Continue repeating the steps above until all of the primary is pressed into the tube. There should be at least 3/4" at the end of the tube when all of its pressed in. If not, press it tighter. If that doesn't work, just remember to keep your tubes longer next time.

Rip a small piece of tissue paper off like shown

Wad this up so that it will fit in the end of the detonator. THIS STEP IS CRUCIAL FOR YOUR SAFETY. Some primaries will detonate from the heat of the hot glue gun so this acts as insulation between the primary and the hot glue.

Push it all the way into the detonator and then use your stirring stick to press it in the same manner you did to press the primary in. There will usually be two obvious layers as to what is the tissue paper and what is the explosive.

There should be between 1/8" and 1/4" of space left at the end of the tube. This is for hot glue. Fill the space up with hot glue but try not to let it go over the sides of the tube. It will just make it harder to stick into stuff if it goes over the sides.

Once the glue cools, you are done. Congratulations. Here is the finished detonator:


Use: To use, insert into the energetic compound you wish to detonate. Light fuse and get away.

Storage: The storage stability all depends on the primary used. If you must store it, store it in a plastic cup filled with cotton or another soft filling. This will ensure that nothing gets hurt if it does go off.


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