Making Stick Matches

Making Stick MatchesStick matches are astonishingly easy to make, requiring only a few basic parts, the most demanding of which can be acquired at most hobby or chemistry supply retailers. It makes for a great science project for the kids, and any camper imbued with a do-it-yourself spirit will find their own tailor-made matches handy. However, the procedure does involve working with flammable materials, so exercise care at all times.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Toothpicks or wood kebabs
  • Potassium chlorate
  • Household glue
  • Ordinary bowl
  • Tray
  • Red phosphorus
  • Metal bowl
Step 1
Fashion your sticks. A good source for these are toothpicks or kebab sticks, with the pointy ends taken off using a set of clippers or a pocket knife.
Step 2
Mix 1 tsp. of ordinary glue with 1 tsp. of potassium chlorate in a bowl.
Step 3
Roll your sticks in the compound, set them on a tray, and let them dry. This should take 4 hours at room temperature. Also, rinse the residue out of your bowl before it hardens.
Step 4
Mix 1/2 tsp. of ordinary glue and 1 tsp. of red phosphorus in a metal bowl. A bowl made of any non-flammable material can be substituted, but do not use plastic, as that might burn in the event of an accident.
Step 5
Roll the match heads from Step 3 in the new mixture. Set them on a tray, and let them undergo another round of drying. Your homemade matches are now finished.

Tips & Warnings

Wear safety glasses and leather gloves, especially during Steps 4 and 5.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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