How to make


Quick match is a special type of fuse that can burn at up to 100 feet per second.  Quick match is simply black match that has been covered with a loose-fitting paper tube (known as pipe).  When regular fuse burns, the hot gas produced by the flame is simply released into the air.  When the fuse is put in a paper tube, however, the hot gases can not escape, so they simply shoot along the length of tube at incredible speeds. 

Why use it?  First of all, it's a great way to light many fireworks at virtually the same instant, such as aerial shells and repeaters.  When you combine the use of quick match with that of an electrical firing panel, you have the ability to put on a great, professional looking show.

Why make it yourself?  In the United States, a ATF permit to buy display fireworks is required to purchase quick match.  Making it for you own personal use, however, is (to the best of my knowledge) something the BATF apparently isn't concerned with.  



-black match fuse
-of Kraft paper
-low temp glue gun and glue sticks
-scissors or sharp knife
-5/16 inch dowel rod, 20-24 inches long

Low temperature glue guns can be bought at any craft store for just a couple dollars.  The reason to use low temp is because it won't hurt your fingers when you touch it.


Begin by making the paper tubing the match will go in.  Cut off 2-3 foot lengths of Kraft paper, then cut each of these into strips 1 inches wide by the length of the roll.  If you want, you can cut these in half to make them easier to glue together later. 

When you have several strips, roll each strip around the dowel lengthwise to form a long tube.  Glue down the overlapping edge in the middle, on the ends, and in between.  You should now have a paper tube being held together in a few places.  Squirt some of the glue underneath the portions of the edges that haven't been glued, and press them down.  It's ok if some of the glue oozes out; it shouldn't hurt your fingers.  Now run a line of glue down the seam of where the paper is glued to itself, and smear it around with the metal nozzle of the gun.  This helps insure an air tight seal so the gases won't leak out.  Let it all dry for about 10 seconds, then remove the dowel and proceed to making the next tube.

Once you have several tubes, you can begin piping the black match through it  Lay your black match on a clean surface such as a driveway or sidewalk.  Thread it through the tubes until the tubes come to the end of the black match.  The rigid ness of the fuse should make it easy to thread through the tubes, but if not, tape the end to something long and narrow like a shish kabob skewer and thread it through the tubes like a needle.  Wasn't that fun?  

Now you need to make all of the tubes into one continuous tube.  Start at the joint between the first two tubes.  Cut a 1" slit in one of the tubes (so it can fit inside of the other), put a little glue around it, and push it into the neighboring tube.  As you did when making the tubes, put a bead of glue around the joint and smear it around with the gun's nozzle.  Do this with all of the joints until the piping is finished.  When it's done, your quick match is ready for use. and all of its contents are 2001-2004 by Colin Bradley.  Individual pages can be printed out for your own personal use, but may not be reproduced in any form without the permission of the author.