Manufacturer/Supplier to the Pyrotechnic Community
Making Electric Matches
The following steps illustrate how I make my electric matches.
#1 Fixture for
holding the match head - basically a wooden clothes pin - note
the upper clothes pin has been slightly modified. This allows
you more soldering area on the match head.
'clothes pins' glued to a small piece of hardboard - 10 on each
side. You can see four match heads placed between the jaws
of the top four clothes pins. This setup allows me to speed
the loading step.
#3 Cut twin lead wire to desired length
- often you can save and reuse wire from a show - I generally
cut my twin lead 3' to 6' long, but any length is fine. I
prefer to use 24 gage wire but 22 gage from finished shows are
#4 On one end
of the twin lead wire, strip/bare 1/4" of the wire - the
wire strippers shown here allow me to strip 3 to 4 twin leads
at one time, then I will trim all 6-8 wires to 1/4" with
#5 Place a match
head chip between the jaws of all 10 'clothes pins'. Note that
the pointed end is in the clothes pin jaw.
one match head chip with the bared wire of one of the lead wires
- try to keep the wire centered on the chip for a neater job.
Then solder the 1/4" bared wire to the top side of the match
head chip - I use 60/40 Tin/Lead rosin/flux cored solder and a
25 watt pencil iron. Place the iron tip onto the wire to
heat ( a second or two) then apply the solder - once it flows
onto the wire and chip remove the iron tip. Repeat until
all 10 match head chips have been soldered (top side only).
Then carefully turn the fixture over and solder the bottom
side wire to the chip.
the match head into the pyrogen and allow to dry. Upon request
we will supply the formula we have been using with good success.
#8 Strip/bare the opposite end of the electric
match approximately 1" and test continuity of each - then
twist the bare wires together to shunt.
#9 Test fire a few with a battery to assure
all is well.