People’s Chemistry


You can purchase buteric acid at any chemical supply store for “laboratory experiments.” It can be thrown or poured directly in an area you think already stinks. A small bottle can be left uncapped behind a door that opens into the target room. When a person enters they will knock over the bottle, spilling the liquid. Called a “Froines,” by those in the know, an ounce of buteric acid can go a long way. Be careful not to get it on your clothing. A home-made stink bomb can be made by mixing a batch of egg whites, Drano, (sodium hydroxide) and water. Let the mixture sit for a few days in a capped bottle before using.


Sometimes it becomes strategically correct to confuse the opposition and provide a smoke screen to aid an escape. A real home-made stroke bomb can be made by combining four parts sugar to six parts saltpeter (available at all chemical supply stores). This mixture must then be heated over a very low flame. It will blend into a plastic substance. When this starts to gel, remove from the heat and allow the plastic to cool. Embed a few wooden match heads into the mass while it’s still pliable and attach a fuse.*

The smoke bomb itself is a non-explosive and non-flame-producing, so no extreme safety requirements are needed. About a pound of the plastic will produce thick enough smoke to fill a city block. Just make sure you know which way the wind is blowing. Weathermen-women! If you’re not the domestic type, you can order smoke flares (yellow or black) for $2.00 a flare [12 inch] from Time Square Stage Lighting Co., 318 West 47th Street, New York, NY 10036.

*You can make a good homemade fuse by dipping a string in glue and then rolling it lightly in gunpowder. When the glue hardens, wrap the string tightly and neatly with scotch tape. This fuse can be used in a variety of ways. Weight it on one end and drop a rock into the tank of a pig vehicle. Light the other end and run like hell.


LACE (Lysergic Acid Crypto-Ethelene) can be made by mixing LSD with DMSO, a high penetrating agent, and water. Sprayed from an atomizer or squirted from a water pistol, the purple liquid will send any pig twirling into the Never-Never Land of chromosome damage. It produces an involuntary pelvic action in cops that resembles fucking. Remember when Mace runs out, turn to Lace.

How about coating thin darts in LSD and shooting them from a Daisy Air Pellet Gun? Guns and darts are available at hobby and sports shops. Sharpening the otherwise dull darts will help in turning on your prey.


Molotov cocktails are a classic street fighting weapon served up around the world. If you’ve never made one, you should try it the next time you are in some out-of-the-way barren place just to wipe the fear out of your mind and know that it works. Fill a thin-walled bottle half full with gasoline. Break up a section of styrofoam (cups made of this substance work fine) and let it sit in the gasoline for a few days. The mixture should be slushy and almost fill the bottle. The styrofoam spreads the flames around and regulates the burning. The mixture has nearly the same properties as napalm. Soap flakes (not detergents) can be substituted for styrofoam. Rubber cement and sterno also work. In a pinch, plain gasoline will do nicely, but it burns very fast. A gasoline-kerosene mixture is preferred by some folks.

Throwing, although by far not the safest method, is sometimes necessary. The classic technique of stuffing a rag in the neck of a bottle, lighting and tossing is foolish. Often gas fumes escape from the bottle and the mixture ignites too soon, endangering the thrower. If you’re into throwing, the following is a much safer method: Once the mixture is prepared and inside the bottle, cap it tightly using the original cap or a suitable cork. Then wash the bottle off with rubbing alcohol and wipe it clean. Just before you leave to strike a target, take a strip of rag or a tampax and dip it in gasoline. Wrap this fuse in a small plastic baggie and attach the whole thing to the neck of the capped bottle with the aid of several rubber bands. When you are ready to toss, use a lighter to ignite the baggie. Pall back your arm and fling it as soon as the tampax catches fire. This is a very safe method if followed to the letter. The bottle must break to ignite. Be sure to throw it with some force against a hard surface.

Naturally, an even safer method is to place the firebomb in a stationary position and rig up a timing fuse. Cap tightly and wipe with alcohol as before. The alcohol wipe not only is a safety factor, but it eliminates tell-tale fingerprints in case the Molotov doesn’t ignite. Next, attach an ashcan fire cracker (M-80) or a cherry bomb to the side of the bottle using epoxy glue. A fancier way is to punch a hole in the cap and pull the fuse of the cherry bomb up through the hole before you seal the bottle. A dab of epoxy will hold the fuse in place and insure the seal. A firecracker fuse ignites quickly so something will have to be rigged that will deal the action enough to make a clean getaway.

When the firebomb is placed where you want it, light up a non-filter cancerette. Take a few puffs (being sure not to inhale the vile fumes) to get it going and work the unlighted end over the fuse of the firecracker. This will provide a delay of from 5 to 15 minutes. To use this type of fuse successfully, there must be enough air in the vicinity so the flame won’t go out. A strong wind would not be good either. When the cancerette burns down, it sets off the firecracker which in turn explodes and ignites the mixture. The flames shoot out in the direction opposite to where you attach the firecracker, thus allowing you to aim the firebomb at the most flammable material. With the firecracker in the cap, the flames spread downward in a halo. The cancerette fuse can also be used with a book of matches to ignite a pool of gasoline or a trash can. Stick the unlighted end behind the row of match heads and close the cover. A firecracker attached to a gallon jug of red paint and set off can turn an office into total abstract art.

Commercial fuses are available in many hobby stores. Dynamite fuses are excellent and sold in most rural hardware stores. A good way to make a homemade fuse is described above under the Smoke Bomb section. By adding an extra few feet of fuse to the device and then attaching the lit cancerette fuse, you add an extra measure of caution. It is most important to test every type of fuse device you plan to use a number of times before the actual hit. Some experimentation will allow you to standardize the results. If you really want to get the job done right and have the time, place several molotov cocktails in a group and rig two with fuses (in case one goes out). When one goes, they all go . . .BAROOOOOOOOOOM!


One of the simplest bombs to make is the converted sterno can. It will provide some bang and a widely dispersed spray of jellied fire. Remove the lid from a standard, commercially purchased can and punch a hold in the center big enough for the firecracker fuse. Take a large spoonful of jelly out of the center to make room for the firecracker. Insert the firecracker and pull the fuse up through the hole in the lid. When in place, cement around the hole with epoxy glue. Put some more glue around the rim of the can and reseal the lid. Wipe the can and wash off excess with rubbing alcohol. A cancerette fuse should be used. The can could also be taped around a bottle with Molotov mixture and ignited.


You can purchase smokeless gunpowder at most stores where guns and ammunition are sold. It is used for reloading bullets. The back of shotgun shells can be opened and the powder removed. Black powder is more highly explosive but more difficult to come by. A graduate chemist can make or get all you’ll need. If you know one that can be trusted, go over a lot of shit with him. Try turning him on to learning how to make “plastics” which are absolutely the grooviest explosive available. The ideal urban guerrilla weapons are these explosive plastic compounds.

The neat homemade bomb that really packs a wallop can be made from a regular aerosol can that is empty. Remove the nozzle and punch in the nipple area on the top of the can. Wash the can out with rubbing alcohol and let dry. Fill it gently and lovingly with an explosive powder. Add a layer of cotton to the top and insert a cherry bomb fuse. Use epoxy glue to hold the fuse in place and seal the can. The can should be wiped clean with rubbing alcohol. Another safety hint to remember is never store the powder and your fuses or other ignition material together. Powder should always be treated with a healthy amount of respect. No smoking should go on in the assembling area and no striking of hard metals that might produce a spark. Use your head and you’ll get to keep it.


Perhaps the most widely used homemade concussion bombs are those made out of pipe. Perfected by George Metesky, the renown New York Mad Bomber, they are deadly, safe, easy to assemble, and small enough to transport in your pocket. You want a standard steel pipe (two inches in diameter is a good size) that is threaded on both ends so you can cap it. The length you use depends on how big an explosion is desired. Sizes between 3-10 inches in length have been successfully employed. Make sure both caps screw on tightly before you insert the powder. The basic idea to remember is that a bomb is simply a hot fire burning very rapidly in a tightly confined space. The rapidly expanding gases burst against the walls of the bomb. If they are trapped in a tightly sealed iron pipe, when they finally break out, they do so with incredible force. If the bomb itself is placed in a somewhat enclosed area like a ventilation shaft, doorway or alleyway, it will in turn convert this larger area into a “bomb” and increase the over-all explosion immensely.

When you have the right pipe and both caps selected, drill a hole in the side of the pipe (before powder is inserted) big enough to pull the fuse through. If you are using a firecracker fuse, insert the firecracker, pull the fuse through and epoxy it into place securely. If you are using long fusing either with a detonator (difficult to come by) timing device or a simple cancerette fuse, drill two holes and run two lines of fuse into the pipe. When you have the fuse rigged to the pipe, you are ready to add the powder. Cape one end snugly, making sure you haven’t trapped any grains of powder in the threads. Wipe the device with rubbing alcohol and you’re ready to blast off.

A good innovation is to grind down one half of the pipe before you insert the powder. This makes the walls of one end thinner than the walls of the other end. When you place the bomb, the explosion, following the line of least resistance, will head in that direction. You can do this with ordinary grinding tools available in any hardware or machine shop. Be sure not to have the powder around when you are grinding the pipe, since sparks are produced. Woodstock Nation contains instructions for more pipe bombs and a neat timing device (see pages 115-117).


This section is not meant to be a handbook on explosives. Anyone who wishes to become an expert in the field can procure a number of excellent books on the subject catalogued in the Appendix. In bombing, as in trashing, the same general strategy in regard to the selection of targets applies. Never use anti-personnel shrapnel bombs. Always be careful in placing the devices to keep them away from glass windows and as far away from the front of the building as possible. Direct them away from any area in which there might be people. Sophisticated electric timers should be used only by experts in demolitions. Operate in the wee hours of the night and be careful that you don’t injure a night watchman or guard. Telephone in warnings before the bomb goes off. The police record all calls to emergency numbers and occasionally people have been traced down by the use of a voice-o-graph. The best way to avoid detection is by placing a huge wad of chewed up gum on the roof of your mouth before you talk. Using a cloth over the phone is not good enough to avoid detection. Be as brief as possible and always use a pay phone.

When you get books from companies or libraries dealing with explosives or guerrilla warfare, use a phony name and address. Always do this if you obtain chemicals from a chemical supply house. These places are being increasingly watched by the F.B.I. Store your material and literature in a safe cool place and above all, keep your big mouth shut!

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