In this video, Colin Furze shows off his Thermite Launcher, and demonstrates how it works. He takes it out to a warehouse, ignites it and fires at wooden crates, which in turn light up. He also takes it outdoors and blasts a few wooden targets, including fireworks and gasoline. Needless to say, they make quite an explosion.
Furze is known throughout the internet as a kind of mad inventor, cooking up crazy-dangerous projects such as a rocket-powered baby stroller and real-life, retractable Wolverine claws, even a weaponized tuk-tuk. This time, his thermal launcher is quite the literal smashing success.
The British plumber has become something of an online sensation, and this thermite launcher is no exception. He shows the step-by-step build in another video. The steampunk-style launcher came from Furze’s unhappiness over how thermite is currently used – lighting it up and dashing off to safety. So he decided to come up with his own method of launching thermite projectiles.
Furze used a bar of steel to form the cannon’s frame, a top-mounted barrel to hold his homemade thermite canisters, an old fire extinguisher as a launching mechanism and a torch to light the fuse. He uses heavy machinery and power tools to create the massive, machine-gun-looking launcher. His projectiles were made of iron oxide and aluminum powder, loaded into small metal containers with a magnesium strip to act as a fuse.
Thermite burns similarly to sparklers – the kind that light up the sky on the Fourth of July, so it doesn’t really make a huge blast when lit. But of course, the more thermite present, the bigger the boom. When Furze launches his thermite missiles and they hit the targets, a fizzy kind of explosion occurs, with the exception of when he aimed at gasoline. Of course, there was a bigger kind of bang there, given its explosive nature.
Furze has plenty of other inventions on his channel, and those who want to see what else he can come up with are free to send him comments and suggestions.