Letter Re: Handy Uses for Thermite

I followed a link from your site and ended up at the DBC Pyrotechnics site, looking at a lot of 10 Thermite “all weather fire starters”.

It seems like a very handy tool to have – cold weather fire starters like that. I wonder if any other readers of your novel might find them useful. A lot of 100 of those might be just a very useful thing to add into someone’s retreat supplies.

Now if I can just find a place that offers pre-mixed bulk thermite, I might build some nice #2 can-size thermite devices, in case I ever have a need to do some “off grid welding”, or whatever. A smaller [one quart] can [at the bottom of] a larger can filled with sand (along the sides) tends to direct more of the molten metal down through the bottom. Just the thing if you need to put a nice, fairly round hole through some steel plate for a special construction project. – Bob B.

JWR Replies:
I describe how to “mix your own” thermite as well as how to make thermite igniters in my novel “Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse”. Thermite itself is quite easy to make, with black iron oxide and aluminum powder. But the igniters are a bit harder to improvise. So it might be easiest just to buy the small readily-available DBC Pyrotechnics fire starters with integral igniters, and use them to start larger containers of home-made thermite powder for those big cutting and welding projects.