Improvised Iron Oxide

Section V

No. 7

Iron Oxide can be made from steel wool. It is used in the preparation of Improvised Yellow Flare (Section V, No. 8), Improvised White Smoke Munition (Section V, No. 9) and Improvised Black Smoke Munition (Section V, No. 10).


  • Steel wool (without soap), approx. 16 large pads
  • Smoke pipe, approximately 4 feet long x 12 inches in diameter, 1/16 inches thick
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Electrical source (110 v., A. C.)
  • Window screen
  • Newspaper
  • 2 containers
  • Wooden blocks, if necessary
  • Flame source (matches, lighter, etc.)


  • Hardware or general store
  • Hardware store
  • Hardware store
  • Modern commercial and domestic buildings


1. Separate a handful of steel wool into a fluffy ball approximately 12 inches in diameter and place into one end of the smoke pipe.

9 11 Improvised Iron Oxide

2. Place the pipe on a level, nonflammable surface. Steady the pipe, using wooden blocks if necessary.

3. Ignite the steel wool with the flame source and, with the vacuum cleaner, force a stream of air through the flame.

9 21 Improvised Iron Oxide

NOTE: The forced air provided by the vacuum cleaner aids in the burning of the steel wool. If the steel wool does not completely burn, more separation of the wool is needed.

4. When the steel wool has almost completely burned, add another handful of the fluffed steel wool (Step No. 1).

5. Continue adding to the flame a single handful of fluffed wool at a time until a sufficient amount of iron oxide granules have accumulated in the stove pipe.

9 31 Improvised Iron Oxide

6. Place a window screen on a sheet of newspaper. Pour the burned steel wool granules onto the window screen and shake screen until all the fine particles have passed through.

9 41 Improvised Iron Oxide

7. Discard those particles on the newspaper which are fibrous and unburned.

8. Save the particles which were too large to pass through the screen in one of the containers for future burning.

9. Store particles of iron oxide (left on newspaper) in another container until reacts for use.

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2012 Liberty References. All rights reserved.