Improvised White Flare

Section V

No. 6

An improvised white flare can be made from potassium nitrate, aluminum powder and shellac. It has a time duration of approximately 2 minutes.


  • Potassium nitrate
  • Aluminum powder (bronzing)
  • Shellac
  • Quart jar with lid
  • Fuse, 15 in. long
  • Wooden rod, 1/4 in. diameter
  • Tin can, 2-1/2 in. diameter x 5 in, long
  • Flat window screen
  • Wooden block


  • Field grade (Section I, No. 2)
  • Drug Store
  • Hardware or paint store
  • Hardware or paint store

NOTE: All of the above dimensions are approximate


1. Place the potassium nitrate crystals on the screen. Rub the material back and forth against the screen mesh with the wooden block until the nitrate is granulated into a powder.

2. Measure 21 tablespoons of the powdered nitrate into a quart jar. Add 21 tablespoons of the aluminum powder to the nitrate.

3. Place lid 011 the jar and shake ingredients vigorously until well mixed.

4. Add 12 tablespoons of shellac to the mixture and stir with the wooden rod. Store mixture until ready for Step 7.

5. Knot one end of the fuse.

6. Wrap the knotted end of the fuse once around the inside bottom of the can with the knot at the center. Then, run the rest of the fuse out the center top of the can.

7. Pour the mixture in the can and around the fuse.

8. Store flare mixture away from heat and flame until ready for use, but no longer than 3 weeks.

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